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Overview of Localization

Localization is a relatively unknown industry, and yet it plays an essential role in the worlds of business, government, trade, technology, and just about every other industry that operates in multiple regions. This combination of critical importance and relative obscurity makes localization a field full of opportunities for people who wish to make a difference and shape the future.

What is localization anyway?

Localization is basically the art of adapting a product, a brand, a software program, a website, or anything else you can think of so that it works for people in a specific location. Think McDonald’s Shogun Burger in their Hong Kong franchises. Or maybe playing ゼルダの伝説 in the United States. Oh, sorry, that’s “The Legend of Zelda” before it was adapted for an English speaking audience. And let’s not forget the one and only Godzilla! (ゴジラ!!!). More mundane examples include that bothersome user manual for the fancy camera you just bought (where is the English section in that thing, anyway?) and hazard warnings for the dental implant system a Russian dentist is using for the first time.

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