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5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid in Software Localization

Day by day, software localization is increasingly evolving into one of the main pillars of the global industry of software development. Overall, software localization services aim to adapt your software product to suit the language and the culture of your target end-users. From measurement units to accounting standards, dates & times, calendars, and graphic design, software localization is not just about translation, but also about providing your customers with a great user experience.

But is it always a smooth process or it might involve some mistakes down the road? Let’s see. 

The 5 Common Mistakes in Software Localization

Now that we’re quite sure that the localization of your software is an essential step for the success of your software product in global markets, it is time to look into the common mistakes that are usually made in this area and learn how to avoid them. Let’s dive deeper.  

First – Don’t Directly Embed Text to the Software Code!

What happens if you do?! This action will result in remarkably slowing the entire software localization process, with translators having to read the code before deciding the segments they should translate and the ones they should not. With this, it would be impossible for linguists to keep the translated content consistent and coherent. Besides, this will add unnecessary costs to the localization budget. 

Second – Don’t Think the User Interface Doesn’t Require Post-Translation Editing 

Languages are different and are not necessarily as concise as English. Time and again, translations ─ into many languages such as Finnish and German ─ can remarkably turn out to be different in length and density. Therefore, if there isn’t enough space, strings might overlap with other controls, with the interface requiring post-translation editing.

So, what should you do? There are several methods to deal with this issue. 

First, you may leave an additional space after each label, thus leaving room for the string to grow. second, many software developers try to give their labels room to shrink and grow by putting them above the controls or by aligning them to the right.

Third – Don’t Think that All Language Structures Are Alike

The text in a software product often comprises several strings that include many elements, such as special characters, symbols, numbers, percentages in addition to text. It just so happens that software developers usually divide strings into smaller entities. However, even though these entities might be easier to handle for developers, they are always very difficult to handle for translators!

To make translators ─ and end-users! ─ happy, developers need to stop assembling sentences in the code using short strings. Translators prefer long, all-inclusive strings. For them, the string of “40% off” is much better than breaking the string down into “40%” plus “off”. 

Fourth – The Problem of Concatenated Strings

The practice of using placeholders to create concatenated pieces of sentences, with the order of words and phrases hard-coded, is common in software development. Yet, it often confuses linguists, especially when it comes to the translation of conditional statements. Therefore, developers should create strings that are complete sentences. With this, they’re giving translators more control over manipulating sentence structures in the course of translation.

Fifth – Amateurs Should Be Kept Away from Software Localization!

They say that John or Mary is good at Spanish and can help your business with localizing your software in Spanish. Forget it! The very specialized task of software localization can only be carried out by professional software localization experts who have the experience and knowledge that will provide users with a thrilling, unforgettable user experience. Amateurs will wreak havoc in everything ─ from measurement units to variables, multimedia, graphics, character sets, keyboard shortcuts, and many more. 

When all is said and done, how can a professional software localization services vendor help you? Let’s see. 

Why Contentech?

Since 1994, Contentech has been consistently providing premium software localization services to ensure that our client’s software products, standalone or embedded, are accurate and appropriate both linguistically and culturally. Contact us today for a free quote.