Localization vs. Translation: What’s the Difference? [Infographic]

Last Updated: April 29, 2020 8:49AM

Translation, localization, and transcreation are similar in the way they relate to language and culture. All hold equal importance in globalizing a company or product, as they allow a foreign audience to understand a company or product’s service. However, understanding where the differences lie between the three and what role each plays in globalization can be confusing. The following table may help clarify:

Localization vs. Translation infographic

Download the full infographic here.

Translation services apply to the literal “word for word”; translation is used when it’s important for the source and target-language text to match up exactly. Localization services are a more involved process whereby the target language is adapted to effectively line up with the culture. Transcreation services are used when a company wants to keep its brand image while adapting its message to the target culture. A relatively new term, transcreation has become fundamental to brand-building in an increasingly connected world.



Localization vs. Translation


Purpose: Factual

Adherence to Source: Accurate

Stakeholder Engagement: Low

Type of Asset: Text, Email, Chat, Forums, Help Docs


Purpose: Original

Adherence: Authentic

Stakeholder Engagement: Medium-High

Type of Asset: Websites, Email, Training, Product Info, Blogs


Purpose: Motivational

Adherence to Source: Conceptual

Stakeholder Engagement: High-Very High

Type of Asset: Slogans & Taglines, Campaigns, Brochures, Headlines

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