Localization Checklist - Part 3

WUHAN CHINA-September 8 , 2018: One woman who sell meet grill. It’s famous food in here.

How to Handle Cultural Aspects and Local Regulations in Localization

This is part of our localization checklist. You can use it as a quick reference for the main aspects of a localization project (part 3 of 4).

Check the other parts here:
Part 1 - Localizing Numbers, Addresses, Currency, Dates & Graphics
Part 2 - Choosing Language Variants
Part 4 - Language Nomenclature and Codification

Cultural Aspects

a) Brand appropriateness

Check if there is a meaning for the brand name in the target country. We have seen several instances of brand names that would have a profane meaning in certain target countries. If the client chooses to proceed with a bad-choice brand name in the target country, make sure to document in written such choice by the client

b) Register

Some cultures will prefer serious styles for business (e.g.: Hispanics in general) while others will be more concerned with effectiveness (e.g.: North Americans). Client should choose the appropriate style based on:

  • Target country
  • Audience
  • Knowledge area
  • Desired effect

c) Grammar / Spelling

  • Check the governing language authority for the target country
  • Most countries will have a language governing entity. In Spain, for instance, there is the Royal Spanish Academy. They choose what is right and what is wrong in the Spanish language.
  • For some countries like Brazil, multiple systems may coexist. The Brazil-Portugal Reform of the Portuguese language became effective in 2009, but some clients still want our writers to use the previous set of rules.

d) Personal Name

  • Name orders: check on first / last name order. Latin countries, for instance, will not use last name as often as the US or the UK
  • Titles

Titles should be properly used in the content. Some countries will use a title along the first name instead of the last one (e.g.: Mr. John instead of Mr. Smith).

  • Colors: meaning of colors will vary greatly among different countries. Black and red are two of the most difficult colors to use universally

c) Political issues

  • Assess which facts could be troublesome when writing the content
  • Common political issues include geographical disputes and disputed borders

d) Social issues

Social aspects that may be important during the content writing include:

  • Ethnicity
  • Clothing
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Conventions
  • Taboos
  • Religions
  • Superstition

Local Regulations

Clients and projects will need to meet different regulations. While some segments (e.g.: medical content) may be highly regulated, others (e.g.: giftware) may have fewer requirements.

  • Local privacy requirements
  • Additional required disclaimers (e.g.: California)
  • Specific labeling requirements
  • Encryption and data access by local authorities
  • Taxation
  • Government assigned documents
  • Battery Sizes
  • Voltage and current standards
  • Others

Download a PDF version of our Localization Checklist






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