Internationalization, a major differentiation factor on a competitive market

GUI_software-localizationIn an era where geographical boundaries have all but faded away, and products can be launched in just a few months on different markets, most software developers now design their products with internationalization in mind. In fact, the ability to support multiple languages on early releases now represents a major differentiation factor in today’s highly competitive market.

All the main frameworks and development platforms in use today are localization-friendly: Unicode, HTML, XML, and libraries. However, there are some key considerations to keep in mind, such as language direction (right-to-left), multi-byte character set support, or GUI space restrictions. Different languages use different syntactic structures; elements for translation should thus be clearly identified or externalized into libraries. In order to remain cost efficient over time, integrating key localization aspects into the software right from its initial conception is essential.

That’s why you need an experienced localization partner that will guide you through the complete process of software localization, and one that has the resources, qualified in-country linguistic talents and the engineering capabilities to ensure an efficient and quality localized product, and, completed within budget.

WhP has been working with international software market leaders since 1994. Fully proficient in identifying a project’s key software localization elements, WhP advises its clients to consider all aspects of software localization before starting software development and to ensure localization is written into the specification at the start. (view our customer references)

 

Our clients’ localization requirements 

  •  More than translation

Software localization implies more than just the mere translation of the product’s user interface. Companies require that their software to be adapted to the culture of the target country, so that they can reach a larger audience.
Software Localization, in this case, stands for the complex operation that consists in translating the software and also in adapting it according to the linguistic conventions (read more about linguistic testing) and cultural specifics of the users from the target country. Cultural adjustments are also different for HR software and accounting software.

  • Agile or sim-ship

It is not unusual to start the software localization during the development cycle of the source language product. The shipment dates for localized versions are moving ever closer to the domestic product shipment date, and in some instances, there may be a simultaneous shipment, where the localized version goes out the same day as the English.

  • Technology

WhP can localize any piece of software regardless of the development environment: .net, Java, QT, Open Source…(our localization technology)
WhP uses a wide variety of standard industry localization tools and proprietary tools, and we make the maximum use of automation to increase the efficiency of software localization. We align our technology with yours and directly support native file types.
For resource localization and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) dialog box resizing, we usually use Catalyst, RC Wintrans, Passolo or Sisulizer

  • Access to UI

Most software localizations projects are updates to a previous version of a product, there are many ways to leverage existing translations of UI to accelerate the updating process. In the case of binary files or resource files where resizing or other engineering information needs to be re-used, some tools, not only re-use translations and hotkeys assignments, but also utilize resizing information for translated controls and dialog box items from previous file versions.

  • Terminology

Software publishers set up their production process to best suit their strategy and markets. They usually expect the software localization vendor to adapt to their processes.
In addition to the flexibility required to accommodate these processes, software companies seek overall quality, which mainly means terminology quality. (terminology and terminology management)

WhP software localization Process

Our approach to software localization is the result of years of real-world experience. We begin with a customized plan and thorough assessment of the application files, and end by delivering a foreign-language version of the original. The key steps in our software localization process include:

  • Preparation phase:

1. Defining the process and select qualified team. (vendor management–how we select our translators?)
2. Preparing a glossary if not provided by the customer.
3. Organizing a knowledge transfer session to train WhP software localization team.

  • Localization phase:

4. Review and analysis of the source files.
5. Content extraction and creation of proper instructions and validated glossaries for the translators.
6. Translation with cultural adaption by professional translator selected according to their expertise.
7. Receive the translated content, check its compliance with the instructions.
8. Resizing the dialog boxes that appear on the User Interfaces (UI).
9. Functional and linguistic testing by QA engineers and in-country reviewers.
10. Deliver the localized software and get back a build that we install into our servers to make it available for reviewers and testers.
11. Our engineers test the target version of the software using test scripts and configuration provided by the customer.
12. Localization of online help/documentation.
13. The complete set of products is delivered to the customer together with the final glossaries, Term bases and translation memories.

Related solutions

For WhP, software localization involves much more than simply translating a software module’s User Interface (UI); it concerns a fully consistent set of components:
– The main software modules (inter-related)
– Ancillary software components such as installation, configuration, plug-ins, patches, etc
– Online help linked to the UI
– Manuals (installation guide, user’s manual, getting started, configuration guide)
– Complementary documents (registration, disclaimers, posters, leaflets, summaries, etc.) delivered with the software
– Training material (classroom courses, computer-based training, e-learning)
– Technical support material (web site, FAQ, help desk scripts, etc.) technical translation