Technology: For one thing, the nature of a user interface (GUI) is such that the length of texts in dialog boxes or buttons has to be managed carefully.
Language: For another, within a language there can be many regional variants or “locales”, such as in Spanish (Spanish vs. Latin America) and English (UK vs. USA). As a result, the first question to answer is which language variant is required, so that the flag used to represent the language can then be chosen. This decision must be made before the real localization work can begin.
Our advice: Make sure your localization provider knows which language variant(s) you want as early as possible.
User interface (GUI) localization
How to guarantee problems: Often, our customers simply send us lists of terms in an Excel table. The texts they contain are disjointed, offer no contextual information and indicate no length limitations. Translating these kinds of texts is like sailing on a sea in thick fog, with no sign of land and no clue where the boat is supposed to be going.
Our advice: Instead of sending your localization partner lists of terms, give them as much contextual information as you possible can. Ideally, the translation should be done in the binary files themselves or in the resource files as these contain the required contextual information, and we can use our specialist localization software to adapt the position and size of buttons and windows.
Translation of online help guides
How to guarantee problems: Send an online help guide for translation without telling the translation agency whether the software interface has already been localized or not.
Our advice: Always ensure that your localization partner has access to the translated user interface strings if they have already been localized. Otherwise, there will almost certainly be inconsistencies between the online help guide and the software itself. Not only is this irritating for end users, it can also lead to serious operating errors.
The translated UI strings are imported into a term base and can be accessed by our language experts at the touch of a button when translating the online help guide, which guarantees consistent terminology between the software interface and its online help guide.
A good localization and translation partner will always draw your attention to these issues, and will request all the information and documents needed to successfully deliver the project.
For software localization we work with a range of tools specially designed to assist these sorts of translation projects. They allow formal quality assurance checks to be carried out, and with certain file formats a preview of the user interface can be generated, which is very important for a contextually accurate translation.
The right specialist translators
When choosing our translators we make sure that they have requisite subject knowledge and are familiar with the challenges of software localization. In this way we at MEINRAD.cc guarantee that the quality of the software we localize cannot be beaten.
We can establish core translators for your projects who will become experts in your products through regularly working on your texts, ensuring that they always deliver exactly the right translation.