What’s the Difference Between Globalization, Localization, and Internationalization?

If you’re in the business world, or follow the news, you’ve likely come across the words globalization, localization, and internationalization. As the world continues to shrink, boundaries and borders are dissolving and the concept of a “global village” is becoming more prevalent each day. As companies continue seeking to make their products and services available worldwide, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the nuances of these three concepts.

Global, Local, and International: What Does It All Mean?

Globalization

Globalization is the concept of bringing different countries and economies together to create an interconnected community. For businesses, this refers to getting their product to market in different countries around the world. Globalization is ubiquitous in today’s marketplace, and all you have to do is take a look at any of your household items and chances are you’ll see it at work.

Your glassware could be from Italy, your silverware could be manufactured in China, and your furniture could be imported from Sweden. Travel to a different country and you’ll see American businesses on nearly every street corner, as well. Globalization also transcends physical products and includes digital products and services that span oceans and borders. The advantages of globalization for businesses are immense and it is a trillion-dollar industry.

Internationalization

The goal of this concept is for businesses to make sure that their software is adaptable to the different world markets that it enters. As you might expect, this involves a lot of moving parts. 

Traditionally, it required subject matter experts, translators, and technical specialists in addition to the development team. Now, with tools such as those offered by Lingoport, internationalization can be achieved faster and more easily with continuous translation and machine learning.

Local

Localization is the last step in the process, and the goal is to cater to a specific localized area. Making products and services international is one thing, but once that is achieved it’s time to niche down to the local market. If you’ve traveled to foreign countries and eaten at American restaurants, you’ve probably noticed that although the brand is the same, and there are many similarities, the menu will often reflect the tastes of the locals.

For instance, if you walk into an American burger joint in Japan, you will find items such as rice or eel: something you would definitely not find at the same restaurant in the United States. Or sit down at an American pizza parlor in China and you’ll find local types of toppings such as durian and bok choy. These toppings will seem exotic to westerners, but this is a classic example of localization.

As we’ve seen, in today’s world having your product go global is important and a smart thing to do, but it definitely has its challenges. Lingoport’s software solutions allow your internationalization team to complete these steps as you build your software, saving time, and bringing your product to market faster. Contact Lingoport today and see how we can make the work of internationalization and localization easier and more effective. 

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