Getting the Best out of Software Localization

Getting the Best out of Software Localization

Table of Contents

A Peek into Software

Computer software refers to a series of step by step instructions written by computer programmers in the computing language that tells the computer what and when to do. The user interface on the other hand has a language that can be understood by the end user. The user interface of most programs is in English which indeed locks out non-English speakers. However, this is slowly changing. Software companies are seeking software localization services geared towards providing a user interface understood by speakers of a multiplicity of languages.

Software Localization

Software localization is about tailoring computer software to the language needs of a particular target market. Software companies approach providers of software localization services who are aware that software localization is not just about translating the user interface from one language to another. They know for sure that it is about adapting cultural content and technical issues to a specific audience in a given location. They know that this distinguishes the ordinary software localization experts to the extraordinary software localization experts. The following are the needs of clients addressed in software localization:-

Need for User Interface Localizing in Software Localization

This is the most basic need that needs to be addressed in software localization. Indeed any individual fluent in translating one language to another can be up to the task in translating the user interface; the first step in software localization. The user interface in this case is the graphical user interface as opposed to the command-line interface. It will entail translating menu bars, command buttons, status indicators, generic and status messages just to mention a few.

Need for Software Guide Localizing in Software Localization

Most if not all computer software come with software guide which enable the end user obtain the maximum value from the particular software. It goes without saying that the computer guide should be in the same language as the localized software. The true mettle of a computer localization service provider is tested here. A great computer localization service provider should be in a position to have integrated the cumulative efforts of source code editors, resource and graphic file providers and the software compilers. A successful integration of these teams is bound to capture the cultural content and match it with the software intent which will make everyone smile.

Need for Localizing Supporting Software Documentation in Software Localization

Computer software typically has supporting documentation such as manuals, brochures and packaging elements for use by the end user. It is important that these documentation are understood by both the non-technical and technical end-users. This is where software localization comes in. The publications should entirely reflect the language, cultural aspects and market sector for which the software is destined. This can only be achieved by expert software localization. Giving this work to mere language translators will only be a superficial capture of the intent desired.

Finally on Software Localization

Software localization as you have seen is very different from language translation. The balance between the team of engineering experts on one side and language translation experts on the other hand is the cornerstone of the best software localization companies.


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