Going Global with Software Localization Process

Table of Contents

Software translation and software localization are of vital importance for international development. However, software localization is not a straightforward task, as it involves a tremendous number of complex requirements. Companies, therefore, need a professional software localization process to minimize risk and improve the efficiency of their localization projects.

A Brief Overview of Software Localization

What is Software Localization?

Software localization is the process of adapting software to both the culture and language of its end-user. The publisher must go through numerous stages to localize their software. And translation is an indispensable part of the software localization process.

Common Software Localization Challenges

Software localization process combines different translation skills while facing a great deal of technical challenges. When localizing software, experts often face difficulties such as:

  1. Language and culture differences: Different cultures and regions each have their distinct characteristics, and the contrast between Eastern and Western cultures is a prime example of this. Software localization specialists must ensure that their final products are culturally and linguistically appropriate.
  2. Technical complexity: Software localization is an intricate process that requires not only mastery of the target language but also expertise in coding, task management, and software testing.
  3. Cooperation and communication between all parties involved: Software localization demands every specialist in a translation agency to work together in harmony. They must reach an agreement on their workflow to achieve the best result.

Professional Software Localization Process

Software localization agencies must follow the standard protocol for the best-localized product’s performance. A stellar software localization process consists of the 3 following stages: Pre-translation preparations, translation plus proofreading, and finally post-translation fine-tuning.

Phase 1: Pre-translation preparations

Before the software undergoes the translation process, its textual content will be extracted to prepare for localization. This content is compiled into a localization kit. The localization kit includes both the text and context descriptions for each individual content section.

Finally, localization experts will analyze the kit to create Translation Guidelines and a keyword glossary — if requested. This is an important step to ensure consistency throughout the entire translation process.

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Phase 2: Translation + proofreading

After the linguists have finished the necessary preparation, they will start translating and proofreading the software. This stage demands the translators not only to be adept at the language but also to have a good understanding of software development. This is a key requirement for the translated and proofread software to reach the desired quality, delivering the optimal user experience.

For complicated projects such as medical software localization, publishers should consider adding a step of proofreading by native experts in the industry. This step is to ensure translation accuracy and minimize risk before putting the software into use.

At Thao & Co., we have a team of seasoned linguists with extensive knowledge in every niche of software development. Furthermore, we also have a ChatBox© feature where you can get in touch with our experts and swiftly communicate any requirements.

Phase 3: Post-translation Fine-tuning

This is the last step of the software localization process. IT experts will integrate all translated and proofread content back into the software.

After the integration, they then begin the linguistic and functional testing of the localized software. In addition, they will also re-evaluate whether the localized software is up to par with the initial objectives.

Upon request, Thao & Co. provides custom integration and linguistic review services to save you time and resources. Our IT specialists will assist you in integrating the newest translated version to ensure functionality and optimal user experience.

How to Optimize the Software Localization Process?

To achieve an optimized software localization process, consider the following additional steps.

Make sure your software has multilingual capabilities

To prepare for localization, textual content should not be hardcoded into the software. Hardcoding interferes with multilingual localization of software. To separate textual content for localization, you can use formats like JSON, ARB, YAML, XLIFF, etc. to prevent data duplication or corruption.

Clearly define your goals, expectations, and target users

Publishers must establish their goals, expectations, and target users for their software in order to provide translation agencies with detailed briefs and specific requirements. This results in a more seamless translation process and prevents potential issues in the future.

Closely collaborate with the translation agency throughout the whole process

You should regularly communicate with your translation agency throughout the localization process so that any questions or obstacles are promptly addressed. This is where you can keep track of your software localization progress and help make localization testing more effective.

Professional Software Localization Service

Thao & Co. professional Translation and Localization Services

Ensuring top-of-the-line products as well as an efficient workflow is the highest priority of every established translation agency. In addition to a team of seasoned linguists, Thao & Co.’s core philosophy emphasizes a professional translation process that guarantees quality and efficiency.

Thao & Co. Translation Agency offers our esteemed clients an excellent software localization service with a variety of complimentary services such as SEO Keyword Glossary, Translation Guidelines, and Customized Integration. These services make for the finest localized software that can fulfill your globalization goal.

Need further consultation about our App + Website + software localization service? Kindly visit our Get a Quote page for prompt assistance today!

Source: Thao & Company
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