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Even when your software deals only with numbers, you must ensure all your employees and clients, both in your local market and abroad can understand the user interface. The process of adapting software for use in different languages is called software localization, and it comprises a number of linguistic and technical steps.
The first step in software localization is analyzing an application’s compliance with requirements of the target market. For example, accounting software must meet local legal requirements. This may require changes both in the code and documentation, so often it’s not possible to localize software without making changes to the product itself.
The next challenge is related to differences in formats in the source and target languages. Depending on the situation, numbers and dates must be converted and/or recalculated to make software usable in the target market.
Almost every piece of software is accompanied with learning materials, including examples of how to use the software. These examples should also be adapted for the local audience. This is part of creative translation — or transcreation, as it’s called within the localization industry.
Many software texts are tied to specific interface elements. This means linguists must obey strict length requirements while keeping texts understandable. At InText, we perform automated and manual checks before uploading translations into software and perform a visual check of the user interface after translations have been implemented.
The complexity of a software localization project depends on the quantity of source materials, including user interface (UI) elements, online and offline help centers, manuals, and marketing materials. All of this content must be translated not only correctly but consistently so end users can easily find information.
Requirements change over time, making software localization a continual process. Moreover, as companies adopt an agile approach to software development, language service providers have to work at the same pace. In the industry, we call this process “continuous localization.”
InText has vast experience with software localization projects. In addition to having a large pool of qualified translators, we have a strong in-house team of technical specialists and designers who are ready to assist you in adapting your software to new markets.