Localization, where are thou?

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Evernote 3

I don’t know if everybody gets annoyed at bad localizations like me. Bad localization AND poor grammar are those things that really really make me mad. Especially in digital products. I mean: you are clearly renown, you have funds, you have the resources to make your app stand out of the crowd, you decide to localize it in N languages and you do it this bad?

WHY?

What is the ultimate target of localization if not making the unfamiliar familiar?

And what is less familiar than a word in your own language with a wrong letter? I tell ya. Nothing.

A word in your own language with a wrong spelling creates that sense of étrangement – as we say in rhetoric. That is, it makes everything to the reader a little strange

How can language make such a difference in the perceived value of a digital product (app, e-commerce, etc)?

Well, by making everything in the product familiar to the buyer. A localized content is what makes the customer feel at home, comfortable and trustworthy. These feelings are – guess what – the best sediment for a fertile and long-term customer engagement.

In other words: words – allow me the repetition – are the best way to cultivate your customers’ trust.

Some examples of things that let me down about Evernote, one of my favourite apps.

Italian people will understand.

1) “In atteSSa della pagina”

2) “CoLLazione”

3) “I mie Pasti”

4) “Tocca per ritagliare le ricette e salvarNE nell’account Evernote”.

Evernote: how can i trust you if you don’t even spell the words in my language properly? 

What do I have to think about you?

1) That you use an automatic translator (bad, bad, bad).

2) That your italian localization guy does not speak italian (bad, bad, bad).

3) That you don’t really care about Italian customers. Then, why doing the localization?

Apart from this, I love your app 🙂

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