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Localization, Globalization, Internationalization: Key Differences
The internet is an influential tool, it allows us to relate not only to the people around us, but also to those who are in another part of the world. No matter where you are or what language you speak, the internet helps us break that language barriers and communicate, even for those who decide to have new experiences and venture to another country with a different language.
Thanks to globalization, the world has been adapting and establishing relations between communities and cultures. Globalization in turn pushed companies to embark on “internationalization” and “localization” of their products and services, to increase visibility of these products and services, and their reach.
Although the terms globalization, localization, and internationalization seem similar, they have different meanings. We would like to explore these terms together with you below.
This term can be quite broad, but in the business field it refers to those activities carried out by a company to promote or market its product or service worldwide in order to establish a more direct connection with your customers. Globalization brings a lot of benefits, such as it allows different products and services be accessible to the wider public. It also fosters economic growth as more goods and services can be sold around the world. It also enables companies and individuals to share their ideas not only locally, but internationally.
Unlike globalization, internationalization dives a little deeper. It focuses on the development and design of the brand in new markets. The purpose of internationalization is to focus on eliminating any restrictions related to the design of the products, services and internal operations that may affect expansion into international markets.
We are used to think that localization is the same thing as as globalization, but it is not. Localization is the the process of adaptation or modification of a product, content, or service in order to adapt them to the new market. For example, change the language, numerical formats, comparison, and ordering algorithms, currency symbols, legal requirements, symbols, colors, and even text, graphics, or icons that may be misunderstood or offensive to the culture. To perform this process, it is necessary to take into account the culture of the country where the brand is going to be introduced. It is crucial to investigate its religious beliefs, policies, cultural norms, and everything that may be related to your brand, to avoid any inconvenience or displeasure in consumers.
What are other key differences you believe are important to outline when distinguishing these terms? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section!
Written by Yemily Rodriguez – Community Manager at The Language Doctors