In today’s business world, software companies always look forward to expanding to new markets in order to increase their market share and profits. That’s why they’ve started to give priority to localization in their plans.
Software localization (l10n) is the process of translating a software program into another language for a specific locale. The process involves adapting the content, images, user interface and visuals so they may fit a certain culture. It will help your company get more international exposure, reduce development costs, increase customer satisfaction and move far ahead of competitors.
However, the process of software localization is a little bit complicated, as it involves 2 phases:
internationalization and localization. Internationalization (i18n) is the process of localizing the interface of the software and extracting all the content that needs to be localized like text, currency, dates, times, and images, while localization is adapting the software to fit another language for a specific country.
Now, let’s have a deep look into the entire process of software localization
Software Localization Process
We start this phase by extracting all the resources that need to be localized, like texts and images, from the software code l. There are many localization tools that we can use to extract the resources and it’s based on the programming language of your software. Among these tools are Lingobit, Passolo and many more.
The extracted files are named Translation Database (TDB) and then we will know the word count of the whole project. Then comes the next step which is Translation.
After receiving the TDB, we upload the files into our translation management system (TMS) and the system will automatically extract all the files and make them ready for translation.
To maintain accuracy and consistency, your software translation company will start by creating a glossary of all the definitions and terms that are used.
That’s why it’s essential to select the best software translation partner that has the relevant experience of the subject matter to ensure that you will receive the best results.
The translation process includes not only translation but also editing and proofreading. But not all software translation companies are applying this multi-tier process. Just make sure that your translation partner is reviewing any translated content. Your project manager or translation manager should go through and review the content also and ask your translation partner to apply any modifications.
4- Add Translated Files into Code Structure
After translating and reviewing the content, your next step is to import your translated files into your code structure and deploy them.
After translation, you might find that some languages need more or less space than the source language of the software, and this will make the software look crowded or unreadable. So you need to make sure that the layout of the software allows expanding or contracting.
And now is the time for testing. A pilot test will be done to test all the software functions such as translation, language compatibility, user interface, and installation/uninstallation.
Another important part of the pilot test is the defect management, which consists of 6 steps: discover, report, fix, report, verify, and close.
6- Client Review
After finalizing all the previous phases, you should review the final version of the software. You will review all the functions, features, and components to validate the quality of the software. If there are any modifications that you’d like to apply, you can send them over to your translation partner to work on them. This phase might continue for a while until you are 100% satisfied with the final product.
7- Final Delivery
During this phase, you will get the final version of the software that will be released and no more modifications are done.
Some agreements stipulate that if there are any updates related to the localization process, the translation partner will be responsible for them.
What we have mentioned above is mainly our best approach – at AfroLingo – for software localization and this is a result of more than 10 years’ experience in the software industry. However, we always customize our process according to each project to achieve the client’s objectives.
This approach is the result of many years of working with hundreds of companies with multiple challenges – from tight deadlines to low budgets.
We will be glad to answer all of your questions regarding the process of localizing your software.
One of our sales representatives will be dedicated to understanding your objectives and will guide you through the right path to achieve international growth.