Localization is about more than just translating written materials into a new language. When performed successfully, it will make software applications accessible to new markets by making the changes necessary to accommodate international users. This process requires a good deal of expertise. Read on to find out about some of the most effective methods for partnering successfully with localization experts.
- Consider Dialects
The localization process is intended to make software applications as accessible as possible to international users. Most developers realize that requires translating content into other languages. What they rarely consider is the importance of confirming target dialects. Working with localization experts like those at Zab Translation Solutions instead of run-of-the-mill translators makes it possible to provide a more nuanced experience that sounds natural to the target users.
- Localize Accompanying Content
Developers can’t just have the content of their applications translated and call it a day. Industry best practices require the localization of corresponding user instructions and product manuals, as well. Without these key resources, international users may not be able to access the program, to begin with, making it irrelevant how professional the translations and localization work are within the application itself.
- Remember the Importance of Context
Context is important for any translation project, but it’s especially crucial for software localization. Conventional translation projects involve giving translators full text to translate, allowing them to get a clear idea of the context. Software localization often requires offering software strings consisting of short sentences, or even single words.
These words and short phrases are designed to be joined end-to-end in a process known as string concatenation. Because sentence structure can vary substantially across languages, though, it’s easy for things to go awry if the localization contractors don’t have a clear idea of the context. While most developers consider duplicating content to be a poor practice, it’s the key to making sure that translators can produce easily absorbable content for international customers.
- Teach Intentional Authoring
Intentional authoring is a writing method that makes it easier to translate written content in software programs from one language to another. Developers engaging in this practice are encouraged to think beyond the source language and consider potential pain points such as figurative language and other advanced literary techniques. Creating content with simplicity and consistency in mind will make it easier to work effectively with localization firms and can help to keep costs low by improving the accuracy of machine translations.
- Understand UX Localization
Multilingual mobile apps, in particular, can suffer dramatically from a failure on the part of developers to consider UX localization. There needs to be a level of flexibility for character expansion and reduction built into the design to accommodate languages like German, which take up significantly more width on a screen than English, or Chinese, which aren’t as wide but use more vertical space. If these steps aren’t taken from the beginning, it can leave translators struggling with unreasonable character restrictions that make the content read unnaturally.
Find an Experienced Localization Firm
Even when clients are smart about preparing their text and code, localization takes a greater level of precision and a more in-depth understanding of both the target language and culture. Developers need to find translation firms that have plenty of experience performing software localization tasks if they want to wind up with professional-looking products that genuinely appeal to international audiences.