Prudent Software Localization Practices

5 Common mistakes to avoid when localizing your software & website into other languages

Software Localization Team

Time-to-market continues to be one of the main drivers for high tech industries and localization practices. With ever shortening product life-cycles, executives around the world clamor to release their products and websites yesterday! And this is not only in the local market, but globally.

This race to be the first out with the latest product or technology causes many to bypass essential steps. Ones that will lead to improving the quality of their products.

Here are 5 common mistakes that we often see. We work hard with our clients to help them appreciate and overcome them.

#1 Thoroughly Plan Simultaneous Translation Releases

Companies seeking simultaneous translation releases often understate the amount of work involved. Getting their software or websites properly localized into other languages is not an easy task. They usually account for translation time. But they often omit or abbreviate in-country reviews, quality assurance and a time period for implementing last minute changes.

Achieving simultaneous translation releases is no walk in the park. Thorough coordination and proper planning are essential
to avoid failure. This is particularly important between all the stakeholders participating in the release process. If you have never simultaneously released a multilingual product or website, solicit the advice of professional translation service providers. They know what to look for and what to avoid.

#2 Eliminate Havoc with Constant Changes to the Source

Engineers making changes to source files while they are undergoing translation or in-country reviews and quality assurance will likely create havoc. This is unless they tightly manage source files and all the translation assets and coordinate among stakeholders. For instance, if in-country feedback is not directly implemented into the corporate translation memories, leveraging translations into the latest source files may revert to pre-proofread translations. This will negate ongoing in-country proof and quality assurance efforts! Localization teams should publish the release schedule and commit to by all involved personnel.

#3 Comprehensively Communicate Additions or Changes

When changes take place to the source files, avoid shortcuts! Many send updates to user interface files as extracted text in an excel file to their translators to translate and return. This often results in more problems than anticipated. If you have to update your files using the diff and extract approach, make sure that the changes you provide are 100% complete. Also, it is key that your import process is flawless. You want to avoid code or character corruption or omissions at any cost!

Also, make sure you provide enough context or support files to help the translators translate the meaning correctly. English can be a confusing language when translating words or strings out of context! English is gender neutral and many words have homonyms that can conjugate and translate into different words and meanings. Translators can interpret the word ‘Save’ for instance into different verbs. Some examples are ‘Rescue’ (from harm or danger), ‘Retain’ (computing), ‘Conserve’ (financial) and nouns such as in reference to baseball or storage. Unless you give the translator context with the software user interface strings to translate, there is a good chance that the incorrect translation will be applied.
This is why a collaborative translation management system is essential to the quality and consistency of the translation.

#4 Make the translation process a transparent closed-loop

Often companies have in-country or internal proofreaders that make changes directly to translated files without informing the original translation team. They are then surprised to see the errors they correct in previous releases reappear in future releases. Is translated files revisionitis a common ailment? They you better define and tighten up your in-country linguistic proof process and your translation process.

#5 Enable Content Systems to Handle Source and Target Files

Once translations are completed in all needed langauges, the product is released. Companies without strong revision control practices, for both their source and target language files, will lose the associations between language files. This will confuse possible future translation leveraging and increasing the costs of updates. When a translation memory is not readily available, translators will need to perform more involved manual steps. They are important to align and reuse previously completed translations. This will increase the number of words to re-translate, driving up costs and delaying releases.

Prudent Software Localization Practices

As a translation and software localization specialist opens in a new window that’s been in the industry for 20 years, we’ve faced many challenges. Challenges that are too numerous to list in this post. Our experts are ready to answer any issues or challenges that you have faced. They can also help you address your current or future localization practices prudently and efficiently. Are any of the above challenges, or others, slowing down your international product releases? Why not contact GlobalVision today for a free consultation?


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