By its very nature, software localization is an adaptation of a computer application according to the linguistic and cultural rules, technical requirements of the market and differences of a given region. In order for this business activity to be successful, a typical technical vocabulary inventory is used, thanks to which the program is as close as possible to the target audience. The truth is that this type of localization is an extremely complex task even for experienced professionals in this field since it covers many other activities. You assume that the localization process is like a piece of cake? Well, you are definitely wrong!
In a nutshell, it finds expression in the content extraction, translation, adaptation and return of the certain application in the translated language. It is essential to give the green light to the fact that this business activity often is labor-intensive and consumes a significant amount of time from the experts.
Within the framework of the software localization process, a large number of specialists from different areas are involved, such as software engineers, testers, translators, project managers and programmers, of course. It is right to emphasize the importance of good communication and interaction between all of them, which depends not only on localization but also on any other business project.
What is the difference between traditional document translation and software localization?
As has already become clear, the second one is the translation and adaptation of a particular web product or software while also including all product documentation. In addition, projects related to software localization usually run in parallel with the product development, the primary purpose of which is to enable simultaneous dispatching of all language versions.
On the other hand, classical translation is an activity carried out only after the source document has already been presented in its final form. It is less important than localization because the traditional translation itself is among the other activities in the overall software localization process.
What exactly does the software localization process mean?
If a software product is properly localized, it should look like a product that has been specially created and written for the particular foreign market. As we are almost certain, it has not become crystal clear to you, we come up with the idea of taking a look at the following fundamental steps in the standard software localization process:
- Analyse all the materials received and then evaluate the resources needed for localization
- Make technical, linguistic and cultural evaluation
- Create terminology databases and endeavour to maintain them
- Adapt the user interface and resize all forms
- Carry out localization of scripts, visible text, graphics and symbols
- Build some localized files to test
- Maintain functional and linguistic quality assurance
How important is software localization and is it really indispensable?
Undoubtedly, launching new software on international markets is always related to its localization. Most users expect to see not only the usual interface, but also the local units of measurement, and the date and time in a traditional format. Depending on the degree of correspondence between the product and the established standards, the level of customer loyalty is also determined.
According to research conducted by a US business research company, it is clear that nearly 90% of consumers, out of 100%, say they shop only from online sites providing information in their native language.
And if these extremely eloquent data were not enough to convince you of the importance of software localization for your company, then take a quick glance at the following business benefits of software localization:
- Quick access to international markets
- More global sales
- Large user database
- Gaining advantages over other local competitors
- Reducing the expenses on customer service and maintenance
The localization process lies on the border between programming and linguistics. Therefore, a number of professional experts are required for its effective implementation. Nonetheless, this fact should not bother business owners at all. Quite the contrary, multiple studies have shown that for every dollar invested in software localization, there is a $20 return in the form of additional sales.
Ergo, after we have already managed to unleash the potential of software localization and to persuade you how important it is for each business, we leave you the choice of a suitable company specialized in software localization.