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Technological advancements and the need to enter foreign markets makes software localization a necessity in the global economy. You need to tailor your software to fit the new market niche you intend to pursue; factors such as language barriers and cultural differences need to be addressed because they can be the difference between resounding success and total failure.
1 What is Software Localization? Do you need it?
Software localization is the process of modifying software to meet the culture, linguistics, and technical specifications of a particular end-user. Generally abbreviated as “L10n”, the process entails more than text translation and involves localization of programs files components and the graphic user interface. While there are many changes made on the front-end, the back-end is mostly the same.
The answer to whether you need software localization will depend on your business location and the diversity of your clientele. If you engage people of the same general locality and culture, you may not need to localize your software. However, a global company such as Facebook must serve users with over 100 different languages and localize its software to fit the many languages and cultures.
2 What is Localization Content?
Localization content is the process of modifying and adapting your main content to fit your new or foreign market. It differs from software localization in that content localization mainly involves straightforward translation.
3 What is Internationalization?
Internationalization refers to the development of software that allows for easy localization. It refers to the preparation of software for localization and is usually abbreviated as “i18n” in English, with 18 referring to letters between ‘I’ and ’n’.
In summary, internationalization involves:
- Features such as DTD OR CSS.
- Developing ways that remove barriers and support foreign fonts.
- Separating localization elements during the localization process.
- Inputting codes that support the diversification of languages and other technical aspects.
The important point to note is that internationalization only paves the way for easy modifications and adaptation during localization.
4 Why do you need a strong localization team?
A strong and dedicated team is the key to the success of your localization. The team should comprise translators, programmers, linguistics, legal advisers, and digital marketing specialists.
Each member plays a significant role, the translators develop accurately and the most acceptable versions of your content to interact with the new market. The legal team will advise you on the regulations in place for the new country.
Programmers will perform the coding magic and work on the user interface to make it as user friendly as possible. Digital marketers play a crucial role, and they are responsible for creating your brand’s image; they place your products in front of the target market and communicate on your behalf. Digital marketers are also tasked with optimizing the software for SEO and SERP.
5 What is the software localization process like?
The localization process may seem complicated, but with the right guidance and professional advice, you can be assured of getting it right the first time.
Below are simple steps to guide you as you embark on the localization process:
- Identifying the target country.
- Study your intended new market.
- Assembling a well-structured and coordinated team.
- Appoint a localization manager, ideally an expert in the localization process.
- Prep your website for the localization adjustments
- Lastly, choose a global layout and design.
6 Final Thoughts
Every business dream is to go global, and with the world becoming a small village, software localization has become essential. With adequate preparations, you will get positive performance in the new market.