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Culturalization as a part of localization

Culturalization is the process of adapting a product, service, or content to a specific culture or target audience, taking into account cultural preferences, norms, values, and expectations. It involves more than just translating text; it aims to ensure that the product or content is culturally appropriate and resonates with the target audience.

Culturalization is closely related to localization, which is the broader process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. Localization encompasses various aspects, including language translation, date and number formats, currency, legal and regulatory requirements, and user interface adaptation. Culturalization is a specific aspect of localization that focuses on cultural nuances and considerations.

Here’s how culturalization relates to localization:

  1. Language and Cultural Context: Culturalization recognizes that language is more than mere translation. It takes into account the cultural context in which the language is used, adapting not only the words but also the tone, idiomatic expressions, humor, and references that resonate with the target culture.
  2. Visual and Graphic Elements: Culturalization involves adapting visual elements, graphics, icons, colors, and images to align with cultural preferences and avoid potentially offensive or inappropriate representations. This ensures that visual elements are culturally relevant and appealing to the target audience.
  3. Symbols, Icons, and Gestures: Culturalization considers the meaning and interpretation of symbols, icons, and gestures in different cultures. It ensures that the use of symbols and gestures is appropriate, recognizable, and aligned with the cultural norms and conventions of the target audience.
  4. Content and Cultural Sensitivity: Culturalization takes into account cultural sensitivities, taboos, and local customs to ensure that the content is respectful and culturally appropriate. It avoids content that may be offensive, inappropriate, or misinterpreted in the target culture.
  5. User Experience and Localization Testing: Culturalization involves conducting localization testing with representative users from the target culture to gather feedback, identify cultural issues, and make necessary adjustments to improve the user experience and cultural relevance.

By culturalizing a product or content, organizations can create a more immersive and engaging experience for their target audience, strengthening the connection with users and increasing acceptance and adoption.

Examples of culturalization in localization can be seen in various products and services including:

  • Video Games: Game developers often culturalize their games by adapting dialogues, characters, settings, and visuals to resonate with specific regions or cultures. This includes localizing humor, pop culture references, and adjusting game mechanics to align with cultural preferences.
  • Films and TV Shows: When localizing films and TV shows, culturalization involves adapting subtitles or dubbing to capture cultural nuances, references, and humor that may not directly translate. It ensures that the localized content feels natural and relatable to the target audience.
  • Marketing and Advertising Campaigns: International marketing campaigns require culturalization to resonate with the target market. This includes adapting slogans, imagery, and messaging to align with cultural values, aesthetics, and preferences.

Learn about product & brand culturalization.

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