When it comes to websites, presenting information to readers who speak other languages is about more than just translation. A detailed software localization process is required if the site is to stand the maximum chance of resonating with its target audience in each new country.
Recently, Tomedes provided software localization for a client whose business plan involved launching his products in three new European countries within the coming year. He had decided to undertake the translation and localization required for all of the languages at once. Having heard positive things from a business contact about Tomedes’ localization services, he got in touch.
The client had not previously used software localization services. Although he knew he needed localization, he wasn’t entirely clear on what was involved. As such, we talked through the whole translation vs localization debate, explaining that localization takes translation to the next level by ensuring that the copy fits with the audience’s cultural expectations, legal requirements, standardized formatting and more.
We also outlined our software localization process for him, just as we’ve done below.
The first step in the software localization process is internationalization. This is, in some ways, almost the opposite of localization. Localization focuses the website on a particular audience. Internationalization tries to make its appeal as global as possible.
Internationalization begins by examining the framework on which the site is built and establishing whether that framework will suffice for the internationalization process.
There is a design element to internationalization as well, as the website will need to account for the fact that different languages take up different amounts of space and run in different directions. Factoring dynamic UI expansion into the site is a must at this point.
Other elements of the software internationalization process include dealing with resource files, locale-specific data and more. Creating a glossary of text strings is also a fundamental part of this process. These are all technical tasks, meaning that website localization experts must have outstanding tech skills, as well as linguistic abilities.
For our recent client’s website, we addressed all of these elements in order to produce an internalized version of the site, which was then ripe for localization.
It was then time for us to prepare for the localization. This step in the software localization process includes extracting resource files for translation. The files need to be in a format that’s suitable for the localization system being used. Again, technical abilities are a must during this process. Any localization company worth its salt will ensure that its team has the right balance of technical experience and language skills.
With the resource files in place, we began our translation into the three languages that the client needed. As with every translation that we undertake, we used native speakers of the target languages, as experience has shown that doing so produces the most accurate translations.
This stage of the process requires expert linguists. The translators must work with the source strings to translate them carefully into the target language.
This is the stage of the translation and localization process that requires the translators to bring their cultural knowledge to the fore. Each version of our client’s website needed to be translated with a particular audience in mind. That meant dealing with practical details such as units of measurement and currency, but also with style, tone and the content itself.
Getting this part of the translation process right is just as key to the overall outcome as working through the technical details!
With the translation complete, it’s time to pull everything together and ensure that the finished website operates smoothly and presents information to the target audience in just the right way, from its design to its language.
Quality control and testing are essential at this point, as is working through a final snagging list to ensure that the user experience is spot on in terms of both functional and visual optimisation.
One of the keys to undertaking successful software localization is choosing the right localization platform. Some platforms come with their own, in-house translators as part of the deal, while others allow you to use translators of your own choosing.
Other localization platforms have been designed with developers in mind. If you’re looking for integration with Django or need to work with Python, be sure to find a platform that delivers this functionality.
Our recent client wanted to ensure that his translation and localization project ran smoothly and delivered accurate, timely results. As he was also looking for integrated translators as part of the process, Tomedes’ software localization services were the ideal solution.
One reason for the client’s choice was our extensive history of providing website localization services to business customers around the world. Tomedes has been delivering translation and localization services for well over a decade. This means we have a team of technically and linguistically skilled professionals to call on when clients need them.
In this client’s case, that meant assigning localization experts for three separate European countries. Each audience needed a perfectly adapted version of the client’s website, so that’s precisely what our team of localization experts provided.
As outlined in the software localization process detailed above, we undertook the internationalization element of the project first, before our localization professionals each shaped the site to suit their respective audiences. One additional advantage to this approach is that, should the client need further languages in future, his site has already been internationalized.
Tomedes is well used to dealing with a range of languages when delivering software localization services. Our linguists offer a wide variety of European languages, as well as languages spoken across Asia, Africa and beyond.
Of course, localization is about far more than language alone. Our website localization experts are able to deliver cultural insights and knowledge that mean they can shape copy to perfectly suit audiences in a wide range of global locations.
Are you considering translating your website into another language? If so, it’s time to talk about localization. Here at Tomedes, we undertake detailed strategic consultation to ensure that each client’s website localization project delivers an outstanding result. Our goal is to maximise the site’s chances of success in the target country.
To discuss your website localization needs, no matter what sort of site you have or the language(s) you require, call or email Tomedes today.
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