Localization is a fundamental process when it comes to translating and exporting content abroad and has to do with understanding the target market and its needs.
Localization is supported by translation, which however is not automatic and does not take place word for word, but has the function of reworking content according to the market you want to address in a natural way, following the ways specific to that culture. To do this, it is not uncommon that in the transition from one language to another, the contents, both textual and visual, transform radically.
In addition to translation, localization also uses other tools. We are talking about localization software.
What are localization software
Localization software is tools that make life easier for translators, developers and project managers, allowing them to speed up and improve the quality of the work of adapting a document, website, mobile application and so on from one language to another.
Tips for using localization software – best practices
Now that we understand what a localization project is and needs, let’s look at the best way to integrate software into your work process.
Below we present some useful guidelines for getting the best out of these tools, without wasting precious time. Here are the essential steps to make your workflow smoother:
- Extracting resource files: The first thing you need to do is extract your resource files, ready for translation. You may need to extract files in a certain format, depending on the localization platform you are using.
- Translator selection: Next, you need to select the language professionals you need, either through the localization platform itself or from an external translation agency.
- Translation: The chosen professionals translate the strings within the localization platform.
- Quality assurance: A project manager, proofreader or editor will review the translations and suggest necessary changes.
- Export translated files: You will need to export the files from the localization platform and import them into your software or website. Copying the translated files into the code tree and subsequently deploying them completes the localization process.
- Localization testing: Before releasing the product, check (and fix) any bugs.
- Launch: Once you’re happy with your localized software, it’s time to share it with the world.
Note that this is the part of the localization process that deals with adapting the text component of the software or website. The localization process, however, is not limited to text, but also addresses other issues such as images and site design. Some languages, for example, write from left to right while others write to the left. This is just one of the many aspects that must be taken into consideration in the localization process to offer a final product with attention to both design and usability for the user.
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