Category: Blog

Why is Technical Documentation Translation Vital for your Business?

Why is Technical Documentation Translation Vital for your Business?

2020 is upon us, and with it comes a wide array of giant strides in the software development industry.

Recently software development has been increasingly becoming part and parcel of almost all industries all over the world. Continuous advances in software development are having an impressive impact on our lives.

Although we might not be able now to predict what is going to happen in the sphere of software development either shortly or in the long run, we can easily see many trends in the offing that we expect to continue into the new decade.

First, Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to take over. Second, 5G is strongly entering our lives in 2020 and the years to come. 5G is expected to transform the world — from powering smart cities to improving traffic systems, to increased capacity for network expansion, thus paving the way for developers to work on more robust applications and augmented reality features.

Third, and more importantly, with the rise of software companies and their consistent expansion into every market all over the world, a new pertinent sector is gaining ground and becoming more important ─ Technical Documentation Translation.

So what?

When and Why is Technical Documentation Translation Important?

Both software vendors and software buyers need technical documentation translation. When software development businesses expand into overseas markets to sell their products to multilingual audiences, they should provide their customers with technical documentation in local languages. This is where technical documentation translation’s role becomes vital.  

Also, companies that buy from foreign suppliers are required to document internal processes for compliance. Therefore, they have to rely on professional technical documentation translation providers whenever they’re doing business with global partners. 

This kind of translation is needed for many technical content types, from operation instructions to specialized websites, software strings, patents, and user manuals. That’s why it’s becoming very important for software developers ─ startups and giants ─ to choose the right technical translation service provider. So, how come?

Tips for Preparing Technical Content for Translation

At AfroLingo, we have a few tips for you on how to prepare your technical documentation for translation so that you may finally get high-quality translated documents that meet your business requirements.

1) Specify Your Target Audience

Like all text types, you need to start by considering and telling your translation agency about your product’s target group. Professional translators will appreciate it if you tell them whether your end-user is just a layperson or an engineer who is versed in the technical area and thus knows the specific technical jargon.  

2) Manage Your Terminology

Since most software development companies would like their translation partner to use their abbreviations and terminology, they should include their term lists when they send the technical content for translation.

At AfroLingo, the project manager always ensures that the translators understand the client’s specific needs and use the specific jargon and style they wish.

Moreover, we may sometimes have some discussions with the client about expanding their term lists or creating new ones as per the project’s requirement. In all cases, with this effort, you’ll easily get consistent translations each time.

3) Text Usually Expands!

You have to consider the possibility of text expansion when you design or create your original printed piece, including charts, artwork and graphics. Further, it would help if you remembered that your documents might need to be resized.

4) Technical Writing is Special

When you write technical documentation, you need to follow several best practices, including:

A. Write short, simple sentences. 

B. Avoid idioms as they’re often taken the wrong way.

C. Also, avoid cultural references, as they may lose their original meaning or get misinterpreted across borders.

D. Remember that symbols may carry different meanings in different cultures.

E. Write consistently. You can do so by being consistent in formatting, sentence structure, capitalization, spacing, etc. Remember that CAT tools and translation memories can help you with this.

Importance of Choosing a Professional Translation Partner

After all, it is said and done; it’s time for all of us to admit the importance of choosing a professional technical translation service provider. Otherwise, the entire technical translation project might end up going astray!

Therefore, we need to understand the specific features of this professional translation partner and how one translation agency is different from another. What shall you find in a translation agency that gives you the sense of trust that you’ve found the right partner? Let’s dive deeper, with a typical example.

Why AfroLingo?

Over the past 12 years, AfroLingo has had an impressive, proven track record in delivering professional technical documentation translation services to the biggest companies in Africa and the world.

Since technical documentation translation requires a mix of technical and linguistic competence, AfroLingo depends on a highly qualified team of experts comprising linguists, engineers and industry specialists.

Moreover, AfroLingo offers the most competitive prices in the translation industry and can quickly translate any large amounts of technical documentation.

Also, at AfroLingo, we use the most sophisticated CAT tools, the latest Translation Management System TMS in addition to the best translation memories.

With this, we consistently deliver the highest quality translation in the market for a wide diversity of technical documents including patents, user guides, material data safety sheets (MSDS), processes, engineering texts, standard operating procedures (SOPS), manuals for machine tools, technical drawings, in addition to installation, operator, maintenance and user manuals, descriptions, technical datasheets, specifications and technical instructions.

Are you looking for technical documentation translation, or do you need good advice? Contact us today so that our experts may discuss how to help your business thrive or get a free quote.

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4 Reasons Why Translation is Vital for B2B Marketing

4 Reasons Why Translation is Vital for B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing is not only trending, but it’s also becoming a vital strategy for the success of millions of businesses all over the world.  It has evolved, particularly over the past 20 years, into a unique discipline ─ with distinctive practices, strategies and metrics of success.

Millions of companies in almost all industries all over the world are presently riding the business-to-business marketing wave, which makes it possible for them to sell their products and services to other companies that would resell them, use them in their products or services or use them to support their works. It’s a golden opportunity for millions of companies to promote business and increase profits. Let’s take just one example in the eCommerce sphere. The global B2B eCommerce market valuing USD 12.2 trillion in 2019 is over 6 times that of the B2C market []

Is Translation Vital for B2B Marketing?

Of course! Thinking global, smart companies are striving to expand into international markets. To achieve success on a global basis, professional B2B marketers in these companies are keen to adapt their strategies to markets outside their borders.

Therefore, they consistently take into account how different cultures will receive their marketing messages. They know quite well that they have to deliver high-quality online content that their foreign corporate clients will engage with ─ or else all their B2B marketing efforts, their promotions and their advertisements will fall on deaf ears. They’re also aware that communicating with prospective overseas businesses in their own languages is the most resonant and appropriate way to build relationships and provide value to these companies.

Therefore, marketers know for sure that translation is the open sesame to enter and thrive in overseas business-to-business markets.

4 Reasons Why Translation is Central to B2B Marketing

Given that translation is so vital to B2B marketing that without it, marketing to prospective corporate clients and communicating with existing ones would be almost impossible, let’s dive deeper to look at some of the benefits of translation and localization to global B2B marketing.

1) Beat Your Competition

It might seem that skipping translation and localization costs in your B2B marketing budget is cost-effective. Yes, it could be, but only in the short term. However, you’ll definitely lose markets in the long run.

Since the business-to-business market is characterized by cut-throat competition in almost all industries, translating and localizing your online content plays an essential role in staying ahead of your competition. Just imagine that your competitors are keen to translate their B2B marketing campaigns, and you’re still undecided! Believe me, your business, in this case, is certainly lagging behind!

2) Meeting Cultural Demands

When it comes to achieving success at the level of global B2B marketing, businesses should make their products and services relatable to their corporate clients without losing the spirit of their brand voice. This is achieved through transcreation, not just translation. 

With transcreation, the experts at your language services partner will first understand the values, behaviors and nuances of the particular culture of your corporate client before they reflect these aspects in the marketing messaging that they communicate to your customers. Transcreation specialists know quite well how payment options, color selections, images and many other cultural aspects are making a remarkable difference to how your global corporate clients perceive your products and services.

3) Influencing Decision Makers

Let’s put it outright. Decision-makers at any company you’re dealing with are still people, albeit the most important ones! Therefore, if these people who have the purchasing power feel comfortable because you communicate with them in their mother tongue, then they’ll be more likely to do business with you.

4) Maximizing Customer Support

It happens that your corporate client may be ready to buy from your English-only website. However, the majority of businesses prefer that the customer service and after-sales support be provided to them in their mother language. This also applies to your online chat and your FAQ page.

Why Should You Choose a Professional Translation Services Partner?

After all is said and done, you have to ensure that your global B2B marketing isn’t lost in translation. You can’t afford to have your corporate clients read or watch poor translation of your marketing copy. This will wreak havoc with your brand!  

Unlike general translation, you need to partner with a professional vendor that has a team of expert marketing translators who are versed in writing appealing and persuasive content that has an impact on your global corporate clients.

The challenging responsibility of translating and localizing your B2B marketing copy should be taken by specialists who have a deep understanding of how to convey your brand voice in another language and culture in a way that is perceived by your target corporate clients. On the other hand, word-for-word translation of your marketing materials will certainly destroy your brand.

Why AfroLingo?

When it comes to the ultra-important sphere of marketing translation, particularly B2B marketing translation, AfroLingo has established an impressive reputation for high quality and fast turnaround time. Since 2008, we’ve been delivering world-class marketing translation and localization solutions that empower global businesses to extend their footprint across Africa and worldwide.

We pride ourselves on a highly competent team comprising the most experienced native-speaking translators on the African continent, who are dedicated to providing you with reliable and consistent B2B marketing translation and localization solutions from and into almost every major language all across Africa.

These native-speaking translators not only understand the cultural context of each target market, but they also have the creative mindset for translating marketing materials and conveying the right marketing message in the translation. With our top-quality transcreation, your clients will be fully related to your brand, and you’ll gain an impressive edge over your competition.  

Contact us today for a free quote.

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COVID19 - Facts, Figures & Safety Tips

COVID19 – Facts, Figures & Safety Tips

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, things can’t be underestimated. From our corporate social responsibility, AfroLingo is providing some tips to stay safe and protect yourself and your family as well.


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The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Localization

The mobile app industry is booming both globally and across South Africa.

On a global scale, the mobile app market is now exceptionally large and continues to grow day by day. Just have a look at the numbers of app downloads from the Google Play Store worldwide over the period from 2016 to 2019, and you’ll be left almost speechless.

The annual number of app downloads from the Google Play Store worldwide from 2016 to 2019 (in billions)

So, what about Apple?

Mobile App Industry in South Africa

Fortunately, South Africa is riding the same wave, with the country’s mobile app economy noticeably on the rise.  

The current growth of mobile application usage in South Africa can easily be attributed to a number of factors. They include low mobile data usage costs, a growing adaptation of smartphones, an increase in mobile application usability, and the advancement of network technologies. The net result is the rise of a “mobile-first” craze all across the country.

What about figures? Okay, take this. Revenue in the Apps segment in South Africa amounts to USD 39 million in 2020. Also, this revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.8%, resulting in a market volume of USD 48 million by 2024, according to Statista.

Why Mobile App Localization?

As a mobile app developer in South Africa, or anywhere all over the world, there’s no room for finding any middle ground between localization and no localization.  

Localizing your mobile apps has become a necessity if you wish to make the most out of your mobile app products. Forget that releasing your app in just one language will take you anywhere close to success in a country where the constitution recognizes 11 official languages. 

But, still why should any mobile app developer outsource app localization services? Suffice it to mention 3 reasons!

1) Enhance Global User Experience

Even though 90% of mobile devices activity currently occurs in apps, not browsers, yet we still need to ask why users usually download most apps and delete them within minutes. The answer lies in the magic of mobile app localization. In truth, when you professionally translate your mobile app into your users’ native language and localize it to reflect their specific culture, you provide a meaningful user experience for your international customers.  

2) Increase App Store Searchability

Thankfully, Google Play Store and iTunes App Store make it possible for you to localize your mobile app listing to facilitate discoverability and readability for global users. Consequently, your app will be found by more and more consumers who use keywords in their language and will be more likely to download when they read a welcome message in their own mother tongue. Together, these two advantages can add up to a 767% increase in downloads.

3) Increase App Downloads Overseas

Let’s refer to objective statistics. A study by Distomo has revealed that mobile apps localizing leads ─ within only one week from the release of the localized app ─ to 128% more downloads per country and a 26% increase in revenue for each country added via app localization. 

Similarly, a study by Statista reveals that 11.3 billion apps were downloaded in the United States in 2017, while other countries like India had 12.1 billion and China had a formidable 79.3 billion downloads.

Therefore, it goes without saying that mobile app localization makes it possible for mobile app developers to access global markets. This results in increasing your downloads and boosting your sales.

The Process of Mobile App Localization

At AfroLingo, we’ve developed, over the past 12 years, a special multi-step process that gives us the best results when it comes to taking our clients’ mobile app products to multiple audiences in South Africa and on a global scale. Let’s dive in.  

1) Market research and Buyer Persona

Like every good work, it all starts with getting to know who the audience definitely is. We start with analyzing our client’s mobile app product along with the market (or markets) they’re targeting ─ both local and overseas.

Our market research always takes into account a number of important elements, including the competition and the kind of customer experience competitors provide for users. Our objective is to see whether our client can provide a better customer experience without offending local customs.

We work hard on creating buyer personas that describe the mobile app’s target audiences. This includes such aspects as demographics, interests, preferences and other buying behaviors. Then we give all these details – along with a general idea about the product’s end users – to our localization team to make it possible for them to choose the right style and terminology for the localized app. 

2) Prepare Mobile App 

This step contains many details for preparing the mobile application, including space and layout. We also focus on many other aspects, including:

  • Interface. The key idea here is our awareness that what works for one country may be unattractive for another. Each culture has its preferences.
  • Servers. Here, we have to check and decide if working with local servers can avoid delays and disconnections.
  • Design. Our experts have to select the fonts, colors, images and graphics that adapt easily to local traditions. We also have to ensure that the client’s source content is multiple languages ready and that the app code is written to allow the client to create versions of their product in other languages easily and cost-effectively.
3) Selecting the Right Operating System

Android or iOS or both? At this point, we work with the client taking his budget into account. Our job here is to help our client cut through the noise and gain visibility with the variety of audiences, communities, languages and cultures in South Africa.

4) Building The localization Team

We rely on our solid team who conducts the job in its various areas ─ from app developers to programmers, linguists, translators, legal consultants as well as marketing and localization specialists.

5) Leveraging the Translation Management System

Since most of the translation team members may come from different countries, we work with the latest translation management system (TMS) which helps us save time and money. This high-tech TMS helps us do the following:

1.      It steers the content flow across the various stages of the localization process, guaranteeing that all information related to the project is carefully tracked and thus streamlining the entire localization process. 

2.      It makes it possible for us to import and export resource files automatically ─ a step that saves a lot of time.

3.      It sends notifications to the team members to keep them updated and to identify tasks in their early stages, thus providing full control over the project.

6) Preparing and Communicating with Translators

While our engineers are preparing the code for localization, we work hard on communicating with translators to give them as much context as possible that would enable them to fully understand the source text of our client’s mobile app. We also provide translators with comprehensive reference materials, such as translation glossaries and style guides.

7) App Store Optimization Strategy

Here comes the step of making the mobile app attractive both for smartphone users and search engines. As we’re fully aware that the higher the app ranks in the app store, the more chances it will have of getting downloaded by users, we usually do the following:

  • Our experts research the right words and optimize titles, subtitles and app descriptions, using the right keywords that are relevant to the app.
  • Our experts will work on the mobile app’s visuals, with special focus on optimizing the app’s logo.
  • Our experts always ensure that photos of the localized app are added instead of using the original ones. They also keep some resources to create a preview video for the mobile app, which will certainly help increase downloads.
8) Marketing, Marketing and Marketing!

Most importantly, we work with our client on a localized marketing strategy that will increase the app adoption rate in the new markets they aim to target.  

Our expert linguists are versed in tailoring the client’s message for the new audiences who certainly have different buying habits and sets of values.

Our marketing experts focus on explaining the advantages ─ rather than the features ─ of using the client’s mobile app in an engaging lucid language.

Depending on the client’s goals and budget on a case-by-case basis, our experts work with the mobile app developer to choose between adopting a single global marketing strategy adapted to local markets, or adopting a set of multiple local strategies that mix personal approaches with the brand image.

9) Translation Testing

Then, we begin the on-device localization testing. Our localization testers, who should have full command of the new language, will thoroughly test the mobile app to catch all the localization problems that we might have missed the first time around. They also check the quality of translation, see if the text fits on the page, and find out the places where the app might be offensive to local culture.

10) Launch

After test-driving the translation, you launch your mobile app to your new audience.  

How to Choose your Mobile App Localization Partner?

Definitely the labor division theories still apply! 

Regarding mobile app development as your strong point, it would be great if you leave the specialized task of mobile app localization to a proficient provider who should have the experience, resources and tools to do it fast, efficiently and professionally.  This partner will need to have the following advantages:

  • Proven experience in the field of mobile app localization.
  • A team of experts versed in translating mobile app content.
  • Advanced localization tools and platforms.
  • Reasonable turnaround time.
  • Rigorous quality control process.

Why AfroLingo?

Since 2008, we’ve been delivering premium app localization services that helped hundreds of top-notch mobile application vendors to grow their mobile user base across a wide variety of languages and communities in South Africa.

In a world that’s going more and more mobile, we’ve been, over 12 years, relying on our experts to deliver professionally localized content and app elements that provide end-users across South Africa  with the most convenient, user-friendly experience.

From app resources gathering to layout, context, testing and app store optimization (ASO), our highly skilled team of experts always ensure perfect local language translation of the mobile app in all languages, across multiple platforms, for any market while maintaining optimum usability.

Should you wish to take your mobile app to audiences who speak various languages across South Africa, contact us today for a free quote.

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7 Tactics to Keep Your Business Stable Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic!

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic disease, global financial analysts pointed out that the world is facing an unusual economic contraction and registering historic recession records. Business owners are struggling to keep the balance between prioritizing employees’ safety and keeping their businesses running.

The intensity of damage varies from one industry to another. Technology-based companies, for instance, were a bit more capable of containing the hits in supply chain and cash flows and minimizing their losses. While small- and medium-sized businesses that rely on on-ground operations fell short of handling the crisis.

However, maintaining a stable business environment amidst the state’s firm precautions is not an easy thing to do. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a lockdown in the country till the end of April. Lockdown includes the closure of schools, no jogging or dog-walking outside, no sales of alcohol or cigarettes, no leaving home except for emergency cases or you will have to pay heavy fines or go to prison or heavy fines for law-breaking.

“I have to ask you to make even greater sacrifices so that our country may survive this crisis and so that tens of thousands of lives may be saved,”

Ramaphosa Said

Our Recommended Tips to Keep Your Business Stable

So AfroLingo thought it’s the right time to provide you with some useful tips on how to stand resilient against the current crisis and survive amid the spread of coronavirus. A piece of general advice for the entire business community would be to keep the wheel spinning as much as possible. To achieve this, here are seven business tactics you should not overlook:

1. Modify Your Business Plans

Revisit your 2020’s business plans and easy on yourself! It is okay to modify your strategic objectives and budget allocations as per the new changes we are all going through. You are also highly recommended to cut or postpone as many costs as you can and look for extra sources of revenue. Additionally, why not restore your old and halted projects?

2. Enact Your Crisis Management Plans

Challenges can turn into opportunities when confronted with adequate crisis management practices. It is time for your risk management and emergency preparation strategies to pay off. It is now or never that you keep the trust of your employees and clients alike by finding proper alternatives for your traditional revenue streams and business routines.

3. Allow Remote Work and Leverage Technology

If your business tasks can be done remotely, then allowing your employees to work from home can be a very good option. Online tools and cloud-based applications have made things much easier when it comes to remote task management or communication. Many companies are already familiar with work-from-home policies and it would not be difficult to replace face-to-face meetings with video conferences as long as other business tasks can be managed remotely.

4. Think Digitally

Just as digital tools have facilitated distant working, you can use a suite of project management and customer relation management (CRM) technologies to maintain your external business activities. Avoid cutting off the running marketing and sales operations and keep in touch with your clients through digital platforms.

5. Bet on Customer Care

No matter the industry or the size of your business, your clients will stay loyal to your company if they get professional customer care. Think long-term; retaining your satisfied customers’ trust in the time of crisis is a winning bet, and will most probably reap numerous benefits to your business when the crisis is gone.

6. Keep your employees in the loop

Your employees are your most important asset and their health comes atop your business priorities. Spare no efforts to keep your staff safe and make sure you update them regularly on the status of your business. It is a perfect opportunity that you make your employees develop a sense of ownership toward your business so they will keep loyal forever and never let you down.

7. Take Advantage of Your Governmental Aids

Governments all around the world are offering various types of facilitation to help companies survive the pandemic, and you need to take advantage of this. In South Africa, the government has introduced a series of measures;

  • Buffering the economic effects of the lockdown, including a solidarity fund to help small businesses.
  • Pledging about SAR 3.8 billion in direct financial support to distressed firms and affected workers, and another SAR 8 billion in tax subsidies (through forgone tax revenue).

Based in the heart of Johannesburg since 2008, AfroLingo has decided to allow all its employees to work from home as of the early days of the Coronavirus spread. Backed by a set of powerful digital tools, we managed to maintain high levels of efficiency and productivity with high hopes that the company will get over this crisis with the minimum loss.

AfroLingo wishes everyone good health and highly advises you to abide by the WHO’s safety guidelines to eliminate the spread of the novel virus. This, too, shall pass, and may all your businesses survive this disaster at the lowest cost. Stay home, adhere to the social distancing instructions, and don’t forget to give your hands a good wash!

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A Step-by-Step Guide to English Editing Services

A Step-by-Step Guide to English Editing Services

A business is never meant to succeed without providing proper content! When presented at high quality and in appealing display, content adds higher value to the businesses and draws them into the right path. This could be a general rule, except that in some industries, applying strict quality checks for every single document is not an option, especially as a teeny-tiny error might cause severe harms or lead to unfavorable consequences. Highly specialized sectors like medical, legal, financial, and technical fields have no room for error and are very sensitive to mistakes.

Since English is the world’s top and most common language, English editing services are highly demanded all around the world. However, when creating original English content from scratch, editing sounds a bit easy, but when the content is translated, editing requires doubled efforts and becomes way more challenging.

In translation, editors and proofreaders juggle a considerable number of tasks to make certain a written text abides by the English linguistics; the principles that govern syntax, word formation, pronunciation, and other features of the English language, while maintaining the original meaning of the source language.

In any case, English editing is a long and multi-step process that aims at refining a text so it conveys coherent and comprehensible meanings. Content editing tackles the full range of language conveniences, extending from the document’s concept and intended use, all the way to the overall formatting, organization, design, and writing style. 

The following are three steps a professional english editing service shall go through to come out with a “publishable” content, along with several considerations editors should take into account:

The Process of English Editing Services

Initial Revision:

This step is focusing on the bigger picture and it is usually done by an experienced reviewer where he/she reads the whole content and tries to get a general overview. The purpose of this initial revision practice is usually looking at a text with a fresh eye to check the validity of the overall ideas and body coherence in the light of a broader cultural and linguistic context.

This revision usually comes right after the translation or content development steps, and it is important for stuff like letters, news stories, and internal company write-ups, yet it is not enough for medical records, legal indentures, financial reports, and technical documents, which need much more profound editing and proofreading.


Proofreading is basically used as a synonym to checking for mistakes, and it can be broken down into multiple practices, all aimed at detecting linguistic and stylistic errors and rectifying them. The process of proofreading includes a detailed spell, grammar, punctuation, and syntax checks. It also addresses the issue of uniformity and consistency, which means the paragraphs should follow a specific style and abide by the language orthography, while terms are consistent all over the text. 

In some cases, the proofreaders’ responsibilities might extend to fact-checking and verifying names, titles, dates, numbers, and references. This step complements and usually precedes, yet sometimes follows, the third step of copyediting.


At its core, copyediting is concerned with decorating the content and putting it in display. Carried out by professional and detail-oriented editors, this step begins with refining the tonality and style and excluding the linguistic misuses, and ends up with adapting the content to the cultural context and target readers’ requirements. 

Copyediting also focuses on the vocabulary choice and standard word order. From simple grammatical details like sentence structures and verb tenses all the way to the usage of formal tones or rhetorical expressions, copyediting is a very important step of any competent content creation or translation project. The quality of copyediting depends on many variables, including the editor’s experience and the duration of work.


General Notes

All three steps of editing should be consistent and aligned with each other. In this regard, here is some general English language editing service tips both proofreaders and editors shall take into account:

  • Avoid circomcolution and opt for brevity as short and concise sentences are more powerful in most of the cases.
  • Use an active voice and try to avoid the passive tone, especially if the text has an informative purpose.
  • Watch for redundancies and unintentional duplications as precise and direct content is much easier to read.
  • Replace stuffy words and sophisticated terms with simple ones that are easy to understand.
  • Do not overuse idioms, quotes, and rhetorical expressions.
  • Omit extra punctuation.


The Importance of Partnering With English Editing Specialist

There are many reasons why partnering with a specialized professional English editing service provider is essential and can not be replaced by internal or unprofessional editing, especially in sensitive industries like healthcare and financials. These are the top three benefits of getting your English editing services done by an accredited service provider in your region:

  • Extensive expertise: the more years of experience your English language editing service provider has, the higher quality you will get. 
  • Rich pool of editors: A veteran English editing specialized company would definitely boast a wide angle of editing experts who are specialized in your field of interest.
  • Guaranteed confidentiality: Acknowledged language service providers (LSPs) would have you signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) so you can rest assured the privacy of your documents is intact.

Although a very small number of Africans speak English as their native language, nearly half a billion have good command of English and use it in professional environments. AfroLingo is proud to present professional English editing services as part of its world-class translation and localization services. For over a decade, Johannesburg- and Nairobi-based leading language service provider has been chosen by many multinational giants for its ultimate editing and proofreading solutions. Partner with us now and have a dedicated team of adept editors and proofreaders at your service.

Contact us now and get a free quote!

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Five Tips for Outstanding Medical Translation Services

Practicing medicine comes atop the most noble professions’ list, and medical translation is no different! Since humans existed, curing somebody’s illness was of an extremely great value. Yet, now that doctors have managed to save the lives of millions of patients, healthcare seems to be the most priceless and respectful industry on earth.

Similarly, the entire spectrum of healthcare-related businesses have been highly regarded and acknowledged, including medical translation services of course. Given the possibility that miscommunication in the medical field might jeopardize human lives or result in severe ramifications, medical language services started to become an imperative need for healthcare institutions.

This will probably make more sense when you know it is concerned with interpreting direct communication between doctors and foreign language speaking patients, translating diagnose- and drug-related documents like prescriptions, pharma labels, and leaflets, or transcreating technical research instruments such as clinical trials, clinical outcome assessments (COAs), patient care reports (PCRs), and QoL (Quality of Life) Measures.

Also, stuff like translation and localization can contribute effectively to the growth and expansion of the medical industry worldwide. When new discoveries and best practices, for instance, need to be spread on a global scale and at a quick pace, language services will definitely come in. Translation agencies are now providing medical document translation services so that knowledge can be easily accessible all across the globe.

These were a few examples of how powerful and significant medical translation services are. However, with great power comes great responsibility! Medical translators must have that sense of accountability and dedication, bearing in mind the crucial role of their distinctive profession.

Linguists must be aware that a teeny-tiny mistake might endanger human lives. In reverse, providing professional and accurate translation can help save somebody’s life and get him a speedy recovery. Also spreading the knowledge across medical translation services helps put the efforts exerted to confront deadly diseases or stop its dissemination into a decisive action.

Best Practices and Proven Methodologies

Partnering with experienced and certified language service providers (LSPs) for medical translation is now indispensable. These translation agencies shall provide proof of experience for their linguists, who should also have extensive knowledge of the subject matter. On the other hand, it is recommended that healthcare entities can get involved all along the process. 

If you are a medical institution looking for outstanding medical translation agencies, follow these 5 tips and thank us later!


1- Invest More Time in Research and Planning

Just like any other professional matter, pre-preparation is a key reason for success. Planning includes;

  • Setting a reliable strategy and workflow for each project
  • Selecting highly skilled translators with knowledge of the subject matter
  • Conducting detailed research.

No matter what type of language service you seek, a constant and in-depth search is extremely important across the initial and advanced phases alike. Even interpreters should have a full grasp of the patient’s history and their medical conditions so as to provide professional interpretation. This can be carried out using different tools, including books, previous medical documents, online materials, and senior practitioners’ knowledge.

2- Follow a Competent Process Management

When it comes to the actual implementation, things must be organized and systematic. The best practice here is to have a lead project manager that is both language specialist and subject matter expert. This person will be responsible for managing and distributing tasks within a team of professional translators. 

The centralization was proven a successful method in the most effective medical translation schemes as it unifies efforts, reduce duplication, and save time. As for the translation itself, the following multi-step process sounds practically perfect:


3- Ensure Accuracy and Consistency

There is no room for errors in the medical translation. High-ranking LSPs resort to a set of assistive tools to guarantee that their translations remain accurate and consistent.

  • Abiding by a professional style guide enhances the quality of translated materials and ensures their compliance with the industry standards and regulatory requirements set by the top medical institutions. Style guides usually guide translators on the use and not-to-use terms, formatting requirements, along with the style and tone of healthcare and medical documents.
  • Glossaries, in turn, feature the industry terminology, including medical abbreviations and acronyms. This, in fact, may extend to previous translations at your institution’s stock of documents.
  • Digitally speaking, translation memory tools can be a great help for medical translators. These AI-powered Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) solutions are designed to store the previous translated documents and suggest the reuse of specific terms. This facilitates the translation process and account for high-quality translations
4- Consider Health Literacy

Some patients are not well-educated. Translators must take into account that most of their readers do not have the same amount of knowledge and awareness. Consequently, they should use simple language and make sure the terms used convey the same meaning and align with the local culture. This phenomenon is called health literacy and it refers to the majority of patients who are not able to comprehend sophisticated terms. This of course applies particularly to the medical documents that target the general public, including patients or their relatives.

5- Double up on Quality Assurance

Reviewing medical translation is not just about editing and proofreading. Linguistic validation, for instance, can also be a must-have technique in some cases, especially when translating clinical research and COAs. For more quality assurance, medical translations should subject to multiple reviewing processes by senior translators and industry experts before they get published.

Choosing the Right Service Provider in South Africa

After all, language should never be a barrier in the way of diagnosing a disease, providing the right medical treatment, or publishing a new discovery. In other words, the need for bridging language gaps in the medical sphere is vital and timeless.

In light of the aforementioned practices, it all starts with selecting the right translation agency for your medical translation needs, especially in Africa. A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that translating medical documents into African languages by Google Translate had the lowest correct rate of 45%. This shows how crucial dealing with a well-prepared LSP that specializes in African dialects and promises accuracy and quality is. AfroLingo is proudly deemed one of those! 

AfroLingo is a translation service company in Johannesburg, South Africa that provides world-class medical translation by native in-country speakers. Delving into the diversified cultures of the dark continent, Afrolingo’s translation hub is located in the heart of Johannesburg and equipped with up-to-date devices, including a generator, advanced laptops, and alternative internet connections. The company further has their staff trained on the latest CAT, Translation Management Services (TMS) and CRM tools and technologies.

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Tips & Tricks for E-Learning Translation Services

Benjamin Franklin once said “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest” and nowadays multinational companies vouch for this. Ever since the industrial revolution took place, a myriad of institutions came to recognize the importance of providing high quality education to their employees, yet it remained quite difficult to disseminate this knowledge across borders. Now with the unprecedented advancement in digitization, e-Learning or electronic learning came out to facilitate this educational process, especially for the giant organizations that expand their arms all across the globe.

These corporations, consequently, developed an additional need for e-Learning translation services so as to spread the knowledge among their staff beyond boundaries. Nonetheless, forming multiple versions of the same learning materials in different languages is, in fact, very critical and challenging. Errors might happen all along and result in insufficient translation, which means investing unnecessary time, money, and effort. Even if the translation is flawless, the need for frequent updating and constant amendments remain a challenging process.

In this article, we try to assess the e-Learning translation errors, while highlighting ways of overcoming them.


Translation Errors Ruin the e-Learning. Watch Out!

Localizing training and course materials is prone to multiple pitfalls. It is very likely that e-Learning translation, in particular, falls short of conveying the same original meaning in a different language due to the countless errors that might happen ahead, during, or after the translation process.

Combining the scattered efforts of many inexperienced translators, for instance, might generate an inconsistent translation. Trainees struggle to grasp a compiled text of small bits and pieces instead of coherent and precise materials. This includes the communication of vague terms, long and complex sentences, irrelevant visuals or colors within the course syllabus.

Moreover, translators might be unaware of the possibility that translation into a particular language would necessitate the usage of larger word count or longer phrases. This, in turn, brings about a spacing issue in writing templates or considerable inconveniences in audio and video files that feature voiceover or subtitling.

Inadequate or poor communication between clients and translators, in the first place, distract translators in most of the cases. The unavailability of enough information on the course objective and audience, for example, might undesirably lead to lots of rework and thus doubled efforts and costs.

Distance education barriers further extend to the incorporation of embedded content, unreachable text strings, hard-to-translate multimedia elements, and so forth. Also, the provision of interactive content needs to be taken care of as it might cause reverse implications if not translated properly. Some examples of this are redundant and unnecessary clicks, uncontrollable interactions, and overused visual elements, just to name a few.

In short, e-Learning translation errors range broadly from tiny grammatical and structure misuses to the incorrect interpretation of the hard-to-localize elements and the usage of inaccurate terms.


Ensuring Error-free Translation is a Must. Take the Right Path!

Bearing the aforementioned fatal faux-pas in mind, here are some general tips to prevent any potential errors and help translators reproduce a flawless copy of e-Learning materials in a professional and easy manner:

  • Design your Original Text for Translation

Be aware that your e-Learning course is likely to be localized, and thus develop a translation-friendly content that is free of any sophisticated language structures or culture-specific idioms and terms. Short sentences comprising clear expressions are much easier to translate, especially when it comes to distance education.

  • Avoid Hard-to-localize Content

For a less tedious process and better results, try as much as you can to stay away from the embedded content and unnecessary visuals that include texts. Devote meticulous attention to the colors and designs you use as they might be misinterpreted in other cultures. This also includes unreachable text strings.


  • Leave Enough Room for Translation


Generally speaking, the allocation of larger spaces for the languages in which translation might extend is a perfect technique. Same goes with the design of an interactive and multimedia content that leaves room for change when localization takes place.

  • Use a Neutral Tone

Make sure to keep a neutral style in your teaching materials and avoid using examples that are related to a specific culture.

The Optimum Translation Process. Follow the Best Practices!

Apart from the repeated errors, there are three practices you can apply to maximize the benefit of your e-Learning courses and take it to a higher level.


  • Keep Translators in the Loop


To make the most out of e-Learning translation, translators should be granted access to all the available resources and references, including previous materials and the company’s history. It is also equally important to share with them the objective of the course and the nature of the target audience, along with all they need to know to come up with a comprehensive translation.


  • Make Use of Available Assistive Tools


Many reliable tools can help out during the process of e-Learning translation. This begins with the newly developed e-Learning rapid authoring tools that aid in designing attractive e-Learning formats and ease the import and export of texts and materials. 

Assistive tools also include glossaries and translation memory tools that develop over time and help translators in a significant way. For the ease of reformatting the text after localization, developing Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to describe the text attributes would also be of a great help.


  • Test Course Materials


Conducting an initial testing on a smaller scale is a proven tactic to produce higher quality copies of distance learning translation. Before getting them published, test your translations on a sample of employees to validate the efficiency of the localized content.


Cherry-pick the Translation Service Provider

In conclusion, the careful selection of a reliable language service provider (LSP) takes a heavy weight off your company’s shoulders. The following are some steps you should take to ensure you are opting for the right translation firm:

  • Ask Around! Reach out for the company’s clients and share your inquiries and concerns.
  • Request a Sample! Ask the company to send you a sample of their translation in your particular field.
  • Check their Tools and Resources! Get a full grasp of the company’s translation methodologies and the tools it makes use of.
  • Look for native speakers with subject matter expertise! Have a look at the translators profile to rest assured they will be able to do the job properly.
  • Get Involved in the Process! Engage yourself with the translation team and ask for frequent updates on the entire process.

Heading to Africa for this! We have got your back! 

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, AfroLingo is a proficient translation agency that offers deliberate e-Learning translation services into various African languages. Our team consists of vetaran linguists and experienced translators and follows the globally approved standards and specs. Get a free quote now!

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A Sneak Peek of the Translation Trends in 2020

Translation in its Old Traditional Form is Doomed! 

Technology has jumped in and reshaped the language industry on all fronts, making way for more services and specialties. In a context of a heated global economy and rapid digital transformation, the language industry is getting more massive, interacting with the new technical discoveries, and covering new layers of digital services.

The deeper globalization concepts penetrate our world, the more communication channels grow between distant parties in different languages and consequently impose higher demand for translation services. US-based market analysis company Nimdzi expects the language services industry to hit $70 billion by 2023, recording a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%, compared with 2019.

In this blog, AfroLingo looks into the current translation industry landscape and tries to capture an initial image of the translation trends in 2020. Although it is hard to draw a full detailed picture, trends that have been growing towards the end of the past year, are giving a clue on how the translation industry would look like as the days go by. In our view, these four trends are the most likely to thrive in 2020.


Translation trends in 2020

1- Neural machine translation (NMT)

With the unmatched advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities, providing pure human-made translation is no longer on the cards. Most companies opt for the faster and less costly solution of machine translation post-editing (MTPE). 

Translation companies, in turn, started to compete over this new market opportunity and develop different types of machine-learning-powered translations. MTPE services with neural machine translation have proven its ability to provide better quality and higher productivity than human-only or machine-only translation services.

A study by the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and Dublin City University (Ireland) concluded that post-editing of phrase-based statistical machine translation resulted in 18% greater translation productivity, while post-editing of neural machine translation resulted in 36% higher productivity than translating from scratch.

2- Voice Search

It is much easier to record your search queries than typing them!  According to Comscore, 50% of all search queries worldwide will be voice-based by 2020. This means a profound turnaround is taking place in the world of online content, and thus in the translation sphere. 

With the rising popularity of voice assistant applications such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant, companies should cater their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to the new trend.

Professional translation companies are featuring experienced linguists and utilizing advanced technologies to catch up with this growing trend. A competent translation service in the digital age is provided by native translators who are aware of the voiced search queries your client can use and help you speak directly to them.

3- Video Translation

Videos take the lion’s share of the internet traffic and become immensely popular. One million minutes of video will be streamed or downloaded every single second in 2021, as video content is expected to represent 80% of all online traffic by 2021, according to Cisco Study Visual Networking Index (VNI).

Amid the current digital transformation, offering multilingual video content guarantees further reach, better engagement, and higher conversion rates. This provides a reasonable justification for the record-breaking growth figures witnessed in services like subtitling, voice over, and dubbing. 

Language service providers have no option but to bring out their maximum capabilities to keep pace with the accelerated transformation in the education field.

4- Transcreation

International brands are no longer restricted by geographical or time boundaries. Global trade has opened up a new world of investments and massive expansions before the education entities all across the globe. This cross-border virality accounted for a serious need for adequate localization services that lie far beyond the mere translation functions. This is what we call the “transcreation” services.

Marketing messages have to be altered when delivered to different audiences with different cultural identities, and this is exactly what transcreation does. It is somehow a combination of localization and creativity to restructure a particular content for the needs of a new target market. This includes the brand functionalities and the transformation of all designs and text pieces in the marketing materials.

Many other trends are either formulating or gaining more popularity, and translation companies are striving to catch up with these trend lines and reserving their spots at the frontline of the competition curve. The language industry is witnessing a renovation and the industry participants aiming for success must stay in the loop.


Based in the world’s second-largest continent, AfroLingo serves 27 African countries with its broad array of translation and localization services. Our veteran experts are aware of the recent translation trends and make use of the world’s latest assistive translation technologies to provide the ultimate services to each and every client. 

We have been the trusted and reliable source of translation for many global landmarks, including Google, Sony, and Samsung. Grow your business at all scales and reach out to new markets with our high-quality, cost-efficient, and up-to-date language services.

Contact us now and get a free quote!

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The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Software Localization

South Africa is considered one of the largest information and communications technology (ICT) markets across the African continent. The software market size was estimated at $6.61billion in 2017 and expected to be $6.56 billion in 2019, according to The International Trade Administration (ITA). The country has a leading position in the mobile software, security software, and electronic banking services. Many international companies have subsidiaries or branches in South Africa, including IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Dell, and Novell. South Africa is therefore seen as a regional hub and a supply base for neighboring countries. 

In such a diversified country like South Africa with 11 official languages, companies are required to talk to their target audiences in their own languages and in accordance with their own lifestyle and culture. This includes not only text, but also images, icons, symbols, colors, and currencies. This is what is called Software Localization”.

The Do’s and Don’ts in Software Localization

So now, if your business is in the start phase of the software localization process, here are some pointers on the best do’s and don’ts that will help you avoid developing problems and produce a better quality product for the global market. 



  • Do Build a Library of Internationalized Objects.

The first stage of your software localization process is to build a library of internationalized objects. This library will include;

  • Address, number, date, and currency formats.
  • User interface 
  • Search functionality
  • Multi-byte character support (for Asian languages)
  • RTL or LTR languages
  • Do Provide Enough Space for Text Expansion/Shrink

While designing your software, make sure that there is extra space for text expansion or shrinkage within 30-35%. For instance, the word “Lebensabschnittpartner” in German is translated into English as “lover”. The opposite is considered when translating from Asian languages to English.

  • Do Use UTF-8 Encoding

The most popular and intelligent character encoding, UTF-8 supports all language scripts and is used by all major hardware and software companies. It’s useful while translating mainly Asian languages like Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

It can create code to manage all the standards of your target language, so this will avoid extra conversion tasks and the time consumed to discover and solve software bugs. 

  • Do a Testing Phase

Testing time is very critical before launching your software, so you need to take all the needed time for this phase. You should check content mistakes, the functionality of buttons, contact forms, and other coding issues. A native tester is required in this stage to make sure that the software is localized in accordance with his/her locale.

  • Do Consult with a Localization Expert

Once you decide to localize software, hiring a language service provider who will be responsible for the localization process is inevitable. Your LSP will be an added value as they will provide you with insights, figures and the right way to approach your target audience. This will save time, effort, money, and double work.



  • Don’t Insert Text into the Code

If you embed the text of your software into the code, this will lead to a delay in the localization process. So, you should add all content that users might see like error messages, thank you messages and titles into external resource files. These files will be sent to your localization partner to localize them according to each target region. This will make your localization process smoother and easier.

  • Don’t Use Universal Icons

Text is not the only item in your localization process, as visuals have a localization phase too. Icons and symbols should be localized according to each region. Make sure not to use universal icons for all target audiences. For example, when using a god as a symbol, a certain culture might consider it meaning loyalty while others might consider it something dirty.

So you should make sure you know the culture you are hitting and to know what symbols are acceptable and what are unacceptable. 

  • Don’t Place Text with Images

Using images is essential while designing your software, but try to avoid using images that contain text that clogs the localization process. Using such images will need time to extract the text from the images, embed them into source files and then send them to your localization partner. So if we can exclude all these steps and only use images without text, this will actually smooth the process.

  • Don’t Use Acronyms

Localizing acronyms and abbreviations is not an easy task for any linguists due to the lack of consistency. An acronym in one language might be spelled differently in other languages,

while some languages don’t have acronyms. So to avoid this hassle, try to avoid using acronyms .

  • Don’t Be Compact

Using code compact is familiar when designing an English software, but when localizing it to German or Chinese, these languages are longer and require extra space. So the string might overlap and  an editing phase after localization will be essential.


Why AfroLingo is Your Ideal Software Localization Partner?

AfroLingo is equipped with a global team of internationalization, localization, and testing software engineers. Our main objective is to achieve customers’ objective within the requested budget and time.

We have been known as a professional provider of software localization services over the past decade. Our area of expertise includes localizing hundreds of software programs in different industries including:

  • Medical software, engineering software, and business solutions. 
  • GUI Localization
  • Mobile Applications Localization

So if you are ready to take your software to the next level and are looking for a partner for your software localization journey, AfroLingo is waiting for your call!

Contact us now.


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