What are text localisation and cultural adaptation

Our localisation service is the translation or revision of existing translations that ensures that the target language text is adapted to the culture of the target audience and can be properly used by the tool chosen for its dissemination, be it a website, an app, computer program, video or any other means of transmission. In the field of international communication, the term localisation refers to the adaptation of a message to make it appropriate for the cultural standards of the target audience.

For a written text, this implies not only its translation into the language of the target market, but also a review of the content in line with the local tone for maximum effectiveness. The localisation service can prove to be extremely useful for advertising, promotional, informative and teaching material; its aim is to make the content of this kind of material more engaging and usable for the local culture.

Sometimes localisation of a text is necessary, as in the case of user interface translation of the various versions of IT applications. In such a case, the various user/machine interaction fields and proper software operation depend on the attention of the translator appointed to perform localisation, who must correctly interpret the commands for the foreign user and be able to contextualise them, too.

Localisation and adaptation: our work process

Localisation is a tool that adapts communication to the culture and technological standards of a foreign market. It requires technical and linguistic expertise and a profound understanding of the foreign target audience.

Therefore, the service may include the following stages:

Definition of a style guide agreed with the client

This guide sets out the style and criteria for translation uniformity, insofar as it includes information on the context, the text function and other terminological aspects, such as the register to be used, glossary, methods of translating abbreviations and units of measurement.

Linguistic Intelligence

Gathering the cultural information necessary to the translators for the performance of the service, through the use of information retrieval systems.


Translation of texts by our specialist native speakers.

Revision and cultural adaptation

Revision and cultural adaptation, undertaken by communication experts who re-read the translation, correcting it and optimising the message according to the demands of the target audience.


Graphics and layout of the translated documents.


Testing content usability by the communication tool chosen by the client (websites, apps, programs, videos, etc.).

What aspects are considered for an effective localisation and text adaptation

The localisation service provided by SMG consists of two phases: the first involves translation of the documents by our native speaking translators. Once the translation is complete, it is subjected to careful editing by international communication experts who improve the effectiveness of the message according to the requirements of the audience.

During the text localisation process, our team takes into considation many linguistic and non-linguistic content-related aspects, including:

  • Concept localisation: identification of the main themes and how they are handled. To meet the client’s requirements, the team will adapt the texts as most appropriate if they contain any reference whatsover to topics which could be prejudicial to or discriminatory for the target Country or culture.
  • Localisation of form: involves establishing the most appropriate stylistic choices to address the target audience, based on the purpose of the message, taking into consideration, besides language, many aspects such as geographical area, the sex, age, average cultural level, interests, etc.
  • Localisation of terminology: creating a uniform technical lexis throughout all the client’s documents, accounting for the differences between the various local legislatures and any official terminology databases of international standards.
  • Localisation of graphics: adapting non-linguistic elements, such as the choice of colours, or the use of certain images, can often make the difference between a message of appalling taste and one of excellence.

The purpose of the service

Localisation requires a faithful translation as a starting point, followed by assessment of changes proposed by the linguists and by the communication staff of both the client and the Company.

Effective localisation plays a decisive role in international sales strategies, especially for managing texts in many languages where it is essential that you keep information for external publication under control. Any company that is multinational or in any case oriented towards foreign markets can confirm just how crucial multilingual content management is; you only have to think about the regulatory differences between countries, which often require careful terminological adaptations to be made.

Operating as a provider of translation and consultancy services for businesses that manage high-criticality multilingual documents, SMG makes use of dedicated applications to manage corporate content. This enables us to facilitate and optimise data archiving, retrieval, comparison and monitoring of the data: for further information, please visit the page dedicated to Project Management.

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