The term localisation is often used by professionals in the translation world when we talk about software translation. It is not a popular term outside the field of translation, nor does it appear, in this sense, in the Oxford Dictionary. We use it in order to refer to the different approach that, as professional translators, we must take when we are translating software, translating apps, or translating websites. In the case of software or IT translation, terminological coherence is highly important. This does not only mean that it is important when an action or operation is mentioned within a program, but also means that translators should also be familiar with the terminology of the relevant operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux or Android in the case of mobile phones).
We have collected the terminology associated with all of these operating systems. When it comes to translations for the IT industry, they serve as our reference while translating. As they work, our translators see the suggested translation for each term come up on-screen. Subsequently, we carry out quality controls in order to check that each term has been used properly, ensuring that computer products can be marketed in different countries and that websites are technically informative and terminologically correct.
A badly translated website, an unverified or out-of-context on-screen message, or a badly translated user manual will jeopardise the entire launch of a product, software or platform in another country, as well as its image. In order to conquer a market with a website, application or program, we must make them available in the language of the user. In addition, they must be adapted. This is what we call “localisation”.