Translation between localization and foreignization

There is still a debate between what is correct and what is more correct. The localization strategy is used in translation to facilitate understanding of the language, remove cultural barriers between the source language and the language of the target audience, and use the same vocabulary, linguistic style and common words. The foreignization strategy aims to preserve the identity and culture of the source text when translating into the target language in order to spread cultural thought, customs and traditions of different peoples.

1- The concept of localization:

Language localization is a more comprehensive and general stage than traditional translation, which is the attention given to the preferred words used in specific disciplines or peoples and cultures of the target language. Adopting a localization strategy requires comprehensive knowledge of the culture, rituals, ideologies, beliefs and symbols of the people receiving the translated text. There are several key things to consider when localizing a target language, for example: time and date formats, currencies, pictorial symbols, measurements, rituals, formal occasions, and societal values. The aim is for the reader not to feel the strangeness of the translated text, but rather to feel the ease of understanding and its closeness to his culture.

2- The concept of foreignization:

The foreignization strategy is to preserve the spirit and culture of the text during the conversion process from the source language to the target language. It is used to identify the culture, customs, traditions and characteristics of different peoples as well as to retain the surrounding components to allow the reader to travel through the words and feel the spirit of the original text.


Now that these two strategies are understood, choosing which one to use depends solely on the purpose of the translation and the target audience. The localization strategy aims to reduce the otherness of the original text and make it familiar and easy to understand for the target audience. While the foreignization strategy aims to preserve the cultural spirit of the original text in order to learn about the customs, traditions and customs of other societies.

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