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Software Localization

If your company produces software to market to overseas clients, you may perhaps consider the language options for your software to adopt. Software localization is a very important step for the success of product localization. What it means is to translate your software into the language of your preference. Localization involves making adjustments to the design and code base of your application so that your software can support the many requirements for non-English languages.

Many countries use different coding practices than those used in English speaking countries. For example, China, Japan, and Korea use double-byte character sets, while (example) Australia uses a single-byte character set (ASCII). To support the non single-byte environment as well as various other requirements for international languages, many changes in the code are necessary. These include modifying the encoding method, text direction, linguistic boundaries, wrapping and justification, font, and sorting.

The goal of software localization is not just to produce one single translated version of the software, but to empower the software development team with the infrastructure, methodology and language /cultural expertise to be able to:

  • Enable the existing software (the prime) to recognize the different attributes associated with different markets and provide support for them;
  • Create a language variant for each market and finally to;
  • Evolve both the prime and the variant through subsequent software releases.

These attributes are not limited to language, business data formats, cultures and cross border usability requirements.

We have localization engineers at each local operating office who have helped many clients localize their software applications. These engineers analyse your software code and then implement the necessary changes or provide recommendations for the changes needed.

There are two stages to software localization:

    1. The actual localization which involves the re-engineering of the software to separate strings, data handling routines, validation and error messages into a resource repository ready for localization and;
    2. The localization process which involves the translation of the text and insertion of local business data that is necessary to create a language /market variant of the software.

Naturally, there are a number of changes to existing software development and translation methods to achieve the outcomes listed. eTranslate is well placed to provide the consultancy and coaching to deploy these processes. This is often performed through a proof of concept exercise.

After this exercise, your software is ready to be translated in the future. Since the strings have been separated for translation, it will be easier for you to have future translation of your software in another language.
Also, without a doubt, your software can be enjoyed by non-English speaking users. This automatically widens your business coverage.

There is a profusion of softwares around the world, ranging from education to security systems. A specific timeframe and costs cannot reflect the different demands for software localization. It is best for us to evaluate your requisites and reflect on them.

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