Category Archives: software

The Most Important Tool in a Translator’s Toolbox (and why they should share it with you)

The Most Important Tool in a Translator’s Toolbox (and why they should share it with you)

The Most Important Tool in a Translator’s Toolbox (and why they should share it with you)It is a new year with new markets and products. You may have been tasked with obtaining translation quotes to update your literature in other languages. If so, you must know that a question frequently asked by providers when obtaining quotes is if you have an existing translation memory. Not wanting to be hassled with another item to obtain, you may be very tempted to just say “no”.

But why should you check?

Chances are if you have had your materials translated by professional translators, they will have used a Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tool. This kind of tool is or at least should be used by all professional translators and it does not work as machine translation – you need a human resource to translate the content.

And why is it the most important tool? If this is in your translators’ toolbox, it allows them to produce quality work on a day to day basis. It enables them to create a translation memory (TM) – that works as a database – to ensure future work uses the same terminology and saves time with repetitive text. The translation memory can be exported into a file that can be shared with your company.

There are many CAT tools on the market but the most commonly used are SDL Trados, MemoQ, Across and Wordfast. Your provider may use the brand name instead of saying CAT tool or TM. Though you do not have the software, it is important to retain a copy of the memory for your safe keeping and to provide to other providers if the need arises.

A translator will most likely not provide a translation memory copy unless a client asks. Some translators will not release the files even if asked, which is not right. Therefore a very important question when selecting a translation provider is if a translation memory will be provided upon request.

If a translator does not provide a copy, know that your company is being held hostage in essence to this provider especially if a large amount of work has been completed. This translator will always have an unfair advantage when quoting as turnaround and repetitive matches may give them an edge that the others will not have. Without this edge, they may not be the best price or choice. If you can provide the same translation memory to all providers, then you know you are comparing apples to apples.

What makes a translation memory such a vital tool?

Speed

Translation software helps to speed up productivity. In simple terms, this means that it stores words and phrases from previous translation projects and uses them with new topics. A translator using a memory tool avoids the need for repetitive tasks, can easily reference similar past work and therefore returns a final file faster.

Consistency

Translation tools also help with consistency. Previously translated text can be retrieved with a few clicks. Product content and past terminology can be re-used so that they are consistent with existing translated documents.

Quality

Another benefit is that all available programs have error checking built in to add an extra level of quality assurance.

Reduced Costs

Repetitive text matches found with CAT tools can be offered at a reduced rate. Instead of paying the regular price per word, lower rates are available for text found in a translation memory. For example, your company creates an instruction manual for distribution in several different countries and invests to provide translated versions. Later you add a similar product which will have an instruction manual with much of the same content. The translation memory can find the matched text and your company will see significant savings on the second manual.

As you can see, a CAT tool and the translation memory it provides are important not only to your provider but to your company as well. The memory has an aligned record of all the source and target words your company has invested in. Even if you cannot open the file, it is a treasure chest with many precious assets inside.

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Terralingua is a professional ISO certified translation company specializing in localization and desktop publishing. We have worked with many of the world’s leading industries and we would be happy in help you out with your translation needs. Please visit our website for further information and to request translation pricing.

How a Localized and Translated App Can Benefit your Business

How a Localized and Translated App Can Benefit your Business

How a Localized and Translated App Can Benefit your BusinessHow a Localized and Translated App Can Benefit your Business[/caption]Think back to your smartphone’s use this past month. How many times have you made a purchase, conducted research or requested a service using it? More than likely you cannot recall an exact number because it is a part of daily life.

Smartphones are essential to personal and business transactions nowadays, and statistics show that by 2017 more than a third of the worldwide population will own one. Users rely on smartphone apps to interact efficiently with businesses and receive relationship perks. The role apps play in this scenario is to attract new customers, engage current consumers and ensure that your product or service is noticed.

Mobile apps have already been embraced by large companies that range from BBC America to Beats by DRE, but apps are an affordable option for medium sized and small businesses too. Has your company considered developing one?

Get Noticed

Smartphone users are said to spend at least two hours a day looking at their mobile devices. If your company has an app with a memorable image or engaging content, then your product or service is getting noticed.

The Perfect Marketing Tool

Customers who take advantage of the app can enjoy special offers, promotions or sales. Not only will your customers expand their relationship but will also spread the word to others, so they too can benefit from connecting with your company.

Reward Loyalty

Apps are synonymous with loyalty programs. Clients can track points or directly receive rewards from their smartphone.

Convenience

Using an app is more personal than a website and is optimized for mobile interaction. It is easier to quickly obtain information and more convenient to interact with a direct access point.

Hitting the Right Targets

If your company does business in other countries, you mostly likely have your website content available in other languages. An app is no exception— it should be localized for your target audience. If you want your customers abroad to download your app, then it should be relevant to their culture.

A Successful Case

A prime example of a successful app was Coca-Cola’s Hong Kong Chok! Campaign.

To summarize it, Coca-Cola created a mobile app called Chok! for their customers in Honk Kong that turns mobile devices in a remote control. Then whenever a commercial from the company comes on the screen and Coca-Cola song starts, the app takes the audio signal from the commercial and synch it with the phone. After the app has recognized that the commercial is airing, the user must shake the smartphone to enter a sweepstakes collecting digital bottle caps and win prizes.

This is a great example that a mobile app is the perfect way to keep established and new customers interested and loyal. So why not start 2017 with a new way to connect your clients and brand?

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Terralingua is a translation and localization provider that assists businesses with global communication. We provide services to some of the world’s top brands, including websites and apps localization. Visit our website to request a quote or call the local office for more information.

Why Should My Company Care About Translation Memory?

Why Should My Company Care About Translation Memory?

Why Should My Company Care About Translation Memory?Though you may not even be aware, if your company’s material is translated, odds are a translation memory has been used to create the localized material. An essential question you should ask anyone or any agency who is working on your translation is if a translation memory tool is being used. If a translation memory is being used, it is important to ensure an updated copy is kept for your company’s records, even if you do not own the software. Having ownership of a quality translation memory ensures term consistency and time savings even if you have to change providers.

This article will provide more insight as what translation memory is and how it will benefit your company.

What Exactly Is Translation Memory?

Translation memory is an essential tool used by professional translators. Many confuse machine translation or MT with translation memory or TM. Translation memory is not machine translation but a time saving utility through which the translator accepts or rejects database suggestions much like spell check or grammar checks are used in Word.

Translation memory tools create a database to store aligned source and translated text in segments. These segments contain sentences, lists and titles that have been used in your previous translation work. For example if you translate instruction manuals, you probably use some of the same words and phrases every time you write a new manual. Each language will have its own database aligning the source and target language.

When a translator uses a memory tool it matches any new text to existing translations in the database. Suggestions are then provided as to how these segments were translated in past material. The translator can then choose to accept and insert the matching segment in the current work or modify the segment to create a new entry.

How Do We Know If We Have a Quality Existing Translation Memory?
The translation memory is a reflection of the finished translation. Even if you do not speak the language, a trusted reviewer can provide insight as to the quality and acceptability of the localized version.

If the completed translated material contains the proper terminology and reflects approved content, it is essential to ensure that TM database is maintained and used for future translations. This ensures term consistency and captures repetitive text for discounted per word pricing.

However, if the translated material contains incorrect terminology and is overall of poor quality, you will want to ensure either that database is corrected or destroyed to ensure future translations will not contain the same issues.

Using a translation tool means that words and phrases you have used in the past will be recorded in the database as segments. Every time a new translation is started, the software will search its memory for an exact or similar translation which is called a match.

There are four matching types:

  1. • New words – As the title suggests, these are segments that are not currently in the database. It is recorded as the first occurrence of this segment.
  2. • Exact or Perfect Matches – These matches are 100% identical segments that have been previously used.
  3. • Repetitions – When a document contains several words or phrases that are identical, but not already in the Translation Memory.
  4. • Fuzzy Matches – These are segments that contain similar words and phrases, but are not exact matches. These matches are measured in percentages.

During the quoting process the document will be evaluated for any matching segments within the file or stored in the given translation memory and the discounted pricing per word should be provided accordingly. Most translators and agencies provide pricing with new, perfect and fuzzy match rates.

The technical, business, legal and medical fields substantially benefit from a translation memory tool because a majority of their documentation contains very similar wording. Not having to translate documents from scratch increases speed, consistency and quality.

Does It Matter What Version of Translation Memory Software Is Used?

There are various translation memory tools available. The best known and most widely used product on the market is Trados. Companies usually do not purchase translation memory software unless they have in-house translators who will use the tool.

An agency or professional translator will also not require your company to purchase translation memory software for their use and should provide a copy of the translation memory database upon request. Your company does not need to own translation memory software to benefit from translation memory or to store databases. Companies often archive a copy of the most recent database(s) to pass along should they use different providers or translators. This ensures consistency and repetitive discounts as other providers will use the database if it is vetted.

Request a .tmx file from your provider, which is usually universally compatible regardless of the software. Usually your agency or translator will update and maintain this memory at no cost as well so it is essential to pass along any preferential changes that are made after delivery so the memory may be updated as well.

The top three translation memory brands are Trados, Déjà vu, and Wordfast. The important differences are the ease of use, the file formats that can be processed and of course the cost. All tools usually come with a free 30 day trial. No matter what brand of translation memory is used; it is an essential tool that should not be overlooked. Using TM will ensure consistency, as well as provide time and cost savings which are vital to any organization’s international communication.

Terralingua is an ISO certified translation company that partners with global businesses to provide translation and localization services. We work with many of the world’s top brands to provide documentation, software and websites in all major languages. Visit our website for more information and to submit pricing requests.

DITA Exchange with Microsoft Word

DITA Exchange with Microsoft Word

DITA Exchange with Microsoft WordA Content Management System will help your business get the job done in an efficient, cost effective and timely manner, but in order to achieve this goal your staff will have to know how to use it.

You may have been pondering a content management system, but your staff already has enough to do. If your team does not have time to learn about a new system, understand XML and get to grips with new software tools, then look no further than to DITA Exchange.

DITA Exchange uses Microsoft Word to enable your content Management team to create DITA Topics in Microsoft Word.

About DITA

If you have read our previous blog on DITA you will know that it is a structured authoring system that uses XML with the ability to adapt to other formats. It uses a building block format whereby writers can keep their content divided into topics, eventually building a complete piece of copy. When the time comes to update a piece of information, DITA enables the content writer to only re-use the chunks of information that need to be changed, rather than the whole document – saving time and money. If you want to read a blog written by someone who truly appreciates its benefits, have a look at Karen Lowe’s blog about DITA on her DITA Chicks Blog.

DITA Exchange

The DITA Exchange software tools can be used by your content creators, without them having to learn about DITA or XML. They can carry on using Microsoft Word, but the content is converted to DITA topics thanks to the installed software. So, whilst your team appears to be creating content in Word, they are in fact using DITA and creating topics in XML, which can be accessed by experienced XML users if necessary. Completed content is saved into Microsoft SharePoint, which creates a topic library for the content team.

Staff Training

Like any new system, employees will need a certain amount of training. They will need to learn how to use the topics and adapt to the DITA software, but these are skills that can be easily acquired, unlike training to use XML.

This means that staff training costs are lower and less work time is lost, whilst employees take part in training schemes. It is less disruption and faster to implement.

The Benefits

Obviously any company large or small that produces and re-produces content will benefit from DITA Exchange. It means that your content is managed, maintained and re-used efficiently, without having to spend a great amount of cash on staff training. Its use of topics and the building block formula makes re-using content for translation or updating documents easier to achieve and cost effective.

DITA is used by a wide range of brands throughout the world, including USA, Canada, France and Japan. If you are curious to see who some of these companies are, then have a look at the list of DITA users compiled by Keith Schengilli-Roberts at DITA Writer.

Terralingua is a professional ISO certified translation company specializing in localization and desktop publishing who implements DITA. We have worked with many of the world’s industry leaders and if you would like to talk to us about your company’s global communications, please visit our website for further information.

Do You Know DITA?

Do You Know DITA?

Do You Know DITA?Do you know nothing about DITA? There are many technology acronyms out there, but is DITA one worth knowing about? It is if you are interested in content management.

What Is It?

DITA — or Darwin Information Typing Architecture — is a cost-effective and efficient way of managing business content.

It was originally developed by IBM, who then passed it on to OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). OASIS developed the system further and released it in 2005 to the general public.

Who Uses It and Why?

DITA has been heartily embraced by software companies like Adobe, Quark and Codex, who produce technical writers’ content editing tools. However it has also been adopted by many companies who produce instructional content and training material, as well as by translation companies who have been using DITA to reduce costs, increase productivity and make localization more efficient.

There are of course other systems in the marketplace that manage business content, but DITA provides something the others do not — the use of XML and its ability to adapt to other formats.

XML is the primary language used to create what we see on the web. Using DITA means that content can be created and then converted to other platforms if necessary, including Open Office, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF, which saves time and money.

DITA uses topics to manage your content. These topics are like individual content building blocks, so when you put the blocks together you have a whole piece with sections that can be easily manipulated. The blocks can then be separated, the individual pieces of content can be adapted and new blocks can be added in order to make another topic.

Content can be efficiently reused by selecting previously written sections in order to create brand new content, without having to copy and paste or rewrite.

DITA and Localization

Content is not the only thing that these building blocks keep. All the information including colors, font sizes, graphs and charts are all stored separately from the content. Using DITA as part of the translation process ensures that all of the localization considerations for your documentation are already in place.

Once the translator has completed his or her work, the content can be localized by DITA. Color, format and style are all very important cultural considerations. Different countries use different styles, and colors may have negative or positive connotations depending on the target region. Ensuring your content is tailored to appeal to local audiences is vital. Once the format has been set for each intended audience, it can be reused in future campaigns to save time and ensure consistency.

When the time comes to update your content for a new campaign or product, you will only need to translate the new content blocks, which can provide significant savings in both time and money. Translation providers can repurpose the translated content in the translation memory.

Getting to Grips with DITA in the Workplace

Interested in learning more about DITA? Many training courses are available on how to use DITA and they can provide a roadmap from the content writing stage to publishing. It is essential that your entire team knows how DITA maps, topics and formats are used and stored before implementing the system.

Topics are the instructions, the steps needed to carry out the instructions and the conclusion. They are the building blocks that make up the body of the document.

Formats are the layout colors, fonts, and styles according to the platform used to publish the content. DITA adapts the format to suit web content, mobile devices or print copy.

Maps are used to develop content and contain various topics which may or may not be used in the same document. Maps cross reference and play an important part in the reuse of content.

Along with these essentials, an understanding of the translation tools used in the process and in the content reuse is also helpful. Know how and where DITA will be stored and accessed when making your translation and publishing choices.

Ease of use comes once the principles of DITA have been mastered. The investment in training is offset by the long term time and cost savings that will result by implementing DITA for your content management.

We hope this article has provided helpful information regarding DITA and how it may assist in advancing your company’s content management standards.

Terralíngua is a professional localization agency who implements DITA and can assist in your company’s global communication. We have worked with many of the world’s industry leaders. Please visit our website for further information.

How Software localization Helps You To Maximize The Reach of Your Business

How Software Localization Helps You to Maximize the Reach of Your Business

How Software localization Helps You To Maximize The Reach of Your BusinessWith your business booming and the numbers being better than previous financial quarters, you might decide to expand the operations of your business. The problem you are facing might be that you already have expanded all over the country and are wondering where to go next. It is time for you to take the plunge and expand globally, taking your business to new and unfamiliar places. Quite obviously, there will be a lot of planning and preparation required in order to carry out an endeavor such as expanding a business overseas.

However, the most important part is the process is the actual translation, which you can manage by contracting a translation company. You will need to transfer every bit of your content into the target languages and try to bridge the gap, which separates your business from the potential customers globally. Even though you may have a lot of questions regarding the process of translation, the only one that really matters is how long the process might take.

Where to start?

Before the translation process begins, it is essential for you to analyze as to how the materials will be translated. You can hire a language service provider, who will usually help with professional translations. The translator’s job will be to completely understand what exactly the material communicates and then reproduce it accurately in a particular language.

It is essential to remember that a good translator from a reputed translation company must know the refinements of the source language. He must be fluent in the target language as well as the source language. Familiarizing themselves to the content in the materials that need translation will help as well. The translator must communicate ideas, which isn’t usually possibly when translation is completed in a literal word for word process. If the translator is a linguist it would be even more helpful as linguists tend to undergo extensive language training and translation.

How exactly does it work?

Usually, translators tend to utilize a combination of translation tools, computer and technology in order to achieve maximum efficiency during the process. The process begins with the conversion of the source piece into a certain file format, which is quite simple to work with such as rich text format. Once this is done, a translation memory is applied to the source text, which will help with accessing the previous translations made for the current material. If there is any previous translation found, the text is instantly plugged in.

The next step is for the translation company to review the plugged in translations for efficiency and accuracy, after which the remaining content will be translated from scratch. Every segment of the source text is read and translated with constant reference to a style guide and glossary. Eventually, the content is translated into the target language. Once it is complete, the text must be thoroughly proofread and edited as well. Another translator usually performs this task or even a linguist can do this in order to ensure that the translation is of high quality. The translated content is then put into its original format, finalizing the translation process.

What is the duration?

Translation is a slow but steady process, and cannot be expected to be done overnight. An experienced translator usually takes a day to translate about two thousand words, which is close to about eight pages of material. It is essential to understand that the time taken for the process will entirely depend on the amount of content to be translated and the difficulty level of the source content.

English happenes to be one of the most critical languages in translation since it contains various subtleties and nuances such as rigid syntax, phrasal verbs and vocabulary peculiarities. Basically, translation is a process that doesn’t exactly work on deadlines and requires a bit of patience.

Expand Your Reach with Software Localization

Expand Your Reach with Software LocalizationGlobalization has made the world a smaller place. Now, it is possible to manufacture a product in the eastern nations of Asia, and sell them on the western coast of Europe, all in a matter of days. As such, the need for having a global presence of your business has increased and is a must if you want your product or service to be successful on a global scale. Software localization becomes an essential component in this regard.

What is software localization?

Software localization involves the process of localizing or adapting any software to the technical, cultural, and linguistic requirements of various target markets. This is a labor intensive process and usually needs substantial time and effort from the developers.

Software localization is quite different from translation. It involves the process of translating and adapting a web product or software, and every other documentation related to the product. Translation barely translates the document without any reference to the local cultural and linguistic traditions. Software localization often runs parallel to the source product development and enables the manufacturer to simultaneously ship the product in different language versions. For instance, software strings translation may generally begin even when the product is going through the beta phase. Translation is simply one of the steps in the software localization process; completing this step doesn’t mean the product is ready for the market yet.

Tips for localizing your software

Many organizations are now actively seeking localization of their software offerings for different markets throughout the world. In this endeavor, many attempts on software localization are met with frustration after the software has been developed. The fonts may not be exact, the text may be garbled, and the encoding might be off, sentences may not come in an aesthetic format, or the overall design may not look as expected. The tips given below will guide you to successfully localize your software for specific markets.

Plan in advance: Proper scheduling must be done for localizing your software for different markets. Most companies tend to rush localization just before the actual software release, which compromises on the quality of the localization.

Test the software: Localized software should go through the same rigorous testing as the original product. The awareness resulting from looking at a different language “in context” inside your product is irreplaceable.

Leave sufficient space for expansion of text in foreign language: There are many languages which, on average, take up 30% more space than English. In case you have designed a software where English text just about fits in the space, it is likely you will face problems later on. As such, leave sufficient space when designing your product for compensations later on.

Localization-friendly string encoding: Wherever possible, you should source software resources or string tables in Unicode/UTF-8 format. This avoids garbled text, debugging, and unnecessary conversion steps.

Remove hard-coded strings through “pseudo localization”: In temporary branches, you can use general expression to take the place of all letters inside the text, with one repeated text like “XXXX”. Create the product, and all hard-coded text will throw up on the screen, showing IDs which aren’t given in string tables.

Avoid overusing single strings and concatenation: The structure of a sentence in English may not be followed in some other language. Strings used in different contexts, and concatenated strings will have gender and grammar agreement issues. Be generous with memory while localizing your software.

Overall, software localization has become an important step in the process of adapting your product for specific markets, and can potentially decide the success of your product in those markets. As such, you should make sure to perform localization in the best possible manner.

Best Practices for Software Localization

Best Practices for Software LocalizationSoftware localization – where your software is customized to suit a specific language or region – is a great way of expanding your business. But if you are not prepared, it may cause many hassles such as garbled text, wrong encoding, and crashes. All these frustrations may be avoided if you prepare well for the localization.

Plan In Advance

More often than not, the reason software applications fall apart at attempts on localization is because the application was not conceptualized with localization in mind. As a result, there were no provisions created for language change or other modifications required for localization. Planning in advance can prevent this.

Design your software with provisions for localization like character support for different languages, so that the grammar of these languages can also be incorporated. Along with content localization, you should also focus on testing localization so that your software localization is more effective. Build a detailed testing plan in English and use the same plan in the localized tests also.

Remember that the feel of your software should be like the locally built software for native users. They should be able to use it without feeling like it was built by someone unfamiliar with their culture. Planning ahead will ensure that your software has this local feel.

Leave Provision for Text Expansion

Languages other than English have a more extended character set, so just using English standards will not be enough if you want to make truly localized software. Using UTF-8 standards always is the best practice for software localization. This prevents extra conversion and garbling of text. Keeping provision for dynamic expansion of UI is also a good practice.

Never use hard coded strings, especially for date and time formats. This is because different countries use different date and time formats. Same goes with currency. Naming conventions may also be different for different countries. Some write the given name before the family name, and some the opposite. Some cultures even have just one name for a person.

Grammar varies from language to language. “Red pencil” in English translates to “crayon rouge” in French. So if you are thinking of concatenating strings, it will not work out for software localization. Keep in mind, no string should ever be overused.

Other Considerations

The GUI and other aspects of the software will be translated by professional translators, and not by your engineers. So if you make the context and the meanings of the translatable parts clear to them through comments, they will be able to do it more easily. Furthermore, they will be consistent with the context right from the beginning to the end of the translation.

Make sure that the translation company you choose is an experienced and expert one, so that they can help with the translation of your software as well as help in documentation and at the same time maintain consistency between the two.

Always remember changing the language does not fully localize the software unless you use the full locale for that region. For example, if the software is supposed to be in English, it can be used in the America or in Britain, but then the spelling and naming conventions would change for software localization, even though the language remains the same (color vs. colour, or elevator vs. lift). Internalization support is also important in your software. It will allow the native formats for currency, date, and time for individual regions to be shown in a way familiar to the region-specific users.

As is evident from this article, software localization is never complete unless it is aligned to the local customs, conventions, and culture of the region it is being localized for. While planning and designing your software, keep provisions for not only language support, but also for other region-specific local conventions to avoid last minute worries.

Translation of Technical Data and Source Texts

Translation of Technical Data and Source TextsMany companies hire professional services for translation and/or localization of their websites, technical documents, and marketing materials without previously checking the competency of these services. This can lead to unintelligible or unprofessional translations, which can in turn affect the brand image of your company. When it comes to technical documents, errors can lead to potential liability issues for a company. Therefore, it becomes important to get the translation right the first time.

Companies are often not aware of the low-quality of translations until a native speaker points it out to them. In such cases, companies are left with just one option: scrap the document and redo the translation, which turns out to be an additional cost, as leaving it in its current state is just not an option.

Any type of technical translation, such as certificates, industry papers, websites, and so on has to be accurately done by professionals. The key here is to have professionals working on the translation who preferably have advanced degree in the source language or in translation itself. Also, they should have substantial experience in industry-specific translation, as putting the translation of licenses and patent documents in inexperienced hands can be harmful.

Another important consideration is to look for professionals who are experts in their field. For instance, professional medical translators should typically have advanced degree in the source language and also a medical degree or comprehensive knowledge about the subject from years of working in the medical field. Technical field expertise involves understanding and knowledge of the specific terminology of a particular industry and ensuring that the translation conveys the meaning intended by the author.

Creating Finer Source Documents

There are a number of technical documentation departments that try to cut the costs of source documents to reduce overall costs. This should not be done by compromising the quality of the translation. Thus, you should handle source documents with greater consideration.

A lot of cost optimization has taken place in the translation industry during the last decade. This has included trained translators, sophisticated software, quick communication routes, and better planned process management, which reduce costs. What we are missing here is the potential for further optimizing the costs by giving more consideration to the preparation of the source text. The reason for this is that source texts are key documents that help to optimize the costs and quality of translations.

Source documents that are well designed for proper translation generate added value and provide cost reduction. When you optimize source documents, the target document translation costs are optimized as a consequence. Also, this reduces processing time, as well as a lot of preliminary and post-processing work for the technical translators and writers.

Consistent source documents, whether it is technical documentation, or marketing and press texts, can also help consolidate the brand image of any organization, as they give a comprehensive impression which makes the company’s public image a memorable one. That is true in every case, and it is the reason why, in an ideal scenario, a standard language should be used in every type of text.

The key benefit of neat source texts, though, is this: better and more intelligible content leads to fewer misunderstandings. This provides, therefore, a clear benefit in the present times when products have a larger spectrum with most of the similar product features. These aspects argue in favor of more intelligible and, consequently, consumer-friendly products. To get finer source documents, you can follow the tips below:

– identify error sources
– introduce and implement review process
– document processes and rules
– provide tool support

Technical content can be very tricky to translate into foreign languages, as translators need to be well versed in the various nuances in both source and target languages, and also in the technical field of the document.

Six Important Software Localization Guidelines

Six Important Software Localization GuidelinesImagine a scenario where you have translated your software into a number of different languages. You have announced the release date also. And then, you may suddenly realize that you have made the software available in most languages, but have not really tested them in all. The fact that you do not know if the software actually runs in a particular language can lead to panic. To avoid stressful situations like this, here are some rules that you can follow.

Convert User Strings into Resource Files

When you have a string that is visible to the user, make sure that you convert it into resource files. Examples of user visible strings are error messages, product names, titles, image strings, etc. When you add these strings in resource files, you can easily translate them. Most translators specify values to different translated strings. When a user selects a particular language, the software matches it with the translator value you have assigned and text in the corresponding language is displayed.

Avoid String Concatenation

Concatenation bug is one of the most common bugs that localization experts have to deal with on a regular basis. Take the example of a shopping site that allows you to buy t-shirts. The shirts available on the site could be of different colors. When you write the translator code for, let’s say French, you would use the commonly used French term for shirt and just append the translated version of the color that the user picks. But for French, this kind of translation does not work. French uses modifiers before some words and don’t use it for others and ignoring this aspect will result in wrong translation. So, the best way to avoid this bug is by completely avoiding string concatenation.

Include Punctuation Marks in Resource Strings Only

Punctuation marks also work like concatenations, except that punctuation rules differ from language to language. So, you cannot let punctuation marks be as they are and just translate the words. The best way to deal with this is to put all the punctuation marks into the resource strings. This way, you can add the relevant punctuation marks wherever necessary according to the translated text, without any grammatical errors.

Be Careful With First Names

In North America, people tend to use the last name more regularly. In some eastern countries, predominantly Asian, some people will have only one name. You cannot figure out if it’s the first or last. Obviously, the direct translation algorithm will mess this up and the blunders can be frankly embarrassing. The errors will be in the prefix to the name. To avoid this, make sure to add a gender tag to the name so that you have a comparative parameter while translating the string and add the right prefix.

Make Provision for Extension and Compression of Strings

When the user interface is designed, sentences will have a specific number of characters. But the problem in translation is that some words that are short in one language are long in another. The best way to deal with this issue is not to have any limitation in characters in the layout. You can just allow the text to orient itself in the space available. Just ensure that there is enough space for the strings to grow or shrink.

Stick to UTF-8 Character Encoding

Another issue that you are going to face with translated text is character encoding. There is the UTF-16 standard that you will be tempted to use. But keep in mind that UTF-8 is ideal for all your needs. Make sure you invoke the encoding at the top of your page to avoid any confusion and ensure that the standard is maintained throughout. Make sure you maintain this uniformity across all UI pages’ code.