Localisation is a hot topic in the translation industry. This is the definition preferred by the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA): "Localization involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language) where it will be used and sold."
I came across this sentence in a translation:
Even if you’re not interested in visiting the very first Starbucks after all, it’s just a Starbucks there are plenty of things to see and do in Seattle.
The client had made it clear that the site should be accessible and engaging for a French audience. The problem here was that Starbucks, which is ubiquitous in England and the USA, is actually not well-known in France. There are just 3 Starbucks in France, all in Paris. The first one opened this year, and although there was much publicity around it, I don’t think your average French person would know that Starbucks is a coffee shop (yet!). I brought this to my client’s attention and she advised me to change the source sentence to "Even if you are not interested in the many famous coffee houses the city is famous for, there are plenty of things to see and do in Seattle".
In doing so, the text became more appropriate for a French audience. My role, as well as being a translator, was also to recognise the cultural implications of the original document. Instead of "sticking to the text", I tried to gauge how it might be received by a French person and adapted it to reflect the target language culture.