Software localization is now essential to provide the best user experience across geographies and cultures as online and mobile apps permeate more areas of our life than ever. The top internet companies in the world are fully aware of this fact: users can rely on services like booking or Airbnb in their native language from anywhere in the globe and experience a UX that is precisely tailored to their tastes, routines, or customs. A foolproof plan covering everything from strategy and implementation to why a software translation tool is essential for success is needed since software localization is a complicated process. Also, dealing with software localization services is a must to get the best results. This article will cover the mistakes that make software localization bad so you can avoid them to improve your software localization.
What is software localization?
Software localization refers to adjusting the software to a user’s culture and language, including metric systems, visual styles, and other design elements. To make the software seem and behave naturally to the target user, design and UX improvements must be made in addition to the translation.
Software localization, however, typically goes far further than that. It’s simple to think that localizing software entails modifying the wording of a few crucial portions so that users can understand which buttons to press. Changes are also made to other design components, such as the size and location of those buttons on the page. It could also entail changes to the backend code to allow staff members in several locations to administer and upgrade the program.
Imagine you need to translate a piece of software from English into Japanese. A straightforward translation could result in content and instructions that are understandable enough yet have serious usability issues. The text may be too long to read well or may not support Chinese characters, and the font size may be so small as to make the visual components on the website appear strange even before we consider Chinese consumers’ preferences, who could prefer a different aesthetic style or more information on each page. Software translation is a more extensive, complex, and significant challenge than it first appears to be when considering all these issues.
What is the localization process:
1. Extracting the resource files
You must first extract your translation resource files before beginning the localization process. You may easily submit your resource files to complete translation services, which also handle many source file types.
2. Choosing the translation methods
It’s important to take the time to choose the best translators for the task when it comes to translating your material. Of course, the ideal translator should be a native speaker with a background in translation.
You will likely have access to an integrated translation provider if you employ a localization platform. Alternatively, you can ask translators to work for you from a third-party translation company.
3. Checking the translation
Working in translation is complex. Additionally, translators aren’t flawless, just like any other person. Because of this, you require expert reviewers to examine finished translations, guarantee a high-quality level, and ensure that translations accurately reflect their context.
4. Translate files and paste them into the code structure
After finishing your translations, you must copy the translated files into your code structure.
As previously noted, high-quality translation systems will allow you to import translated files ready for usage into your program. The last step is to launch your freshly localized website or application with the finished translations by importing these translated files into your application
What are the mistakes to avoid during localization?
1. Lack of background
For translators to properly localize the content, it is crucial to incorporate comments and background information. Avoiding translation errors may be accomplished by developing a terminology glossary or instructions with words that should not be translated and where you clarify particular business principles.
Placeholders are specific instances where a lack of context can significantly alter the outcome. Think about the scenario “You won (1) (2).” Knowing which information will be in (1) and (2) will enable the translator to utilize the appropriate terms in Spanish. For instance, you may have acquired opponents, contracts, salaries, etc.
2. Character Limitations
Remember that a word’s character count in one language may be entirely different in another. For instance, the term “press” has four letters in English, whereas it contains seven characters in French. Be understanding of these variations and adaptable to character constraints.
3. Numbers, Units, Dates, and Times with Coding
Because various nations show dates and hours in different forms, such as 8:00 and 20:00 or 05.02.2018 and 02.05.2018, translating dates, timings, or currencies can be challenging. Let the translator choose the best choice for each nation.
4. Indicate the language, not the nation
Language differs from nation to nation. The same language can be spelled and spoken in a variety of ways, such as in the situations of en-GB (UK) and en-US (US) or fr-FR (France) and fr-FR (Canadian French). Make sure the material gets translated into your intended language by being as precise as possible.
5. Directly insert the text you wish to translate into the code
The translator must know which sections should be translated and which ones should not be altered while reading the code to guarantee that the code is left unaltered.
If a professional translation service is employed, all the coding will be locked by a localization engineer, leaving editable just what has to be translated. Alternatively, utilize separate files and put the information the user will see that must be translated into a separate document.
In a global market, it is evident that you must be different than your rivals to gain more users for your software. Publishing your translations and finishing the software localization is the ideal technique to achieve this aim since it will modify your software to meet the culture and habits of your intended consumers. Localizing software may be challenging since it requires close attention to detail and a thorough understanding of your target audience. However, the entire process will be handled properly, and a competent software localization company will ensure excellent outcomes. When localizing your program, it’s crucial to bear in mind that the following requirements must be met: lacking context (must know what needs to be translated and what doesn’t), character limits (each word takes up different space), numbers and dates, etc. (must be edited correctly to the way they are used in that region), translating to languages rather than countries, and inserting your translated text directly into codes.