You already know what localization is. How about software localization? Adapting content to linguistic and cultural standards of a given market when it comes to software means also modifying the images, documentation and user interfaces.
To make sure your software is localization-ready it’s good to remember these points:
When you create your software it’s best to plan its localization at every stage of the product development process. This way you make it “localization-friendly”. You will be able to translate it without having to implement too many costly and time-consuming changes.
Over-complicating the terminology and the style will impact the translation process and may also cause a negative reception in the target countries. Depending on the country and audience, your content can be received in a different way. It’s best if you keep it simple to avoid any risk of failing in the given market because of the complicated language of the content.
This goes for the source language, of course, but not just that.
Simplicity should also be a part of everything connected to your code strings. Avoid concatenated strings and always provide additional information, whether in the form of comments or otherwise, to make sure nothing gets lost in translation. Avoiding hard-coded strings is also a good idea, to ensure the proper strings externalization.
You should always create your strings with the idea of localization coming along. These will have to be extracted, localized and then put back into the code.
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Adapting your product with regards to the needs of a particular population in a specific geographical region means remembering the important details. Your numeric time and date formats, calendar, currency and number formats as well as spelling and the amount of space that the text in a different language takes, this is all relevant data to keep in mind. All of this varies. Depending on the country, you can either have the correct date format as 8 August 2019 or August 8, 2019, or even 8 of August 2019. The differences may seem small, but they matter.
And let’s not forget the images. It is important to remember that there may be a need to change images according to the specific location you aim at.
There’s a lot to remember. And whereas on the product development side you can make sure your product is localization-friendly, there’s no need for you to know and remember all the necessary hacks to make sure your software is properly localized. Instead, you just need to remember about one more thing:
When you find the right partner, make sure you use their expertise and knowledge at the fullest. You can let them take the burden of remembering the seemingly small details that could damage your product globalization and you can focus on making sure your product rocks. Why add more burden to your shoulders if you have your localization partner?
Your localization services provider will offer not just the linguistic experience and knowledge but will combine it with the expertise in software and its structure. An experienced software localization professional is able to recognize which parts of the software need to be externalized, translated and they will be able to provide advice on any changes to the formats mentioned above or the images that need to be implemented.
The right localization partner will have the specific tools at their disposal which will help you save time and money in the process.
Create your software, plan its global expansion and let the localization experts do the rest. Then, after the testing stage, watch your product succeed in the locations you send it off to.