A QUICK INSIGHT INTO SOFTWARE LOCALIZATION: THE KEYS
Today, there is virtually no field in our private and professional sphere in which no software is used; from conventional PCs and smartphones to household appliances and cars.
However, these programs must have linguistic and cultural specificity to adapt to users worldwide and create a high-quality user experience.
Being localization the process of adapting a product or service to a specific locale, this is where software localization comes in.
Software in the Global Market
While making your software usable and effective for users in any language is important, it’s not enough for a program or a website to support multiple languages. In order to be truly global, it has to make sense for users in every country it reaches.
Why not Simply Translating
Imagine a videogame software where everything is translated, but not localized: the meaning of the words may be clear, but the graphics and measurements would surely feel foreign for the user.
Software localization adapts software to the culture as well as the language of the end user's locale, making it feel as if the final content functions had been designed in the user’s own country.
Effective Software Localization
Apart from language, software localization services consider a wide variety of elements in order to effectively localize a software product or program. Here are some of them:
Hard-coded date, time, and measuring units: 15.06.2020 or 06.15.2020? 1,000 miles or 1,609 kilometers? 17:00 or 5 p.m.?
Non-linguistic elements such as culturally appropriate images, symbols, graphics, scripts and other media containing visible text;
Full locale property instead of just language, containing both the language and the country code where it’s spoken, such as fr-FR or en-GB;
Local regulations and copyright issues;
Word separation and hyphenation;
Standards and orientations, adapting text fields and resources files (menus, dialog buttons or localizable strings) to the target language and considering how they would look on the screen.
Localizing software means increasing the appeal of your app, program or product to new markets, as you cross national borders and approach to new global audiences.
Preparing your content for future localization solutions could be the most direct way to ease your localization process!