What is localization?
Localization (usually shortened in l10n, and also spelled localisation) is the process of adapting an application, software, or an internet website into another language and culture.
This is not only about translating text, but also the date, money and number formats, the colors and pictures… to fit the targeted culture.
Let’s take the example of a US company with a Canadian French version of its website to sell videos online. This client now wants to target the French market.
We usually think that French is the same everywhere. In fact, international French is different from Quebec French. For instance, the word vidéo (French for video) is masculine in France and feminine in Canada.
Also, the hour displayed on top of the website will have to follow the French format which is close to military time, like 20h35 for 8:00 pm EST.
Only a real understanding of the target culture enables the perfect adaptation of the application to the target market.