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Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

Nagesh Rao

Second Committee Member

Cynthia Mackey

Abstract

This study explored the cultural knowledge and analysis needed for the successful localization of websites in two different countries—the U.S. and Mexico. Localization is defined as linguistically and culturally adapting a product for the target language in the local area, region, or country where it will be marketed, sold, or used. The focus of the study was on the Latino/Hispanic and Mexican markets as two separate targets. I considered issues of cultural identity, language preference, and acculturation to determine how to adapt websites for each group and compared how localization plans are different and what leads to such differences. It examined how localization professionals working with either of the two target markets define effectiveness, and it evaluated and compared four different websites considered localized for their intended audiences based on literature review and interview findings. I utilized qualitative in-depth interviews of localization professionals and a visual assessment of four websites' cultural values and linguistic preferences for targeted markets based on what is considered effective. Localization professionals function as interpreters who apply their role to their work as Internet/website/technical specialists. For instance, the basic qualifications for Localization Project Managers are fluency in more than one language, experience with translation tools, familiarity with software applications, and experience working internationally and with other cultures. The interview questions were open ended in order to gather and codify aspects of general themes while allowing interviewees to bring up topics and issues that I did not include on my questionnaire. This way, they were more open to sharing their individual perspectives. I gathered information on past research on the topic through the literature review in order to create the questions for the interviews. In the discussion of results and conclusion, I compared the literature with my findings.

Pages

131

ISBN

9781267984623

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