Don’t Lose Your International Customers: How to Conduct Software Localization

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What is software location?

Software localization is the translation of software interfaces and messages into specific languages, cultures and with a desired local look and feel. It is a complicated process. Susan Armstrong says that simple translation involves terminology research, editing and proofreading, as well as page layout. Additional activities that are common in localization include Advice on translation strategy, Translation of file formats, Alignment of translation memories, Maintenance of translation memory alignment, Software and online assistance engineering and testing, and multilingual product support.

Software localization is basically making software products available in multiple languages so that they can be used internationally. It is often more complicated to localize software products.

This can include customization related to:

Formats for numeric, date and/or time;
Use of the keyboard;
Collation and sorting
Symbols, icons, and colours
Text and graphics that refer to objects, actions, or ideas in a culture may be misinterpreted or viewed as insensitive.
There are many legal requirements that can vary.

Localization is crucial

Gartner recently found that worldwide downloads of more than 268 billion will result in $77 billion in revenue by 2017. Offering your software in the native language of your customers and markets is the best way to reach global customers and markets. Common Sense Advisory also conducted a survey and found that over half of international customers only purchase products from websites that offer information in their native language. More than half of countries that are on the top 10 lists for revenue and application downloads are not from Europe or East Asia. The simple truth is that your software must be localized. Numbers will always reveal the simple truth. Don’t panic! These are the essential elements that you need to think clearly and take appropriate actions as soon as possible.

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Consult a localization expert

You have realized how important it is to localize your software. Set up a consultation, and a localization expert will be able to analyze your product’s requirements before you start your localization projects. You will need to collaborate with engineers to analyze your source code and identify what content should be translated.

This is more than just text translation.

Software localization goes beyond text translation. The translation is a literal translation of “word to word”. Localization can be more complex and may apply to any content, depending on your business goals. It is important to remember that the target-language translation will not always be a literal translation. If you wanted to communicate the phrase “Like dad, like son” in Chinese, it would be something like “Tigers don’t breed dogs”. This may not match the source content, but it still has the same meaning in the target culture. Localization can also drive customers’ actions, as it has a more significant impact. Localization can also be described as more marketing-oriented.

Make a plan.

Software localization has been a common belief for many years. Companies still believe it can be done in the final minutes before the product is released. You can still do it, but the effect won’t be as significant as you hoped. Why? Why? To produce high-quality products, all works, including localization, must be planned in advance.

A well-planned localization plan will make your marketing and development workflow much more straightforward. Before localization work can begin, you’ll need to establish the release dates of your software. Developers will also need to determine the development dates for localization. Localization engineers can help you create a schedule that will allow all target languages to be released together.

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Never forget your test plans.

Test plans are often updated to reflect changes. It is a record of all previous discussions and agreements between testers and other members of the project team. To ensure the same quality as the final product, don’t forget to use your base language test plan in the localization process.

Using the information above, your software will be ready for multiple languages in no time. Your software will be successful in international markets if you put effort into its execution.