If you are a professional translator you may have heard of software localization. Even if you haven’t, there are many businesses that engage with international audiences who use software localization to improve the quality of your campaigns and messaging. But how can software localization improve translation? Keep reading to find out.
What is software localization?
Software Localization or SL is an adaptive process that lays the framework for how a program interprets or produces text. This concept is concerned with the linguistic, technical or cultural requirements of a target market. Long considered a labor intensive task by developers and planners, SL has been deployed with varying degrees of success to simplify the task.
The difference between software localization and traditional translation
On one end is the traditional translation and on the other end is software localization. However, they both serve the same purpose but with a different approach. The traditional translation is done after the original text to be translated is finished but SL focuses on the production of not only the translated content but the content to be translated.
This software offers a comprehensive service that goes beyond what traditional translation can do. It runs a parallel program to develop the source document then translate it afterwards.
So as you can see, translation is only one of the functions of SL since it can perform other functions like
- Software engineering
- Desktop publishing
- Project Management
How software localization is standardized for translation
A software with language localization functions is designed to produce text that is exactly the same as the source content even if the words used are different. Businesses and translators deploy the tool because it helps them translate content that will appeal to their target audience.
The standard localization practice will take into cognizance, the words, culture, and interpretation of the target audience as the text is being produced. Common themes in the standardization process include
- Time & Date format
- Address format
- Number format
- Character sets
- Local regulations
- Payment methods
- Data security
- Double font selection
- Word separation and hyphenation
There is a lot to consider when creating software localization tools which is why it is indeed a herculean task. Besides that, there are materials that developers require to perfect the tool.
- Linguistic/Technical/Cultural assessment
- Creation and maintenance of glossaries
- Target language translation
- User interface adaptation
- Forms and dialog box resizing
- Use of localized graphics, symbols, scripts and other media materials
- Compilation of files
- Testing & Project delivery
With the aid of software localization, users can focus on the actual task of translation while other aspects of the job that may indirectly affect work quality are already taken care of by the software. Preparing generalized content or launching the same content in different languages may not be a harmful practice if the content is not offensive.
However, you may not get the best results compared to rivals who localize their content to appeal to a wider independent audience.
Here are some of the benefits your business stands to enjoy when you localize your product and messaging using software localization tools.
Increased sales and market share
Increased sales and capturing a larger market share is perhaps the greatest benefit to enjoy with SL. Once you have your app, text, content, campaign or published work localized into different languages, you automatically make your brand visible to users in the international marketplace.
The more localized your products are, the more users in other regions will find them appealing. Even without marketing it at all, the product will sell itself because users will find it valuable. And as you already know, a larger market share leads to more sales.
Attract new customers/users
If your app or computer program is localized, users will interact with it more effectively and will prefer to use it. If it is a product, your customers will find it easy to use. One way to attract new users is to provide what they are looking for in a language that they understand. Using generic language will not attract the large market that you want. But by adding more locales to your offering, you can attract customers and users in multiple regions at the same time. Generally, people tend to interact with products presented in a language that they understand.
Improve products understanding
As we said in the previous paragraph, people use products presented to them in a language they understand as opposed to the ones they don't. Using the right text, symbols words and linguistic characters they find understandable will help them master the functionality of your product. While the use of the right buttons, menus and notifications are part of the process, the localized text will explain the product much better.
Software Localization eliminates language barriers and sheds more light on the benefits that the user stands to gain by using your product.
Reduce Support Cost
Do you know that the mere deployment of SL can reduce your support overhead cost to a significant degree? Rather than spend resources correcting mistakes or attending to customer complaints, getting it right the first time spares you from the headaches of responding to negative feedback.
Nothing can ruin your brand as much as negative feedback because it is in the public domain and potential customers can see what is being said about your product. But if you lay the groundwork with software localization, and your users and customers understand in great detail what your product offers and how it works, you will not have to spend vital resources responding to their calls.
Overall, if translation localization services are done correctly and executed to perfection, the moment you launch your product, you gain a competitive advantage over competitors. Localizing your product will help your brand stand out in the international market. On the other hand, if your competitors are offering localized value but you don't, you are setting your brand up for long-term failure because they will attract your customers and reduce your share of the market.
At Circle Translation, we help developers and businesses localize their products to appeal to a wider international market. Send us a message and let us show you how you can use software localization to grow your brand.