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Art of localisation

The art of localisation

As the world gets smaller and global markets more accessible, it has never been more important to understand the art of localisation and what it can mean for your business.

56.2% of consumers say that receiving information in their own language is more important than price when making purchasing decisions. Failure to offer localised versions of your content could be bad news for your global expansion prospects.

Global-minded companies looking to expand overseas often struggle when it comes to content localisation. Inconsistent or unprofessional internationalisation of your message can lead to stagnant sales and disappointing growth.

Successful localisation is more than just translation. It requires a thorough and sensitive understanding of how best to communicate with the audience in each of your target markets. By applying this expertise to your content, you can ensure your communication is on point and will reap the desired results. Here we dive into the key elements of any successfully localised content.

Cultural sensitivity

When creating an audiovisual translation, it is essential to apply cultural sensitivity to allow for the differences in language, culture and humour between your new market and your home market. Failure to consider this in the localisation of your content will at best cause your message to fall flat with your target audience and at worst it could offend them. It is important to consider how certain words, images and topics may land in your new market, bearing in mind the local beliefs, history, politics and customs.

Quality translation

Opt for a certified translation from a quality translation company to guarantee your content makes sense and resonates with your customers. A good translation agency will be able to deliver a script that is free from inappropriate slang and reflects the culture of the market you are targeting. A poor translation will appear clunky, unprofessional and even untrustworthy, losing potential clients faster than you can say “Bonjour!”

Perfect voice

Once your script has been localised by a global translation service, you need to find the perfect voice to convey your message to your new audience. Be sure to choose the right accent for your market, one that will be widely understood and is relatable. For example, a person speaking Spanish with a South American accent may not land as well in Spain as a person speaking in a Spanish accent.

Audiovisual fluency

It may be that your script will end up longer or shorter in each language due to the differences in word use, word length and spoken speed. Professional localisation services can adapt the script so that it still fits with the original video or audio, saving on the expensive task of creating many new versions. Or, if your budget will allow, you can adjust your visuals to fit the new script length.

Adapting visuals

If you have some room in your budget, adapting the visuals to reflect your new market’s tastes and preferences is a great extra. Some colours hold various cultural meanings in different countries so you may want to adjust the palette of your content. Likewise, certain graphics or images may land better if they are localised, containing local people or recognisable local settings for example.


You want your customers to feel the content is for them. An authentic, nuanced business translation is one great way to do this. Including local references or idioms will ensure your content speaks to your audience. And if they can see themselves reflected in it, you are much more likely to make that sale.

Plan ahead

The most important thing you can do when looking to localise your content is to plan ahead. Incorporate your intentions for localisation from the beginning of your project. This will give you the time and flexibility to make the adjustments that will ensure your brand’s message reaches your customers intact.

Matinée’s comprehensive localisation services ensure everything is taken care of. You’re guaranteed a culturally sensitive translation service and a reliable roster of voice-over artists from across the globe. Using our experience and expertise to guide you through the whole localisation process, we can edit and adapt your video content to enable you to deliver your message to a wider audience.

With Matinée’s global services you can rest assured that those cultural faux pas stay on the cutting room floor where they belong.