English-speaking countries make fun of those in non-English speaking countries for their poor translations. There’s an entire website devoted to it, Engrish.com. Now imagine if your product, produced in an English-speaking country, is presented to locals in another land the same way. Think about it critically: are you more or less likely to use software that’s been poorly translated? You’re less likely to. In fact, surveys show non-English speakers are usually 75% more likely to purchase items in their native language. The same logic extends to software.
Even good translation is less successful if a platform hasn’t been regionally localized—just look at PayPal and Skrill. Translation, and localization particularly, does more than communicate with a disparate body of users, it also demonstrates your company’s commitment to customers, and helps them resonate with your product on a personal, local basis. Any organization can throw a phrase into Google Translate, draw it up in another language, and forget about it. This is impersonal, and obvious. Many professional companies use this method, however! And it loses them money.
Software Localization in Mobile Markets
With mobile phones more prevalent than ever, and technology rapidly eroding linguistic barriers, it becomes all the more integral that you find software localization solutions which can be soundly and immediately implemented. In many cases, cogent software localization can expand your product’s reach, allowing for a simultaneous launch in multiple markets. But trying to localize software purely through technological means is doomed to fail. Computers do what they’re told, but unlike you they cannot think critically. The human element is essential in software translation and localization.
With the proliferation of apps hitting the market today, it makes a lot of sense to start the software localization process with the inception of your new mobile application. Many companies are already doing just this thing. In fact, Googling “multi-lingual support” will reveal a nigh-infinite cavalcade of resources devoted to helping new developers get in on this trend from the ground floor. The problem is that many companies empowering multi-lingual support in their new software applications are also pushing programs designed to translate in lieu of a professional service. This is a red herring of sorts, as it appears to deliver a solution, but in reality it only delivers half a solution. Only an actual flesh-and-blood human has the ability to translate localized distinctions. Furthermore, when factoring in product returns, dissatisfied users’ impact on your international brand and image, overloaded customer support where it is most costly-overseas, and possible endless improper use liabilities, a professional software localization service becomes a very cost-effective solution!
Not Yet Taking Advantage of Localization?
Even if you already have a product on the market, and are past the development stage, you stand to increase your profit margins substantially by having that product translated such that it meets local market preferences. Color schemes and colloquialisms may seem like little details in software design, but the popular saying is that the “devil’s in the details”. A subconscious revulsion won’t increase your software’s hold on a market. But if subconsciously the potential user finds your program communicates with them how their own friends and family do, suddenly that barrier is gone.
Software localization in mobile and other markets goes beyond mere consumers and users, however. There are always local companies that have similar interests to your own, and should your translated offerings reflect professionalism localized to a region, your credibility increases substantially. Cogent software translation of a localized nature is more likely to bring in lucrative partnerships than the same services offered with a foreign taint that can’t be ignored.
A Professional Localization Service is Integral
The market is increasingly mobile, and technology along with globalization are eroding linguistic barriers. But no technology can surpass human critical thought, or mimic regional tastes accurately; meaning a professional agency will always provide better translation services than any merely computerized option. Since a professional software localization service is far less-expensive in the long run than other means, and comprehensive enough to include local customs and preferences, it makes a lot of sense to go that route with your software translation needs.
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