What is Internationalization?

What is Internationalization?

The definition of internationalization is easy; in many aspects, it is the opposite of localization. While localization is editing and adapting any content considering the culture, preferences, and habits of the target region’s language, internationalization covers the process of making content as versatile as possible so that it can be localized easily.  

The main goal is to create culturally neutral content: This process enables effortless localization. Later, consumers can reach the localized content and effectively connect with it according to their region. 

Like localization, internationalization is a complicated process. After the translation is done; the content, including the website and software, has to be neutralized to be adapted to the different regions of the world. For this challenging task, it’s essential to work with experienced linguistics.  

What is the Difference Between i18n, l11n, and xl8? 

In the language services industry, it is essential to be productive. Working as quickly and precisely as possible can be considered an obligation. For that reason, instead of writing long words like localization and translation, a system of abbreviations has been adopted worldwide.  

“I18n” stands for internationalization, “l11n” means localization, and “xl8” signifies translation. These three practices coexist in linguistics services. Most of the time, translation is the first step of any language operation. It refers to the correct and meaningful transfer of a text written in any language to the target language. After translation, some other linguistic processes may be run on the content. 

Localization is the task of adapting a translated text or content, considering the culture, customs, and characteristics of the target customers, making it relevant for the country’s geography, where people can feel as if the content was created in their language, not translated.  

Internationalization, as defined before, is the practice of neutralizing a content to make it as adaptable as possible so that later it can be localized for diverse customers. 

Why is I18n Essential? 

It is generally agreed that the internationalization of content, website, document, or data should be practiced before localization. Adopting the use of language that is as neutral as possible eases the localization process, promoting international communication and information exchange. 

Internationalization also significantly affects the process of localization. Adapting linguistic and culture-focused content for a global market is much more complex and time-consuming than creating content with the intent of presenting it globally in the first place. Therefore, internationalization is an actual application in creating products and marketing activities, sparing you of a review that can often involve incorrect practice and expensive localization service. 

Why Do Businesses Need l18n? 

The benefits of internationalization are significant. Every business wants its content, product, or service to enter the global market. Today’s world is digitalized, with more than half of the world’s population being online. Internationalized content has the potential to bring swift success because it can easily be edited for target customers. This process allows businesses to enter new markets quickly. 

Products, websites, or services that target consumers who speak different languages and live in various regions worldwide should undergo an internationalization process. One of the best examples is IKEA, which internationalizes assembly directions for its furniture by using only diagrams and illustrations. Not including a text that would need to be translated and localized later saves time and money. Products and services that need instructions, including texts, require translation and localization for target languages. So, they should be created as culturally neutral as possible in the first place. 

If you want to expand your business, introduce a product/service, or enter international and even regional markets, you need to implement internationalization and localization practices on your content. Creating strategies for these processes before making a move will help you present products that satisfy customers of all regions, cultures, and languages once the contents are localized. 

Thanks to our superior AI technology and experienced linguists at Tarjama, we offer both fast and high-quality translation, localization, and internationalization services in over 55 languages. 

According to your needs, we specifically assign experienced language and localization specialists, content creators, industry experts, and other key professionals for your projects.  

You can contact us here for further information. We are always here to help! 

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