Localization of software is necessary for greater acceptance of the product by users in different geographic territories. Only when prospective users get the impression that the software product has been developed to cater to their local requirements, they take the initiative to learn and use it. Although a major activity, the localization process can be made easy by using the right resources and the methodology. A look at some useful tips on software localization may be beneficial.
- Analysis of the localization requirements before you begin is crucial. Make a list of all the problem areas that need localization support. This will enable you to allocate the right team and resources.
- Simulate a translation and testing project so that all issues related to localization are revealed at the initial stages of the project.
- Standard resources and file formats should be the norm for your software development. If you use a consistent structure for all your programs, then it would be easy to know which text is to be translated. You can also make use of translation tools in the first round of localization effort which can be then reviewed and corrected.
- Translation memory tools can contribute in expediting your localization process in a major way. These tools build a repository of phrases, sentences and paragraphs and help in providing a consistent translation approach while reducing the translation time.
- A style guide and terminology should be clearly defined in the beginning so that all the localized software versions have the same look and feel.
- Have a localization project plan where the duration of the text translation phase is less than the complete project time. Testing and incorporating feedback should be allocated enough time and resources. Also provide for time to incorporate last minute software updates.
- Ensure that the entire team is aware of the project methodology and central resources. Seamless coordination and information flow is necessary for the success of any localization project.