The 10 Steps of Software Localization – Isakasnel Consultants.
Prerequisites of Software Localization.
Software Localization is a strong and important foundation of every software development strategy.
It should therefore be planned for even before starting the development of your software.
First, you (owner) should have a clear idea about the target market your software is going to serve.
Secondly, strive towards expanding your target market and having more users interacting with your software.
But how do you achieve market expansion of your software?
Good news is that you can only possibly achieve it through localizing your software for other untapped markets.
Thirdly, take keen time to plan on how to execute your software localization exercise.
For your development team, consider hiring experienced software developers who have excellent Software Internationalization skills.
On the other hand when the time finally comes to localize your software, consider hiring a reliable and experienced Software Localization Partner like Isakasnel Consultants Kenya.
Disappointingly, many software entrepreneurs forget that Software Localization is not fully effective by just successfully localizing a software.
It is important to also strategize on simultaneously localizing the operations of your sales, marketing and technical support departments.
This is always an important step towards strengthening your customer service, which is a reliable way of not just gaining new users but keeping them on the hook as well.
Isakasnel Consultants is an all-in-one reliable software localization company in Kenya with a long term hands-on experience in software translation and localization(L10n).
The Actual Steps of Software Localization.
From our completed software localization projects, we’ve been able to master the art of software localization.
Therefore, we have been able to come up with a Standard Software Localization Process.
This is the process we confidently follow to localize all types and calibers of software, and it works perfectly. Take a look:
Step 1: Project Management and Assessment.
Upon receiving the necessary materials we require in order to kick start your software localization project, we immediately organize ourselves by appointing a suitable Project Manager who is supposed to oversee the whole project.
At their disposal, the project manager has all the necessary resources and workforce that your project may need.
All the project manager needs to do is deploy a team of professionals who are going to contribute to each step of the software localization process.
The first task coordinated by the project manager is Assessment of your project.
The objective is to evaluate the extent of localization needed by your software and the specific tools and resources required.
Step 2: Assessment of your Target Market.
Your target market carries several aspects which have to be specifically adhered to in order for software localization to be successful.
Therefore, project manager coordinates assessment of such aspects as cultural, technical and linguistic preferences of your target market.
The objective is partially to understand how your software product relates to them so as to identify the best native style of product presentation.
Another objective is to help in picking the appropriate native linguists for that particular locale and prepare them for the work ahead.
Additionally, assessing the target market helps in identifying important locale-specific details to implement during internationalization of your software.
Step 3: Software Internationalization.
Software Internationalization prepares codebase of your software to adapt with multilingual capabilities and support full localization without reengineering the code.
This is a strategy we usually advise software developers to plan for at the onset of software development and implement during software development.
If internationalization is not considered as early as the development stage of your software, future localization becomes rather harder and expensive.
This is because the software code has to be revised and redesigned afresh since localization can’t happen without Internationalization.
We usually evaluate your software at this step to make sure that the Internationalization done complies with our localization standards.
If no Internationalization exists, we have a team of professional software developers and programmers to implement it.
One important procedure of Internationalization is separating code with strings and organizing the textual content into a resource file.
Step 4: Strings Extraction and Importation.
Once the Internationalization coast is clear, the next procedure is extracting strings of text from the resource file and importing them into our Translation Management System (TMS).
Our TMS has the appropriate centralized tools which help our linguistic team members collaborate easily.
Remember that software elements like graphics and illustrations may also contain text that may need to be translated for adaptation.
This step also involves extracting such text.
It’s a localization best practice to ensure that original graphics design files are safely stored in organized folders to avoid repetition of graphic work during text extraction and reintegration of translated text.
Similarly, avoid manually rendering text on images and rather utilize the readily available fonts.
Step 5: Native Translation and Proofreading of Textual Content.
The translation work done in your project must be assigned to translators who are native speakers of your target language.
There are a lot of advantages that come from using native translators in software localization.
Besides translating from source language to target language, our native translators instils all the sensitive cultural preferences relevant to the target locale in their translations.
Such preference examples include tone, ascent and dialect variations.
Their final work is proofread by expert linguists to perfect the semantics, check and rectify linguistic mistakes which may have been done by the translators.
Step 6: UI Localization & Regional Adaptation of Non-Textual Content.
Your software’s UI often requires technical adjustments so as to accommodate the newly translated and culturally adapted text.
This may involve resizing of form elements and dialogue boxes.
Additionally, non-textual content like symbols and signs, graphics, illustrations, audio and video also need to be adapted to the taste of your target locale.
This step involves extensively adapting any content that is not textual so as to relate the software’s appearance to the likability of your target market.
Step 7: Linguistic Testing, Localization Quality Analysis & Content Compilation.
At this point, all the extracted, translated and adapted content is yet to be reintegrated into the software.
The reason is because thorough linguistic accuracy and quality checks have to be carried out first on textual content to ensure that the strings meet quality ISO standard translations.
Secondly, the non-textual content has to be exhaustively adapted to the technicalities and region specific tastes.
Another important check is to ensure that the target locale’s regulations on software usage have been complied to.
All this review work is done by freshly new eyes and not the ones that have been dealing with the translation, proofreading and adaptation.
After the quality of localization done has been assured, the textual content is compiled into unique language specific resource file(s) then integrated back into the software code structure.
Similarly, the adapted non-textual content is reintegrated into the software UI, ready for further testing.
Step 8: Functional/Operational Testing.
At this point, we have a fully localized software that has not been tested after content compilation.
We conduct rigorous functional software testing to ensure that the strings, non-strings and code structure are compatible and performing normally as expected.
Our software developers and programmers severally conducts debugging on the software to capture and fix any available bugs.
All forms of troubleshooting are deployed until the software is rendered free of errors.
Step 9: Presentation to Software Owner and Feedback Collection.
Of course, the customer is always engaged in communication with the project manager over the whole software process and major adjustments from the customer have been taken into account.
At this final stage, the fully localized and functioning software is presented to the owner for approval. The customer is bound to make light adjustments.
Step 10: Feedback Implementation and Final Turnaround.
This marks the final step of our professional software localization service.
We perfectly implement the customer’s feedback if any.
What follows is packaging the whole software materials collected together with the software itself and submitting to the client as the Final Delivery.