Globalization vs. Localization vs. Internationalization – Explain the Difference

Globalization vs. Localization vs. Internationalization – Explain the Difference

Globalization vs. Localization vs. Internationalization – Explain the Difference

In the present day, the world as we know has traversed all the blockades of distance and time, with everything plainly at our fingertips through smartphones. The internet makes it so stress-free for everyone to comprehend and absorb different languages, exchange information, and gain new knowledge.

As Worldwide market endures to go forward and become interconnected, businesses are progressively compelled by the changing requirements and demands of international markets. This consequently affects a continuously intensifying demand for localization and translation services. Often at the start of any translation journey, businesses are faced with a choice of several types of methodologies: Globalization, Internationalization and Localization.

When a business expands over to a new region, country, continent, or even across the world, it becomes a little perplexing as there are different cultures, different languages, and different customs across the globe. While marketing for any product or service, businesses need to be thoughtful of every such aspect. So, to state the undertakings that the businesses implicate when they multiply their sales beyond national boundaries, scholars have coined a term: GILT (globalization, internationalization, localization, and translation.) Out of these terms, a translation could be easily understood as the process of converting text from one language to the other.

Globalization vs. Localization vs. Internationalization:

These all may sound like similar notions, and undeniably many people frequently use them interchangeably. Nonetheless, elusive peculiarities set them apart. Understanding the differences is significant for anyone tasked with facilitating a company “go global” —and confirming their brand message reverberates universally.

As mentioned earlier, the world is interlocked more than ever, as communication has become sounder and understanding these impressions will develop the global growth approach. In addition to appropriate in-depth planning, understanding the variance between globalization vs localization and internationalization is imperative to shape a loyal customer base. Nevertheless, there are subtle differences in each concept and to understand these differences businesses need to act global, think local.

What is Globalization?

As technological advancement took place, the world became a global network that transmuted the way we communicate with each other. Points of connectivity and approachability are major pillars of globalization.

Consequently, any activity that brings people, culture, and economies of several countries together is labeled as globalization. People are brought closer to each other, and every industry needs to go global when the audience demands it from the brand. For instance, global brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Amazon, etc. work globally. Out of these, the food and drink outlets like Starbucks have their franchise across the globe, whereas Amazon and Netflix are online service providers available everywhere.

For brands and businesses competition—both domestic and international—has motivated them to begin targeting global audiences; for these companies then it is vital that their products are well-matched with their global consumers’ operating systems, web browsers, or other local specifications.

For the most part, this practice spins around the translation into the local language of any textual components that the user is likely to interact with, including menus, toolbars and dialogue boxes. Globalization also encompasses the numerous ways in which onscreen text is to be sorted or displayed.

Globalization is hence a route that is used to address the encounters of logistics that an organization faces when it swells its content and assets into new markets with different angles and cultural dogmas.

What is Localization?

Localization is the adjustment of a product or content to the language or other description of a specific locality. The practice of localization comprises of changing content to line up to what acquires in the region of the target audience. This can contain converting currencies and units of measurement and altering the demonstration of dates, phone numbers and addresses. This could also mean altering the title of a cultural group or country for political motives.

In short, localization is a process somewhat opposite to internationalization. Where internationalization targets to make products and services flexible to various countries, localization aims at essentially familiarizing those products and services in specific target markets.

For example, McDonald’s have their branches all across the world, and its international extension is an example of globalization. The way they have shaped a menu that is compliant to numerous local customs and tastes is an example of internationalization. But, McDonald’s serves kosher food in Israel and closes its outlets during Jewish and Sabbath holidays. In India, they have opened meat-free outlets as most of the Indian population does not devour beef and pork. Hence, modification of the product according to the local environment is what localization is all about. Furthermore, graphical content including images, GIFs, and videos is localized for a more preferred culture-specific nature to make the content look natural, which means all the social media platforms are also maintained in region specific order.

Localization mostly focuses on features like culture, religion, and local preference – thus, crafting an emotional attachment with the product and audience.

What is Internationalization?

An internalization is an approach that implicates making products as adaptable as possible.

Internationalization comprises of preparation for and instigating products and services such that their localization for the target audience and culture will be stress-free. A blend of international skill and technicality is necessary to pull this off. New systems are positioned in the process while the ones in use are reengineered. Internationalization aids to confirm that when businesses roll out their services in the designated target countries, there is cost proficiency in the way they do business.

Internalization processes comprise of;

  • Making illustrations for documents whereby text is easy to modify to another language.
  • Creating space in user interfaces in case there is a need for more space during translation into another language.
  • Making website graphics and print such that their translation is not expensive.
  • Using examples with global meaning.
  • Using tools that are able to give sustenance to international character sets.
  • Making sure that there is data space in software so that messages can be translated from a source language. with single-byte character codes to the language of the target audience language that has to make use of multiple-byte character codes.

An exceptional example of internationalization could be IKEA furniture. They design their directions for bringing together the furniture in diagrams. Here, translation is not essential.


Whenever a business of any sort anticipates escalating a product to multiple national or even regional markets, there is always a need to ruminate internationalization and localization. Planning for these practices before the project begins will help businesses design products that satisfy users of all regions, cultures and languages.

No matter how small or large your business is – or which segment your business works in – at LangSpire our professional localization, internationalization and globalization services are at your disposal.