Cultural Adaptation is the Holy Grail of Localisation
Reinhard Schˆ§ler, Director, LRC, Ireland

Intended Audience: Content Managers, Software Engineers, Graphic Designers, Managers, Marketers, Site Coordinators, Technical Writers, Web Administrators, Web Designers

Session Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Localisation is no longer just the "cultural and linguistic" adaptation of software applications but that of digital content in general, including web sites, databases, and other digital, multimedia and multimodal sources of content.

Therefore, localisers and their customers believe that it is no longer sufficient just to translate their content; they believe that the content they are trying to sell to customers worldwide will have to be adapted culturally.

Since cultural adaptation is a relatively new concept in the context of localisation, there are few established guidelines available to help localisers to successfully adapt digital content culturally. Most, if not all, refer back to a studies carried out by Geert Hofstede, which today are hopelessly out of date.

This presentation will show that the concept of cultural adaptation is the holy grail of localisation - extremely promising but never materialising. It will discuss the important questions around the cultural adaptation of digital content, provide a number of intriguing examples and conclude that cultural adaptation should best be avoided in localisation.

The presentation is aimed at product developers and content localisers. It will help them to devise successful and highly pragmatic strategies for successful digital content localisation projects.