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Software Localization: 5 Tips To Prepare for It

With almost 90% of the global population owning a smartphone, we can say that this is the era of mobile technology. With so many apps to choose from, everyone has a chance to make their everyday simpler and better just with a tap on the screen.

However, even though an app may be incredibly useful, it may be missing on huge growth opportunities if users across the globe can’t access it due to the language barrier. This is where software localization becomes an important factor in app development.

Today, businesses that care for international customers dedicate a lot of effort in optimizing the user experience of their software across cultures and languages, ensuring that every person, regardless of geographical location, can fully enjoy it since day one.

If you are looking into expanding the user base for your software beyond your domestic market and considering localization to adapt your digital product, too, let’s see what can help you make the localization process less painful.

Understand what localization is

Localization is an absolute must when a brand plans on taking its product global. Regardless of how high the demand for a certain product may be, a web or mobile app can hardly cater to users worldwide if they cannot understand and relate to it.

Software localization is essential if you are to adapt your app or product so that it can benefit each and every user across markets that has the need for your services. In addition to that, the more people are able to use your app, the higher your sales will be.

However, the process of software localization will not just translate your software’s written content. It will completely personalize your software for use in each of your target markets, making your digital product much more appealing and accessible.

That being said, even if it may look complex on paper, with careful planning, you can have the most accessible app in no time.

Preparing for localization: Key steps

To ensure that the process of software localization is as seamless as possible, consider the following tips:

Have clear goals in mind

It’s admirable that you want to bring your app to a new audience. However, what is your main reason for doing so? Is it profit or is it your desire to provide customers with the perfect experience?

When you pinpoint the main reason for your localization needs, it’s time to get your whole team on board with your vision. Speak with your localization team candidly and inform them of your exact wants and needs. You can also include some training so that your language service provider (LSP) understands how your software functions exactly.

Create a glossary or termbase

For a perfectly woven localization, it is recommendable to provide your LSP with valuable data so that they can produce a quality end product. For example, you can give your LSP information regarding all key terms and phrases relevant to your product and what they exactly mean. A professional LSP will use the glossary to make sure all translations meet the usage criteria for your business-specific terminology.

Develop a TM (translation memory)

Your TM  can be viewed as a collection of all the translated versions of your material. Your TM will expand as your data is translated and the valuable information can be used later for importing existing translations. This will, of course, save you a lot of time and money.

Assign ICRs

As the project unfolds, you will need individuals to provide you with feedback, positive and negative. In-country reviewers can help you pinpoint whether your localization strategy is working so far and what kind of adjustments need to be made.

For each project, businesses assign at least one ICR in order to ensure seamless and effective operation. If you feel that you can benefit from more ICRs, feel free to plan your strategy differently.

Plan the launch time

Software localization can take time. Putting out a half-baked product can potentially harm your final result. So, before thinking about the launch date, scrutinize the completed work and make sure that your future plans receive enough attention via marketing.

The bottom line

Software localization is a must if you are considering launching an app globally. Moving into new marketers and expanding your horizons is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. If you are planning a localization project, consider the advice we outlined for you above.