Software localization is about modifying and adapting a piece of software to meet the language, cultural and technical requirements, of a specific audience, outside of your native country.
For instance, you may have CRM software you want to sell to the public sector across the Arab world, so this will mean you need to have an Arabic version that works according to local expectations.
Date formats, currency, time, and so on, are all factors which must be modified depending upon the location in which they are used. Performance can be severely affected, limiting the use of certain features, and giving a poor user interface experience, if software has not been localized for the location in which it is being used.
The reliance of businesses today on software systems, and the internet in general, means it is increasingly important that software localization is utilized in every instance, and is completed by a professional translation company who are experts at localization, and translation.
Your chosen translation company should work with native linguists, experienced engineers, and other experts who all understand your requirements, and can offer the best value for money for your business.
Your ability to compete in overseas markets depends upon the effectiveness of your software localization.
For instance, if you are a UK based company looking to trade in the UAE, you will need to guarantee your IT performance can cope with the demands of language changes from English to Arabic, including content that reads from right-to-left, text expansion, and time changes.
If you are considering expanding your business into new foreign markets, the following points will help you to ensure all your localization requirements are covered.
Internationalization (i18n) is the development and design of a product, App or content that permits easy localization for target audiences that vary in region, language, or culture. It is the first step towards localization.
Internationalization means that developers create a system which enables processes that allow for ease of adaption from one country to another. It is generally a one-time only process, however, if changes are made by different vendors this can sometimes require different stages of internationalization.
This means developers write the code following certain processes which make it possible for the software to be adapted to various languages and regions. In theory, it’s a one-time process, however, in the real-world, where incremental changes are often made by different vendors at different points of time, internationalization has to be done in different stages.
The Best Translation Team
Any large scale project is a collaborative venture. Within the translation industry, this team will consist of project managers, translators (both freelance and retained), localization experts, sector specific translators, designers, engineers, editors, proof-readers, and so on.
For this team to work at its most effective, many translation companies make use of Machine Translation (MT). Glossaries are formed which enable faster translation in the future, work can be shared via the internet (updated and modified remotely), and spelling, grammar, and terminology checking tools can speed up translations.
Advance Planning for Localization
Localization (and internationalization) must be thoroughly planned in advance. This plan should include target regions (including different languages/dialects), deciding which content requires translation, identifying the localization source (including computer code as required), and determining what level of accuracy is required within the translation.
Final quality checks should also be factored into timescales, prices and planning. These can run to several attempts, and should make assurances that software translation is ready to roll out.
As you can see, there are numerous factors that require forethought, and planning, before the localization process even begins. The more planning you undertake beforehand, the better your localization will be.
A professional localization company can assist with advance planning, helping to ensure you get the best from your localization.