Your software application sports the sleekest design, the coolest tech, and crisp user interface (UI) text from top-notch writers. Obviously, you take your customers seriously and want to be sure you deliver only the best. But what about your customer from Japan? Or, from Saudi Arabia? Are you delivering the same experience to them as you do to your customers in your home country? If not, you need software localization.Get quote
Software localization is a process which, among other things, enables your software products – be it cloud-based or desktop – to be tailored to the preferences of users from a particular locale. It makes sure the user experience is uninterrupted in any way: either linguistically, culturally, or technically.
Companies that are aware of the importance of localization and the benefits it brings never go to market without a localized product. Here’s why, you too should do it; a. It’s often time-consuming and resource-intensive, and sometime impossible, to localize software after it is released in a language because when a software is properly localized, the resource files which contain user interface elements like the menu and dialog boxes for translation are not mixed up with other programming files, and this is almost impossible to understand in an un-localized product. And as a result, localization issues take a long time to fix. b. Simultaneous shipping of products and services to different locales is impossible without localization. Not localizing will inevitably lead to bugs and issues being reported in some markets, which means that you either risk losing customers to the competition or you must pause marketing and sales in those locales and fix the bugs first. Sometimes, it may affect releases in other markets, too.
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Software localization refers to a bouquet of services that ultimately end up in adapting your software-as-a-service (SaaS) product to the preferences of the customers in a particular market;
a. Translation: This is often the most visible of software localization services. With increasing internet connectivity, more and more people spending time being online, it’s critical in making your product or service accessible to roughly 75% of the world’s online population that does not speak English. You need to be ready for their business by speaking in their language and for that, you must get translation done accurately of the user interface content, meta content, and user assistance (UA) content such as help files and knowledge bases.
b. Internationalization: It refers to the work that goes on behind the scenes to enable the localization of your software user interface (UI) for any market. For instance, some languages have a different orientation: South east Asian languages may have a vertical or horizontal orientation; where as languages like Arabic, Persian, Urdu are written from right to left and are called RTL languages. When you translate your code in these languages, you have to essentially mirror everything on your product interface, so that your international users don’t trip and experience inconveniences. Also, you need to make sure there is enough room for expansion for other scripts, for example English scripts usually expand by up to 40% when translated to German or Dutch.
c. Testing: Here’s where you test if your localization efforts have actually served the needs of your users. It’s important as it eliminates bugs and enables correct functionality across all platforms for all users. You need to test for, among other things, if your application is displaying the fonts properly, whether it has the right currencies, date and address formats, and so on.
The term “globalization” often used with localization is a related concept, but actually refers to the larger process of enabling market entry, that could include tailoring your product to meet different expectations of international customers or comply with the laws in a particular country; it can be about building teams internally as well as using external resources such as software localization companies to localize and internationalize your product; and so on. Localization services, in contrast, adapt your product to a particular locale, whether it be the language, the script, user interfaces, or using colors and images that will find acceptance with your users.