Software localization

The launch of any software program on the international market is pointless without its localization. Apart from a well-translated interface and help files, foreign users expect to see area-specific features of a program behaving according to local standards: date and time in local format, correct list-sorting, properly used currencies and measurements, and so on. The more locale-sensitive the product is, the more loyal its customers! In highly competitive markets localization is a key requirement to ensure customer satisfaction and, therefore, it is integral to the success of the business.

What is localization and how does it differ from pure translation?

Localization is the complex process of adapting a software product to the cultural context of the target language country.

Localization addresses the following tasks:

  1. Translation of user interface, online help and documentation
  2. Adjusting the program to behave according to local expectations (e.g. formatting of dates, time, currencies, measuring units, decimal point position, alphabetical sorting, etc.)
  3. Adding or removing certain functionality in accordance with local market needs
  4. Ensuring that the language, layout, iconography and color schemes used in the application are appropriate to the local culture
  5. Building, testing and debugging the localized version

As you can see from the list above, many technical tasks are solved in the process of localization in addition to the translation itself. One of the most common tasks is the different number of symbols in the source and target text. For example, when translating from English into Russian, the character ratio is 1:1.2. That’s why longer messages often require changes in the size of interface elements.

Send us your inquiry or call us now for a consultation on the localization of your software.