The global localization software market is set to grow to $5.51 billion by 2030. And that growth is largely fueled by the need for tech companies to expand their reach into markets that don’t use English as their primary language.
Today, having an English version of your software is no longer enough. Users expect to fully engage with the apps and solutions they use, and that means they need to be able to clearly understand how the software works, how to access different features, and how to use it with as little friction as possible.
All of that requires companies to figure out ways to effectively adapt their software solutions to different languages and cultures, which can pose a lot of challenges if the right tools aren’t utilized to facilitate the process.
The good news is that there are software localization solutions that have been designed to simplify the process and help software companies enter new markets with ease.
In this article, we’ll explore how to best approach software localization in your situation.
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1. Utilize the Right Tools
Even though it may not be clear in the beginning, software localization is about much more than just translating the text into a different language. Every change you make in the way the software looks and operates has huge implications for the user experience, so you need to have a reliable process for ensuring that each decision you make produces the outcomes you want.
And for that to happen, it makes sense to use software localization solutions that can help streamline various processes related to the task.
Using the right solution ensures that you’ll have all of your locale files and tag keys in one place, allowing you to keep track of all the changes you make. You can also manage translation faster and better understand the context and the unique challenges different languages can bring.
Software localization platforms ensure you maintain consistency throughout different languages and use the right phrases and words that allow you to communicate the core message without distorting it.
2. Consider Each Local Language
Translating language in software has countless considerations that might not always be apparent even for someone local. Even if the translation itself is accurate, other aspects of the way the language is structured can have a massive impact on how the UX looks and feels in the final result.
For instance, some languages are inherently more verbose than others. What might be a brief and clear sentence in English could take more space in others, which means that you’ll have less screen time for visuals, poor layout, and even readability issues from improper scaling.
Another consideration is the symbols of the language. Not all languages use the Latin alphabet, and Asian languages can be especially difficult to structure in a way that makes sense to the reader and is easy to understand.
You need to take a broad-perspective view of each localization project you take on, evaluating the unique characteristics of the language and then using those insights to ensure that you design unique solutions for that particular instance instead of using a universal approach.
An easy rule to help you solve at least some of these problems is to set a character limit for each section of the design. That way, you will at least have a clear cutoff point with which your translators can work, reducing the number of issues you’ll have to work out later.
3. Employ Intentional Authoring
A big part of success with software localization is building a strong foundation with your source language. You need to ensure that all copy and content you produce is as clear, concise, and actionable as possible since any unnecessary fluff in the language will get translated into others, compounding the issue and causing even more problems down the line.
And that’s where intentional authoring can be very helpful. It’s the process of establishing a clear practice of writing with a purpose and a clear goal, no matter what the content or copy might be about.
It helps crystalize the most important messages in the best way possible, which serves as a solid baseline that translators can later use when adapting the same information into a different language.
Software localization offers a unique opportunity to provide a more seamless experience to local audiences around the world. But to ensure a smooth process, it’s important to follow the right steps and utilize the leading localization tools available today.
That way, you can not only tackle each part of the process more effectively but also ensure that you take into account the subtle differences in languages that can completely change how the results turn out.
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