The Avatars of Culture in Website Localization

Hossein Bahri, Tengku Sepora Tengku Mahadi

Abstract


The aim of the present paper is to investigate the most important cultural aspects involved in website localization by drawing on the data obtained from a number of Iranian website localizers. A questionnaire was given to 18 participants with varied degrees of expertise and experience who worked on website localization projects in either of English ↔ Persian, Arabic ↔ Persian, and French ↔ Persian directions for at least 3 years. The participants of the study were asked to rate as many factors as they perceived crucial in determining the cultural content of websites. Variables as diverse as ideology, pictures, symbols, colors, branding, navigation, and the written content were investigated. The questionnaire measured the importance of cultural variables and the items were evaluated on a scale of 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). A final item asked why the localizers found any of the cultural variables difficult to localize. The results of the study show that ideology, pictures, and symbols were considered to be the most important variables in website localization, while localization of branding was the trickiest. This study emphasizes the unique cultural nature of website localization based on the analysis of the examples provided by the participants.

Keywords


Website Localization; Culture; Translation

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18415/ijmmu.v2i6.34

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