Everyone does not understand English. The global market is essentially local, and companies harvesting foreign markets must opt for localization of software for easy penetration. Localization includes translating the software and adapting it in another language incorporating cultural conventions of the target country.
Software development is a tedious task. Moreover, localization of software involves specific issues. Following are some of the common mistakes developers, linguists and marketers can avoid while getting their software localized.
1. Separate Codes from Text:
Keep the text different from the codes to ensure effective software localization.
2. Don’t Be Compact:
Developers tend to keep the code compact when using the English language. However, some languages such as German, French or Chinese are more dense and longer. When the application or software localization is done in a way that the coding is compact with no extra space, the string may overlap on to the controls and may require the application or the software to be edited post-translation.
3. Specification on Language:
In localization of software, using the code of the specific country and its language in coding precisely is required. As each language is different, enhancing the specifications will attune the software to new geographies and locations.
4. Complete Code:
The localization experts may find it cumbersome to translate the coding if the developers haven’t used complete sentences in the code as that may cause errors and confusion in localization of software. Incomplete sentences are difficult to crack and delay the project timelines.
5. Numeric Factors:
When localization of software takes place, hard-coded formats of numbers, date, units and time can cause difficulty and confusion as these formats differ with geographies.
6. The Direction of the Language:
Not all languages are read from left to right. Few languages such as Arabic flow from right to left and even verticals. Ensure that the code is easily adaptable to these norms and accommodates different forms of languages.
7. Secured Communication:
A variable can have different connotations, and a coder needs to address these changes effectively. Here, the onus is on the coder to communicate the required challenges and probable solutions with a software localization expert and linguist to understand what each sentence stands for. A coder at Summa Linguae understands this and leaves notes or tips to ensure that localization of software takes place smoothly without any errors in the process.
8. Images with Text:
Images work great while building software along with the text as they also reduce the word count and make the coding easier to understand. Also, images appeal to the end user as well. But when the images are used along with text in them, localization of software gets impaired as the text needs to be translated and re-coded for optimum results. If the coder keeps the code separate from the text, both can be easily translated for further use. Also, localization experts need to help the designers pick the right image, as images portray different meanings in different cultures.
To avoid the common mistakes in software localization, it is best to onboard an expert localization agency to work along with your internal technical resources. This will help you reduce the time required to bring out the product faster into the market.