This is one of the 52 terms in The Language of Localization published by XML Press in 2017 and the contributor for this term is Fabiano Cid.

What is it?

The language into which a product is localized.

Why is it important?

You cannot talk about translation, which is at the core of the localization process, without defining the target language(s) because this will guide the decision of which audience you intend to reach.

Why does a business professional need to know this?

A single source language can be rendered into one or more target languages, depending on the budget and scope of reach. The process of translation and localization creates the content in the target language by rendering software code, website, game, audio, video, or any other localizable content so that end users can read, listen, and make the most of their experience. The combination of a source language plus a target language and its locale creates a language pair.

Before planning a localization strategy, you must define your target audience and the language(s) they speak. Typically, companies select the target languages and locales based on the markets that they want to reach with a particular product.

Make sure that the translators are well-versed in the target language (preferably native speakers), because they must have the capacity to render the meaning of the original text into the translated text, making sure that the translated test meets the following criteria:

  • Reads as fluent.
  • Follows the linguistic characteristics of the locale.
  • Incorporates terminology preferences of the target audience.
  • Obeys stylistic choices.
  • Uses industry jargon correctly.
  • Meets local requirements, including those of a legal or regulatory nature.