What is Localization?

What do the Internet, free trade agreements, and Harry Potter have in common?  They have all impacted the global village significantly.  They have brought us together and made the world smaller. 
 

Baidu beats Google in China.  Why?  Language.  Amazon only reaches well established markets.  Why?  Language barriers and cost.  Urdu speakers favor racing games over strategic games on their game consoles.  Why?  Because they can’t get games in their language and racing games are easy to understand.
 

Language remains a barrier to the world functioning as a global village and economy. 
 

The Globalization and Localization Association is comprised of members worldwide who specialize in localization, translation, internationalization and globalization.  Every day they help companies, non-profits and governments communicate effectively to their audiences.  They do this by making sure the content of their communications is culturally sensitive and presented in languages that their audiences understand.
 

This brief educational web course on localization provides an overview to help you get started.  It was created in conjunction with Yves Lang of ENLASO, a localization expert and GALA member.  It is non-biased and non-commercial, and our hope is that it informs and educates.  Special thanks to the following members who reviewed content: Hans Fenstermacher (TransPerfect / Translations.com), John Watkins (ENLASO), Beatriz Bonnet (Syntes), Moravia Worldwide, and Robinson Kelly (Clay Tablet Technologies).