Wiki Pages > Translation, Localization, and Globalization

Translation, Localization, or Globalization?

Part of the process of translating a written text is the adaptation of the source language text service to the needs and uses of a particular cultural or linguistic market. Equally, your communications may need to be adapted to other markets even if it will be presented in the same language.

  • Localization: adapting your technical communication to another market
  • Globalization: making your technical communication suitable for any worldwide market
  • Internationalization: planning for appropriate combinations of translation, localization and globalization.

Writing for Translation

Translation is not simply the transfer of words from one language to another. Translation is the action of interpreting the meaning of a written text, and subsequent production of an equivalent written text, also called a translation, that communicates the same message and meaning in another language.

Translations must take into account constraints that include context, the rules of grammar of the two languages, their writing conventions, and their idioms. A common misconception is that there exists a simple word-for-word correspondence between any two languages, and that translation is a straightforward mechanical process. A word-for-word translation does not take into account context, grammar, conventions, and idioms. Translation is much easier if the materials have been written with translation in mind in the first place.

Specialist Topics within Translation

This section also contains these other topics:

Other Associated Keywords

Translation, translation costs, cultural problems, translation research, machine translation, human translation, cost-effective translation, syntactic cues, translation memory systems, machine translation, Spanish, translation, localization, cultural differences, culturally appropriate translation, cross-functional collaboration, translation memory database, standardization, LISA, terminology management, translation training

Other Resources

Annotated Bibliographies
Global Talk (website of STC's International Technical Communication Special Interest Group)


Janette Lynch created this page to provide a definition for the Comap node Translation.