The Importance of Local History in Localization

Localization is not just about translating a website to a local language but also adapting the content to be culturally appropriate. Cultures vary from one location to another, and most of the time the history of the place has a big role to play in their culture. Several countries in different areas of the world speak European languages like English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. The adoption of these languages is because of colonization in those parts. The different influences and impacts of a nation’s history are what shape the present-day mindset of its people.

Culturally appropriate localization

Culturally appropriate localization is about understanding what the local target audience relates to and also what might offend or hurt sentiment. And yes, in marketing you also need to know what is creating a lasting impression and what is being passed off as unappealing. Understanding the local history of your target audience can be a big step in creating a localized website that checks all the right boxes. Who are the heroes and who are the villains in the people’s mind can make a big difference to how a product is marketed in a different part of the world.

Avoiding Inappropriate Content

Some countries have had difficult pasts, and while they have come out stronger, some scars might run too deep. Countries previously torn apart by war, racism, extreme poverty, and political unrest, might not take too kindly to images of a soldier as a hero, or probably won’t relate to a table displaying a seven-course meal. Some countries have suffered terrible atrocities at the hands of others, so depicting cultures and festivals associated with those cultures might hit a sore spot.

Before assuming that content that appeals to one type of audience will naturally have a universal appeal, it is always better to do a bit of groundwork. A country that is stable and even thriving now but has had a tumultuous past, might have a lot going on under the surface. A simple example for this would be if a company had a name or tagline that said ‘Boom!’ and their logo was a big explosion like a mushroom cloud. That particular logo will very likely not amuse a Japanese audience.

The country suffered terrible devastation after the attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and a lot of the effects are still being seen till date. While a big explosion might not hold a big significance for one culture, a country that has actually experienced the ill effects of a nuclear attack will have quite a different perspective. Japan’s history is very clearly noted in history books around the world and it would make sense to understand that history when marketing to that audience.

Leveraging Positive Events

Some events in history have had a negative impact on a nation but there are also some that had a positive impact which has left the people with a sense of pride. Also understanding these positive impact events in history can help a marketing campaign. Just like in the United States where Independence Day is celebrated with a lot of pomp and festivities, several countries around the globe have independence days. Understanding the significance of a nation’s independence could always make for a great marketing campaign.

Why use Localize

Culturally appropriate localization and understanding the history of a country or region takes a lot of research and time. Localize offers solutions to help you save both time and money by streamlining the overall localization process as it pertains to translation management. Getting your content ready for your newest audience has never been easier. Learn more here.

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