The globalization of the world has made it imperative for businesses to expand their operations beyond the boundaries of their country. The need for localizing software products has increased recently, as global customers prefer to use products designed for their own cultural needs and preferences. Software localization is a complicated process that requires advanced technical knowledge. In this article, we’ve covered informative knowledge about everything you need to know about software localization.
What Is Software Localization?
Software localization adapts a product or service to a specific country or language. This includes translating the interface and documentation into the target language and adapting any embedded components like graphics, sounds, and images.
Software localization can be done in-house or outsourced to software localization services. Software localization is often confused with software translation, but they’re pretty different.
Software translation involves translating the text of an application (such as menus, help screens, and error messages). At the same time, software localization also includes adapting graphics and other non-text elements so they match local culture and conventions.
The goal of software localization is to make a product appealing to potential users who speak different languages and use other scripts. Localization may be required for any software, including operating systems, applications, or games.
Benefits of Software Localization
Localization is modifying software or content to make it available in multiple languages. The benefits of software localization include increased market reach, increased revenue, and improved user experience. Here are other benefits of software localization.
Improve Your Image Overseas
The first benefit is improving your image overseas by localizing your product. It shows that you care about the people in other countries, and it gives them a chance to understand your company better. For example, if you sell software that helps people find their way around town, it would make sense to use terminology in that country, such as “taxi” instead of “cab.” It can also help with branding because using local terms instead of generic ones can develop an image for yourself as an expert in that field with an international reach.
Reduce Cost of Development
Localization is an essential part of any software development project. The cost of software localization depends on the size of your codebase and on how much work needs to be done to translate it into another language or locale. But if you plan, you can cut down on these costs significantly by doing some preparation before you hire translators or developers to do it for you. That way, they’ll know exactly what they need to do and can save time while doing it – which will mean savings for you!
Better User Experience
When users interact with your product in their native language, they feel more comfortable and confident about using it because they clearly understand all the content on the screen. It makes them enjoy using the software more often and may even recommend it to others who speak their language! When people want to use your product, they’re more likely to buy it or subscribe to a premium version!
Improve User Engagement
One of the main reasons people buy a particular software is that they want to use it easily and conveniently. However, this is not possible if the user interface of your product is not localized. Localization will also help them understand how your product works and use all its features properly without confusion or issues.
Increase Your Sales
Localizing your software is a must if you want to sell in new markets. The more people you can reach with your offer, the more potential customers you’ll get. If you have an app, you can also make sure that it is available for download on multiple platforms like Android and iOS apps. There are over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, so getting your app localized will allow you to tap into this vast market.
Key Stages of Software Localization
The software localization process involves translating your software into multiple languages, which can be challenging if you’re not familiar with the language or local culture. Here are the critical stages in software localization.
The first step is to identify which parts of the source code will require translation and what language or languages should be used. It involves planning which languages need to be supported, how different the languages are, and how they will fit into your existing product portfolio. The strategy may also involve deciding whether to use a single translator for all language versions or use multiple translators, depending on the complexity of the software and its user interface.
Once you’ve decided which languages you’re going to support, it’s time to find qualified translators who can handle your project’s requirements. You may need to search through several translators before finding one that meets all your needs, so be patient – it’s worth it!
Translation Preparation and Quality Assurance (QA)
Once you have chosen your translator(s), it’s time for them to get started with their work. After the job is done, they need to proofread everything again to ensure top-notch quality. Because each project has its unique requirements and challenges, there is no set way this stage should be carried out.
Localization Testing (L10n)
During the L10n testing phase, the localized version of your product will be tested against the source code by specialized testing teams. It ensures no bugs or discrepancies between the source code and localized versions of your software. You can hire other localization testing services or use the services of the localization agency you worked with.
Advantages of Hiring Professionals for Software Localization Services
Professional software localization services can help you save money and time while ensuring that your product is optimally delivered to the target market. Here are some of the advantages you can enjoy by hiring professionals for software localization services.
They Know How to Localize Your Software Correctly
Most software developers do not understand the importance of translating their products into other languages. Some even think it is enough to use Google Translate or another automatic translator to translate their products. However, this is not true because these tools have limitations and cannot provide high-quality translations. Only real human translators who understand the language they are working on can deliver high-quality results for software localization.
They Can Deliver High-Quality Results in a Short Timeframe
Another benefit of localization testing company professionals is that they can deliver high-quality results in a short timeframe. Most developers lack experience in software localization, so they need more time than necessary to complete this task successfully. On the other hand, professional translators know how to translate complex texts quickly and accurately even if they have never worked on this kind of project before because they have extensive experience and knowledge.
Software localization is not an easy task; it requires careful planning, time management, and team coordination. A professional company has the experience needed to ensure that everything is done at the right time so that there are no delays in the project’s schedule or cost overruns.
They Know How to Work With Different Software Languages
Software localization companies have knowledge and experience translating content from one software language to another. They understand how to translate complex technical content accurately with minimal effort so that it is easy for users to understand when they use the software in their preferred language. Professionals can also suggest the best methods for translating content based on its type, purpose, and other factors relevant to your project’s needs.
Software Localization Challenges
Localization has been around for decades but has only recently become popular with large corporations. The main reason is that it’s expensive and requires a lot of resources. In addition, there are several challenges associated with this type of process:
The Complexity of Software
Software localization is a complex process that requires extensive knowledge and experience in multiple fields. From business to technology and human factors, you must be an expert on all aspects of software development to localize an application or game properly. It can be a daunting task for any developer, but it’s especially challenging when working with a new language or culture.
Designing for Other Cultures
When designing software for other cultures, you need to consider what features need to be added or removed from your product and how users from different backgrounds and cultures will use those features. For example, suppose you’re designing an app for Chinese users who prefer using their thumbs instead of their fingers when typing on their smartphones (which makes sense considering their phones are usually too big for one hand). In that case, you need to ensure that your design takes this into account, so your users don’t have problems using your app.
Software Localization Quality
Software localization quality is one of the most important factors to consider in software localization. You should always hire well-versed professionals in both the software and translation industries. You mustn’t compromise on quality when translating your software into other languages.
Software Localization Costs
The cost of localization is another challenge that you have to deal with when it comes to software localization. Suppose you want to translate your program into multiple languages. In that case, the costs can go up significantly because you need someone who knows each language well enough to translate it into them correctly.
In today’s global economy, software localization is a necessity. Software that isn’t localized won’t reach the entire market without costing you your business and revenue. In this article, we’ve discussed the benefits of software localization, the critical stages of the localization process, why you need the help of professionals, and the challenges of software localization.