UK Localisation – What Is It and Who Needs It?

UK localisation is not some Government policy intended to ensure that only local people get jobs. It’s actually the process whereby products, services, software, websites and text documents are adapted to the language, culture and “look-and-feel” of a particular country, in this case the UK.

When localising any product or service for the UK, translation alone tends not to be enough – the ultimate objective of localisation is to make sure that the product or service appears to have been developed locally, by local people for local people.

As well as ensuring that the spelling, grammar and punctuation are suitably tailored it’s essential that local idioms and linguistic conventions are used. It’s often necessary to make subtle changes to take account of things like local social, cultural, racial and religious sensitivities, gender roles, geography, topography, date/time formats and national holidays.

After the translation work has been done, successful UK localisation requires the additional services of people with these two key skills:

  • mother-tongue language skills
  • expertise in local cultural sensitivities

For any business which wants to succeed in the UK market with its product or service it’s important to get it localised properly. When, for example, UK consumers see Spanglish, Franglish, Chinglish or Japlish in UK marketing content they quickly get the impression that the company isn’t really thinking very much about its target customers here.

If localisation is overlooked, or just poorly done, the business runs the risk of reputational damage and possible damage to its brand, as well as the financial implications of poor sales. Equally, when localisation is done skilfully and thoroughly the benefits can be significant.

Bishopsgate Copywriting have the UK localisation skills that non-UK businesses require.

If you need to get your website, product manual or any other type of text document localised for the UK market please contact us today for a quote.

Steve Shaw, Bishopsgate Copywriting

Bishopsgate Copywriting are based in Sevenoaks, England and specialise in financial and business copywriting and editing for websites and print media.

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