# Tag-Merge: localization → translation – or re-tagging and making the differences clear?

Just stumbled upon the . The two questions using this exactly match what the tag-wiki excerpt describes for .

Guess we have a little trouble here. While usually I would suggest merging localization → translation, and making the former a synonym to the latter (optionally), in this specific case something else comes to mind:

"Translation" is rather something you do to poetry, documents, etc. If it's about adjusting some application to be used by "speakers of a different language", that's rather covered by the term "Localization". Hence:

Hence my suggestion would rather be:

1. Creating a tag-wiki for , pointing out what exactly it is for (and what not)
2. Updating tag-wiki (and excerpt) for , pointing out what it's not for (and to use instead)
3. Re-tagging all questions using which should rather be using

I cannot achieve the first (tag merge) myself, and either would favor the second (tag cleanup). But before starting something that's not backed by the community, I decided to get your backing first. So please place your answer/vote on:

1. Tag-Cleanup or
2. Tag Merge
• A little bit more on the difference between localization and translation in my understanding: Translation is 1:1 sentence-for-sentence mapping, while localization is more thought-for-thought and often covers more than just words. For example, colors can have a very different meaning to different cultures. – Undo Sep 23 '14 at 15:24
• A clear trend from the votes it seems. Still waiting a little; but if I get a "Go!" from a mod, I'd volunteer starting the re-tag. // As for the localization tag-wiki/excerpt: While seeing your point @Undo, I'd rather count that different nuances of translation (literally versus contextually). From a technical term (which I'd prefer for the tag-wiki) I rather tend to draw the line, basically, between "poetry/text translation", and "making an application (menus etc.) multi-lang". That's how I'd put (and split) it then; can be "corrected" anytime if disagreed ;) – Izzy Sep 24 '14 at 13:43

These tags should not be merged, as they serve different purposes (though they are close relatives). As proposed, tag-wikis should be updated, and affected questions be re-tagged.

• As I cannot upvote my own answer: please consider this comment a "+1" on this one. – Izzy Sep 23 '14 at 13:50
• Taking your votes as a "go", I've set up the tag wikis/excerpts accordingly and re-tagged some of the questions. Thanks for sharing your opinions! – Izzy Sep 25 '14 at 13:57

Strictly speaking these terms are different. Localization a.k.a. internationalization is adapting the software to a users locale. That includes language (translation) but also things like date and numeric formats (so, note that I dispute your definition).

In computer programming these terms have been mixed even when people only talk about translating texts (I think because 'localization' sounds better than 'translation').

So do we stick with the strict definition and try to educate our users, or shall we be lenient?

The answer is simple: we'll never be able to enforce the "correct" behaviour, so we should use them as synonyms. Since localization is a broader term then translation and is more applicable to computer programming specifically (as stated in the question), should be the primary tag, its synonym.

• Disagreed. As you already noted, it makes no sense to stick on ethymology. The tags should reflect the actual use. And that is "translation" for documentations, stories, etc – and "localization" for software. See the tag-wikis, where I also integrated links to the corresponding Wikipedia pages. – Izzy Sep 26 '14 at 13:43

These two tags are close enough to each other, so they should be merged and synonymized.