The State of Localization

The field of localization has evolved rapidly. But has it “arrived”? On the one hand, localization is integral to most business’s global growth aspirations. If you’re a business that aspires to expand its operations across multiple countries, you can’t afford to ignore localization.

Language services was estimated to grow to more than $57 billion by the end of 2022. This growth makes sense: globalization is as strong as ever, and as businesses increase their presence across hundreds of countries, being able to communicate with customers who do not speak the same language is a fundamental need. But localization is more than language services, and localization done poorly can undercut a brand’s global growth by alienating potential customers.

Localization encompasses many moving parts, including the user experience – the basic user interface, choice of sound and color palettes for a site, and yes, language. In short, localization is about creating lovable experiences everywhere.

Localization still has a long way to go. According to a recently published survey of European consumers, 57 percent had experienced cultural problems while using a UK brand’s local website; 24 percent of this group said these issues reduced purchase likelihood.

Fortunately, the overall state of localization is making tremendous strides and becoming impossible to ignore in the news, whether it's Google’s cloud-based translation hub or Meta’s new AI tool for translating primarily oral languages.

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