When it comes to reaching a global audience and conveying a powerful message, localized content is an important part of any strategy. Usually taking place alongside translation of a text, localization involves adapting aspects of the material so that it is particular to the region where it will be distributed. Sometimes that means changing the forms of measurement, other times it means adding or changing words so that they are better suited for a specific country. Localized content, at its heart, is a way of putting yourself on the same footing as the end user, a way of recognizing and respecting cultural differences in order to ensure everyone has the same opportunity to access the text in a meaningful way.
Localization goes from being an important part of any content strategy to being something that is absolutely crucial when the subject at hand is safe driving. Here are a few reasons why localization is a top priority for defensive driver training.
Lost in Translation
Translation is an important part of rendering content global, but straight translation on its own is not always enough when the goal is to create content that is clear and accessible for all users. There are nuances to every language and when translation doesn't take those nuances into consideration, the essential meaning of a text can become lost. For example, a word that means one thing in english may mean another thing in a different language. When you rely on literal translation, the foreign speaker will recognize the word in their own language, but it might not fit the context of what they're reading. The result can be text that is choppy, unclear, or downright unintelligible. Not only does this impact the user's ability to understand the meaning of the text, it also impacts the way the quality of your content is perceived by an end user in another country.
The ultimate goal for any piece of writing is that it be immediately digestible by the reader. You want the end user to think about what you're saying, not about how you're saying it. In order for a reader to interact with a text fully, they need to understand what's being conveyed to them as soon as they read it, in a language and a context that they understand. Even small language quirks can throw a reader off, things that give them pause and pull them out of the text. For example, while in the United States the word 'truck' might read intuitively, in the United Kingdom or in Australia, where the word 'lorry' is the more common terminology, the use of the word 'truck' could hinder a reader from instantly recognizing the content in the same way that they would should 'lorry' be used. It's not about understanding - an Australian will know what you mean when you use the word 'truck' - it's about the text not feeling immediately recognizable. These things are small, but all together they can add up to the end user feeling that what they are reading isn't exactly for them specifically. And that is what localization is all about - making end users feel that the content they are reading has been made with them in mind.
Making an Impact
This is where localization becomes integral to defensive driver training. The goal of defensive driver training is ultimately to save lives, and in order to do that, the content of the training has to make as big of an impact as possible on the end user. That means that every word counts, because every word has the potential to change the way that someone thinks about driving behaviour or safe driving practices. One of the best ways to make a lasting impact is to speak to a person directly, and localizing content gives content creators the chance to do just that. From framing standard driving advice differently so that it sticks with the end user in a new way, to providing statistics that hammer home the real life implications of decisions made on the road, language has the power to change peoples lives, and localizing content is the key to making the most of your opportunity.