SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

What is Software Localization?

[fa icon="calendar"] March 31, 2017 / by Margarita Núñez


If you have a product or app that you want to sell abroad then you already know that it needs to get translated, right? But did you know that it also needs to be localized?

What is Software Localization?

Software localization is the adaption of the content of a software application (including mobile apps) to a specific market, country, locale and culture.Localization is often spelled as 'l10n' within the industry.

So, not only does your product need to be translated by expert native qualified translators but it also needs to be adapted.

For instance, it is not enough to translate a date or a time but it needs to be adapted to the usage of that particular locale, hence the word localization.


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Numeric Date and Time Formats

15 November 2016 vs. November 15, 2016 vs. 15 of November 2016. These are all correct depending on the country you are selling your product into.



The week does not start on a Sunday in some countries but on a Monday! So the calendar would also have to be changed, including holidays specific to each country, Easter, Passover, Thanksgiving, etc.



US dollars, will have to be converted to GB £, to Euro €, etc. depending on the country.


Number Formats

These also differ depending on the country. You can have €10 in Ireland but 10 euros in Spain.


Decimal Separators

Some countries use a comma and others a full stop. So you might have €1,000 or 1.000 € depending on the country.



If you are planning on selling into Japan, you would need to consider changing any images with Caucasian looking people to Oriental looking people if you want to resonate with your audience.



Certain words even in English will have to be changed from a spelling with a 'z' to an 's'. Words like localization v localisation; internationalization v internationalisation, etc.


Most of these issues can be found and solved upfront by doing a pseudo translation of your software or app. Would you like to find out more? Click below to get a free pseudo translation of your software or mobile app and take your first step towards software localization:

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Topics: Software Localization

Margarita Núñez

Written by Margarita Núñez

Margarita serves as SimulTrans’ Director responsible for European sales, overseeing a team of account managers who build and maintain relationships with customers. She travels frequently throughout Europe, advising clients on best practices in the industry and helping them successfully localize their products for a global market. Margarita has spent over 20 years in the localization industry.