What are Software Localization Services?
Primary answer: Software localization services are about your business plan as a software developer ─ small, startup, big, or shark. If you attempt to expand into global markets to deliver your product to global users, you must localize your software.
But why? What are the benefits?
Software localization is the pathway to increasing the sales of your product, gaining a bigger market share, and, thus, boosting your revenues.
So, what is software localization exactly?
Software localization is the actions or the process, you take to adapt your software or app so that it caters to the linguistic, technical, and cultural needs of your international target audiences. In fact, you leverage this game-changing service to create multiple locale-specific versions of your software product for users in other markets, other countries, who speak different languages and probably have different cultural backgrounds. But how?
Software localization is done by extracting the code, translating the user interface UI ─ that is translating the text, buttons, lists, data fields, etc. Then the UI is tested to check if the localized elements are displayed correctly in an interactive way.
All in all, software localization is about your customer experience! You localize your product to provide the users of your software in new markets with a user experience that resonates with them.
Why Are Software Localization Services Vital?
So, again, why Is software localization important for international businesses?
Let’s put the question in another way. What if software localization didn’t exist? Simply, software development businesses wouldn’t be able to cater to the various linguistic and cultural needs of their numerous audiences in different markets all over the world. So, there would be no global software market in the first place!
Given this surprise, let’s dive deeper to see the reasons why software localization is important for global businesses.
1- Improved User Experience
Software localization services empower developers to revolutionize the user experience delivered to software users all over the world. How?
Before starting the localization process, a lot of research is normally conducted to understand the audience’s cultural background so as to tailor the software solution accordingly. Then the localization process involves the adaptation of text, graphics, videos, etc. to ensure optimal functionality. Thus, you deliver an improved user experience. And it pays off!
Good user experience translates into better business. According to Forbes [https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/03/23/the-bottom-line-why-good-ux-design-means-better-business/#68c816e32396], You get USD 10 in return for every dollar you invest in improving the user experience UX.
Significantly, localizing the user experience UX is a solution that’s far beyond just language translation. User experience localization means understanding and then catering to the target audience’s cultural context and special locale requirements.
Let’s take a single example. In the Arab world, it’d be a clear oversimplification to say that everyone speaks “Arabic”. In fact, “Arabic” refers to numerous branches of one core language. While part of the Arab population speaks “Egyptian” Arabic, other people speak “Gulf” Arabic, others speak “North Africa Arabic”. So, if a software developer wishes to market to Arab customers, both the product’s UX design and translations matter! The UX and translation should match the various dialects and cultural norms of the different Arab localities.
2- Competitive Edge and Global Reputation
As a smart software developer, what happens when you break the language barrier by offering your product in numerous markets in several languages? Software users will prefer you over your competitors. Isn’t this a competitive advantage?! Doesn’t that mean the competitors will lose and you gain?!
Moreover, if you move from the start to localize your app or software product, more users will be buying it on a global scale. This is what we call “global reputation”. You are now seen as a real global player.
3- The Faster the Better!
You need to do it, and you have to do it early on! If you localize at the beginning, this makes it possible for you to roll out your product once it’s ready, and if you do it late down the road, the process would be more time-consuming and more costly.
4- Higher Revenue
So, your software has been localized and is translated into many languages? It means you will be able to target overseas audiences on a global scale. More sales mean more revenues and more profits. But what about your existing customer base?
Your current customers will be repeat customers who keep using, loving, and recommending your product. Enjoying your app, they will keep sharing their experience with friends, families, and other people. New customers, in turn, will be repeat customers, which create a reliable revenue stream for your business. Congrats!
Localization testing is a critical step that is done after the software has been localized and before the product is released in the target markets.
In the software localization process, we detect and resolve functionality, usability, as well as linguistic and cultural problems by testing the behavior of a globalized software for a specific region, locale, or culture. With this, the product is customized ─ and optimized ─ as per the targeted language and country and would finally meet end-user requirements across languages, platforms, and devices.
The major areas affected by localization testing include content, user interface UI, and even the initial settings according to the requirements.
Software Localization Process
Though software localization may vary based on the platform and programming language, yet, when it comes to our software localization workflow, several steps always remain standard. However, this is how the process looks like at AfroLingo:
1- Order Submission
Preliminary order is submitted to our company and source language files sent to our company.
2- Project Preparation
We assign a project manager who will help with compiling a glossary, calculating prices, agreeing and monitoring deadlines, and coordinating everything throughout the project.
A team of professional linguists embarks upon translation. The translation memory TM and a glossary will ensure consistency.
4- Proofreading and Editing
An independent translator conducts proofreading to check the content for any errors and typos. He/she will also ensure translation accuracy.
This stage includes the following:
- Localization (dialogs, messages, reports)
- Adjusting controls and dialogs
- Validating software
- Implementing modifications in files
Localization quality assurance QA ensures that the localized strings display correctly. Then, corrections, if any, are instantly made and modifications are implemented.
7- Project Delivery
The product is rolled out to the specific target market.
The Platforms We Support
At AfroLingo, we take pride in delivering software localization services for almost all platforms, including:
- IBM OS/400
Tips for Localization Success
It’s time to give developers a few tips derived from our 12-year experience in delivering second-to-none software localization services for clients in Africa and across the globe. Here they are:
1- Internationalize your Software!
Before you get confused between the two things, internationalization versus localization, let’s just remind you that internationalization is a process aimed to do everything to simplify the process of localization.
The primary goal of internationalization is to ensure that the technology supports text in any writing system of the world. Remember that when you break into global markets, you’ll need to support other calendars, time zones, and daylight savings, as well as names and addresses in both native and transliterated forms. You can’t expand into new foreign markets unless you first ensure that your technology supports all these areas.
So, in this sense, Internationalization prepares the source application to support global users, not targeting a specific language.
You’ll have to extract all user interface text out of the code into separate resource files. As for formats that vary internationally, such as sort order, time and date, numbers and currency, you should depend on operating system locale settings. Also, you may use character encoding for your software product and back-end databases that support all your target languages.
2- Provide Context for Translators
It’s tough for linguists to translate software for many reasons and especially because several strings are out of context. Therefore, you have to provide translators with good training before they start working on the localization project.
You need to provide translators with “context” so that they can finally give you a good translation. You have to provide them with contextual comments so they can understand strings for translation.
3- Test, Test and Test!
Testing is the most critical part of the software localization process. You have to conduct rigorous localization testing on the target-language versions of your software product.
With UI testing, you’ll detect all the problems of locale-specific formatting, functionality and character encoding.
With linguistic testing, translations will be shown in the application, thus exposing all contextual errors and concatenated strings that appear incorrectly.
You’ll have to perform testing, using browsers, support software and localized operating systems. and. Further, in the course of testing, you should enter locale-specific numbers dates and text.
Take it as a motto. The more you do testing, the more your app will work in foreign markets!
Yes, we’re different. Yes, software developers in South Africa, Kenya, Asia, Europe and all over the world always choose us for their software localization requirements. But, why?
Over the past 12 years, we’ve dramatically transformed the way software localization services are delivered, with just one purpose, one goal and one objective ─ to help our corporate clients break, with their software products, into global markets.
We do it through experts, not amateurs. AfroLingo has a global team of best translators, computer techies, programmers, designers and IT engineers who make it happen ─ who make it possible for software developers to extend their footprint into more and more foreign markets.
Whatever the challenges facing you in software localization, our team of linguists, editors and IT experts will successfully get things done. Even if the problems were country-specific cultural circumstances? Yes. Even if the issue is an adaptation of dialogue fields? Yes. Even if the problem lies in data protection and legal provisions? Definitely yes. Even if the developer’s problem is the conversion of currencies and units etc.? Yup! Even if there are issues in text and sentence lengths, or in the adaptation of all commentary texts, or in the consistent terminology of the software and online services, as well as manuals? Yes, I swear!
Even if the issue lies in local linguistic subtleties concerning the functionality? Yup!
We, at AfroLingo, are here for all these problems and challenges. Further, we guarantee round-the-clock customer support for your software localization projects.
Frequently Asked Questions about Software Localization
To make things easier for our valuable customers and prospects, we’ve put in one place the most frequently asked questions and their answers. Here they are.
Q: How long will it take to translate my software product?
A: Our expert team of translators have a reputation of translating software products at a rate of 1500 – 1700 per day.
However, when it comes to volume, AfroLingo can assign as many translators as the project would require. Further, we have the technology and the review capabilities that ensures consistency all through the software content whatever the number of linguists working on the project.
Above and beyond translation, we usually need 2 days for set-up and some more time for engineering and testing at the end of the project.
Q: Are there different types of localization testing?
A: Yes, we have many types of software localization testing:
- UI testing
Here, we make sure that no controls are truncated. Also, we test the shortcut keys, and make sure that the software product looks correct from a user viewpoint.
- Linguistic testing
After localization is finished and the software is recompiled in the target languages, linguistically-focused testers should be testing the software to verify appropriate use of terminology in context, search for any incomplete translations, as well as check grammar and spelling.
- Functionality testing
At this stage, we normally check for correct software operation (on top of the UI interface appearance).
- Internationalization testing
Here, we concentrate on the executable software, check for the appropriateness of user input in various character sets. We also verify the accurate display and processing of locale-specific information, such as sorting, numbers, time & date formats, currency, etc.
- Compatibility testing
This is a crucial part of testing, as we here test the localized product with localized supporting applications, such as browsers, and target-language operating systems and.
Q: What about the software localization services cost?
A: Translation rates and the prices of software localization services are based on the target language. At AfroLingo, however, rest assured that we have the most competitive rates in the entire industry.