Localisation is the process of adapting a product and all its related material to the culture of a specific country or region. It is a broader process than simple translation from a source language to a target language, as it also takes into account technical issues, language-specific requirements and cultural content. For example, character set must be appropriate for the local language, numeric values and units of weight and measure must always be converted and/or presented in their local format, examples and images must be meaningful and culturally correct. The Localisation Industry Standards Association (LISA) defines localisation as “the process of modifying products or services to account for differences in distinct markets”.
A successful localisation project is one resulting in a final product that the users or purchasers of a local market would perceive as a product developed in their own country. And in order to achieve this goal, the expertise of localisers is crucial, as they need a deep knowledge of both the cultural context in which the product is developed and the target market of the localised product.