By Dany Olier, ICD Translation general manager

Quality translation and localization isn’t only about choosing the most accurate direct translations (i.e. gato = cat in Spanish). What it’s really about is determining the most accurate translation while taking into account the context, culture and other unique nuances of the target language. It’s absolutely essential that translated content not only replace information from one language to another, but also convey the intended meaning of the original document.

That’s where cultural competence comes into play. What is cultural competence exactly? It’s the framework that we use to communicate, beginning with the realization and acceptance that customs, rules, ideas, values, religions, topic, symbols, gender roles, audience, occasion, and languages may vary from culture to culture. These differences are the foundation for the standards and tools that allow translators and localizers to effectively communicate with people from different cultures in other languages.

And that’s why it’s critical that organizations use professional translators, or reach out to a translation agency, to translate their materials. They’re the ones who have enhanced cultural competency, and because of this, know how to reach your intended audiences and help grow your international presence.