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Glossary of Business Terms

At its core, the primary benefit of localization is to facilitate global business development and communication. Localization is an often unseen cost of doing business on a global scale, and yet, businesses would fail without it.

As a result, many terms common to general business and marketing are important to localization as well. This glossary contains a selection of business-related terms that are referenced in this book.

About the author: Alessandra Binazzi

Photo of Alessandra Binazzi

Alessandra Binazzi Consulting develops localization programs tailored to needs of organizations at the early stages of a multilingual strategy. Alessandra is a 20-year, multilingual professional with a varied experience and one common thread: international markets and customers. University educated in Boston, she was exposed to global technology companies from the beginning of her career, with a focus on multilingual digital content.

Term: Business Terms


Business Terms

business intelligence (BI)

A technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting it in a meaningful way. The goal of BI is to enable management to make informed business decisions. In localization, BI focuses on analyzing internal data on quality, turn-around time, and process in order to optimize these elements. External data analysis focuses on local customer experience and satisfaction.


Sourcing model that uses a large number of participants from a community (online or other) to complete a particular task. This method can use volunteers or paid participants. In localization, this model is often used by organizations that have access to large pools of loyal multilingual users.

games localization

The process of making games (usually electronic ones) acceptable to a particular locale. This process includes translating the written and audio content and localizing the visual and cultural content.


Methodology using game techniques and elements to engage users and customers in a business process or marketing activity. In localization, gamification is used most frequently to engage linguists in a crowdsourcing model.

localization kit

A checklist provided to a language services provider (LSP) when submitting a localization project request. The localization kit enables the LSP to produce an appropriate cost estimate and project plan. The localization kit also contains specifications, a list of all source files (content, graphics, resource files, metadata, etc.), template files, and a list of authoring and software development tools used.


A physical or nominal place where buyers and sellers interact and, therefore, is driven by the forces of demand and supply. A market is often defined by a certain locale or region. In localization, supply includes translators, localization service providers (LSPs), technology companies, service companies, etc. Demand includes any organization that needs localization services, which potentially includes nearly all existing organizations.


A fictional character created to represent a particular type of customer or user. Personas can assist in identifying ways that someone might use the product or service.

project management

The discipline of starting, planning, completing, controlling, and closing a set of tasks to achieve specific goals and meet specific criteria. In localization, steps can include sourcing linguists, processing requests, assigning work to appropriate resources, scheduling work, ensuring quality checks, and delivering translated content.

return on investment (ROI)

The result (monetary or otherwise) generated as a direct outcome of a particular investment. In localization, ROI is used to assess the value of investment in new tools, new languages, new translation service, etc. The formula Return–Costs = ROI returns an absolute value; the formula Return/Cost = ROI returns a percentage value for comparing investments.

social games

Games played online in a group that require players to interact with both the game elements and other people. Such games can be complex to localize because of their interactivity and contextual nature.


A high-level plan for achieving one or more goals. A strategy usually covers a long period of time. A localization strategy identifies what resources, tools, and processes are required to deliver high quality, timely products to local markets in the local language.

user experience (UX)

Overall involvement that a user/customer has when interacting with a product, service, or content. It includes both the practical and emotional experience of the user. In localization, the focus is put on users in the local market and their interaction with the localized product, service, or content.


The sequence of steps/tasks through which a project passes from start to completion. Workflows make up a process. In localization, a typical workflow is the series of task from submission of a translation request, through the translation process (file management, deployment to language resources, translation, review, QA, etc.) to delivery of translated files and deployment of the translated content.