A process of linguistic, cultural, and technical transformation of a software product as per the target market’s requirement is known as software localization. This is labour-intensive and requires time and high-quality cultural, linguistic, and technical expertise. The main aim of software localization is to create a more enticing version of
Process of software localization:
The process of localization completes in two steps. The actual localization is preceded by internalization. The method of internalization involves the creation of global-ready code, and the internalization includes design and development practices that enable a simple localization. The process of internalization completes in the following steps:
- User interface elements: In this step, the software localization engineers move all the translatable strings into a separate resource file.
- Text length: The difference in text length between different languages, developers ensure text visibility in the software interface.
- Currency symbols and numbers: In this face, all the currency symbols and numbers change as per the target language.
- Date and time format: The date and time formats differ in different countries. Some countries use 24 hours of time format, and others use 12 hours. Similarly, there are several date formats. So, the date and time format should be changed per the target language.
- Character encoding: The localization software should read different language scripts.
- Language script direction: Some scripts read from left to right and others from right to left. The software should be able to read scripts read in both directions.
Six critical steps of software localization:
- Extraction of the resource files to translate: Extraction of a particular file for translation is the first step of localization. A standard localization platform supports different file formats. Software localization providers like White Globe supports various file formats.
- Translate content: The content in the extracted file is uploaded and translated by machine learning (ML) or computer-assisted translation (CAT).
- Review translation and eliminate errors: The translated text is reviewed to eliminate any errors. Linguistic experts also check the language quality, accuracy, and terminology.
- Place the translated files into the code structure: The translated files are put into a code structure and deployed.
- Resize dialogue boxes if needed: The dialogue boxes are resized per the size of translated texts and codes.
- Build, compile, and test the resulting software for the target market: The translated software is assembled and tested for every target language. Layout, display, formatting, and locale-specific settings are also reviewed.
Importance of software localization for multinational companies:
Customers do not trust companies which do not give importance to their language and culture. Out of 7.8 billion people worldwide, only 360 million speak English as their first language. So, localization is required by companies of all sizes, and the following are why localization is essential for multinational companies.
- Quick expansion to new market territories: For launching into a new market, software should be localized into the native language and culture. The agile software development process makes the process quick.
- Expand customer base: The customer base is those customers who buy your product repeatedly. Software localization increases customer satisfaction, and these customers become a customer base.
- Improves user experience: In the software industry, user experience is more important than anything else. A positive user experience enhances business growth.
- Increased sales: A broad customer base and positive user experience will increase sales.
Popular software localization tools:
Software localization is a complex process. The top 5 software localization tools are as follows:
- Computer-assisted translation (CAT): CAT tool performs file translation and improves localization efficiency.
- Translation management system (TMS): This tool is used for localization project management and manages workflow efficiently. This tool performs translation, editing, and desktop publishing.
- Termbase: This is a glossary tool that ensures the use of appropriate words in translation and for specific branding.
- Quality assurance tools: XBench and Verifica are the commonly used quality assurance tools. These tools are essential for translating and analyzing terminology, numbers, and trademarks.
- Bug tracking platforms: This platform helps the localization team find translation bugs.
White Globe as a software localization service provider:
White Globe is a global provider of software localization with 20 offices in 15 countries. White Globe helps software industries in software localization in over 350 languages to drive global success. Our fast and professional software localization services enable the best software to fluently engage with international audiences across linguistic barriers. We have already worked with top brands to localize their software. White Globe provides superlative quality localization services at the fastest turnaround time and lower prices.
Most frequent questions and answers
Ans: A process of preparing products, services, and internal operations for global expansion is known as internalization. In contrast, a process of adaptation of specific products or services to a particular market is known as localization.
Ans: Two significant steps are involved in software localization internalization and localization.
Ans: Software localization helps expand the customer base and gives users a positive experience, which results in increased revenue generation.