Software localization is the adaptation of a company’s web or mobile app so that it can be a good fit for the language and culture of the target market. Since the software industry is constantly growing and developing at a fast pace, it comes as no surprise that many companies are looking to localize their online, desktop, or client-server products for the global market.
However, many software localization attempts fail due to a lack of proper preparation and planning. This often results in disappointment once the software is out and when it simply doesn’t work as initially designed and imagined.
To avoid these problems, the article below will provide you with certain software localization best practices that can help you lay a solid foundation for success and growth in global markets.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies think about software localization right when the time comes to release a product. For this reason, one of the best pieces of advice is to schedule and plan well in advance and take all the necessary steps of the process such as translation, review, and testing into account to deliver a quality product.
Building this type of effective strategy will help you set goals, tell you what you should achieve, tick off everything you’re doing along the way, and simply bring together vision and execution.
To bring together vision and execution, you should prioritize the software and web development side of the business. Build a dedicated software localization team with multiple internal developers or even third-party contractors who already have experience with best practices for software localization. This will save precious time and keep your projects on track.
Invest in quality tools
When trying to expand into new markets and bolster your approach, you must consider using reliable tech tools. It’s a good idea to educate yourself on available software tools that will be easy to operate and help you with content forms suited for different foreign markets.
Such technology can significantly reduce manual effort, add quality checks and save time, and cut costs. For instance, with the use of a solid localization solution, you can streamline the entire translation and localization process.
This type of cutting-edge tool essentially automates your localization tasks while also allowing you to smoothly track the work of translators. It allows you to access worldwide audiences and help you determine whether a localization project is successful or just a costly and poorly managed fiasco.
It allows you to store and access translated content in one location, ensuring all translations are accurate and consistent.
Identify the essential steps for internationalization
At its best, internationalization occurs during development. It is so much more than just translating words and that’s why you should prepare your product for the complexities of adaptation. A checklist during this process, with any potential future tasks, will prepare your software and help you avoid any problems going further.
This approach will improve your product’s flexibility to facilitate LTR and RTL language, double-byte characters, diacritics, different payment methods, addresses, and other formats. Consult with an expert to make sure you are effectively covering all of your bases.
Have a plan for testing
When you are approaching the end of the localization process, you must perform quality tests. Software localization experts will verify the linguistic accuracy of translations, but the true indication of quality will be testing the localized software in its full context.
Performing linguistic testing and QA can detect issues with translated content that only become obvious when the text is in its final format. In addition, having professional linguistic testers will help ensure that all localization elements work well so that the end product runs smoothly on all platforms in your chosen language. Provide your reviewers with a set schedule, assess goals, and feedback guidelines, and think of a proper way to communicate with the team.
Find problems that need solving
Your software testing process may uncover issues with functionality that are easy to correct during the development stage but a lot harder once localization is up and running. Such early tests may help you comprehend any inflexibilities you need to address with certain local adaptations.
Make sure to have a centralized space where you maintain your translation memories, term bases, and other essential resources that will enable consistency and product integrity across languages and locales. This will ultimately help to separate your localized product apart from the competition.
Conquering the global markets with localization
Successfully navigating the process of software localization is key to making sure that your software prospers across different language markets. With the right planning and implementation of the above best practices, not only will you save valuable time and effort, but you’ll also manage to reach a larger audience and enjoy sustained growth.