If you’re running a multilingual software business, you’ll need to implement the best practices for localization. These best practices include avoiding string concatenation, which involves cutting sentences in half to fit programming language structures. While this may sound like a simple solution, it’s actually a highly inefficient process that can cause months of work to fix. Instead, externalize strings and present translators with isolated strings that are easier to translate.
If your software is available in several languages, you should separate your code from your content. This will give your translators easier access to a large pool of reasonably priced language talent. It’s also best to lock placeholders in the English UI and protect them from being changed or rewritten. In addition, avoid embedding text in graphics or rearranging wording. In addition, make sure your UI contains metadata that will alert the translator to any real estate or character limits.
Another important practice is keeping your user interface consistent throughout the localization process. Users have many ways to tap, click, and instruct in a product. You should use tried-and-true terms in the target language. For example, the term “button” is the same in Spanish, but it is different in Chinese. In order to retain users, you should stick to the same language, and use the same font and style.
During this phase of the process, developers and localizers can discuss the translations in a direct project chat. Using a translation management system like Lokalise helps the translators understand the context of the text they’re translating. This also ensures that the localization files are consistent across languages. And it allows the translations to remain accurate throughout the entire process.
When translating a software application, it’s essential to consider the language and script of the target audience. For example, Arabic and Hebrew travel from left to right, so it’s important to remember that the translations will have different script directions. It’s also important to plan for the specific challenges in the target markets. Creating a resource file for the translated version of your software is essential for a successful multilingual business.
Localization engineers must be aware of the language and culture of the target audience. They can provide localization services to a wide variety of audiences. Some companies hire a professional localization engineer from translation companies for Indian languages to perform the process in-house. However, if your company lacks in-house IT support, localization engineers should do it. Otherwise, they’ll charge a fee for their services.