Gone, without a goodbye, are the good old days when you were developing your local audience’s software in your local market, with all product elements are written in your local language!
If your software company is looking to expand in regional and global markets, you should plan your software building to go beyond your local borders and get consumed by global audiences who speak multiple languages and have various cultures. However, the only way ahead for your business to do so is software localization. It’s your open sesame to success and thriving in international markets.
However, they always say that software localization is the most challenging stage in the entire software development process. Yes, they’re right, but …
Best Practices for Software Localization
Yes, we know that localizing your software can be a challenging, frustrating task. However, our experts at Contentech have compiled many tricks to follow when embarking on your software localization project.
1- Start with an internationalization analysis
Let’s admit two things at the very outset. First, you have to do software internationalization before localization. While localization is the actual process of adapting your software for a specific locale, internationalization is the design and development practices to be adhered to for quickly changing a product to multiple locales. Second, and more importantly, since localization is “preparing” your localization software, you need to conduct internationalization analysis before localization.
In this area, you need to start by looking at the software requirements and architecture, which will save you a lot of time and effort. Therefore, you have to answer a few questions. How will you support locale selection within your application’s programming languages? How will locale be selected, and is there a fallback? What changes are required within your database? Should third-party libraries be considered?
After you’ve answered these questions, you’ve put your product on the first step to success.
2- Separation of text and code
This step is both essential and indispensable. Let’s first admit that your code is in good hands when developers only can edit it. But how on earth shall we get localizers out of the editing process?!
You can do this by externalizing any translatable text into resource files, message catalogs, or any other suitable string file. Any text object or value needing translation should be left out of the code files.
With this, the localization process will move more smoothly, more rapidly, and more accurately. The localization team will be focusing on a complete set of strings and will have nothing to do with any code or variables.
In software localization, the focus is a virtue!
3- Text expansion
Your engineers should not design your product for English or French only, as many languages take much more space than English and French. Therefore, to avoid many problems throughout your software development journey, you need to leave sufficient space or to program dynamic UI expansion into your product.
4- Leverage localization tools
Once again, gone are the good old days of manual translation and localization. You need to partner with a professional localization service vendor who makes it possible for you to leverage the massive potential of translation and localization technology, including translation memory (TM), Content Management System (CMS) connectors, Translation Management System (TMS) and many other tools which will help you to decrease manual effort, provide quality checks, save time and cut costs.
5- Dedicated software localization team
If you aim to finish your project successfully, you need to create a dedicated software team comprising multiple internal developers and/or third-party contractors localization team. With this, you will rapidly improve the learning and socialization of internationalization techniques and keep full control of the project from A to Z. Take it as a rule: starting the i18n effort with one or two developers is not practical!
The localized product must be tested thoroughly and systematically as the original software. There’s no doubt that linguistic testing and quality assurance will shed light on issues with translated content that will only emerge when the text is in its final format testing. So, test and test again!
Contentech, since 1994, has been transforming the translation and localization industry in Africa and the Middle East, passionately helping both startups and big brands to bridge the gap between their products and overseas clients, thus providing clients with access to lucrative new markets across the world.
Our premium software localization solutions aim to empower our clients in the software development industry to grow, thrive, and expand into new markets worldwide.
Over the past 26 years, we’ve been relying on a distinguished team of linguists and engineers with appropriate industry insight to ensure that every localization project succeeds. Each member of our team has, on average, ten years of experience and has access to the latest and best translation tools in the entire industry. Also, our team members are versed in almost all authoring tools, with hands-on experience in working on such platforms as Windows, Android, Linux, IBM OS/400, iOS, MacOs.
Last but not least, there are still five reasons you need to know for partnering with us. It would be great for you to know about them!
Contact us today for a free quote.