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Software Localization

Best Practices

Many companies will say they are committed to providing quality localization but at, it's not just something we say, it's what we do.

1. Establish a solid framework.

Proceeding to localization with insufficient internationalization is risky. Building a proven foundation based on repeatable patterns is the first step to successful localization.

2. Perform internationalization testing.

Finding issues early in the life cycle is critical to any successful development project. Our internationalization testing methodology allows you to find defects, and prevent late, risky and costly changes.

3. Plan for updates.

Our framework and technology enables translations to start early in your life cycle and all parties to collaborate on a real-time basis. The result is a simultaneous shipment at a lower cost.

4. Only work with expert translators we trust.

Being in business for over 9 years means we have strong, on-going relationships with a dedicated pool of professional translators.

5. Use only translators who are native speakers of the target language.

Using translators who live in the target market means they have easy access to your local industry publications and organizations.

6. Train the translators on your product.

By taking the time to educate our translators about your product, they are given the knowledge they need to excel.

7. Never skip the testing phase.

The core product would never be released without any testing. The same goes for international releases. The testing is often the only opportunity to see the translations in context.

8. Provide dedicated, proactive project managers.

By staying focused on your release schedule and your budget, our project managers facilitate the localization process to meet your business goals.

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Questions to Ask to Improve your ROI

After you have developed an English version of your software, it's common to extend your product's life cycle by localizing it. This involves adapting the software to the linguistic, cultural, legal, and technical requirements of specific locales. While it's often easy to understand why you need to localize your software, deciding who should handle the task is not so easy.

What do you need to look for to prevent costs from spiraling out of control? How can you decide if the translation provider will be able to meet your deadlines?

By taking the time to analyze the situation upfront, you can prevent the costly problems associated with missing your scheduled release date.

Compare your options - including freelancers, in-house resources and localization firms - against this checklist:

1. Methodology - Do they have procedures in place to identify and address risks and defects early in the process?

Asking about the actual process they use can help you understand how much attention will be given to your project. Will the time be invested in searching for subject matter experts and then training these individuals? By making this a part of the process, you're assured that the translators will have a complete understanding of your product line. Find out if they hold reviews at regular intervals. If the answer is yes, your project has a better chance at being completed on time and on budget.

2. Framework - Will the translation provider be proactive, identify risks and issues, and suggest solutions?

A solid partner will be able to assist your developers with the most technical details of internationalization and localization, and save you costly mistakes. In addition, a solid partner will be able to identify new solutions, which may reduce errors and cost. If you do not establish upfront if the software will be able to accommodate all languages and discover what modifications will be necessary to handle unique characters it will be more costly to change later. It's essential that you first identify what the common resources are before the localization engineers can make the software independent from any language/character set encoding.

3. Relevant Experience - Do they have hands-on knowledge of your industry, language and technical needs?

When you're looking for a translator, it's beneficial to work with someone who lives in the target market. That way the person has access to your local industry publications and organizations and may even be able to provide valuable feedback on the competitive landscape in your target market. In addition, a successful localization project also involves asking about their experience testing third-party applications. Try to select a partner with first hand experience with a broad set of system requirements, such as:

  • Windows Platforms (MSDN Subscriber)
  • AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux
  • Apache, IIS, WebLogic, WebSphere, Tomcat
  • Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL

4. Quality Control - How do they assure they deliver a high quality project?

Anyone can say that they'll do a good job, but unless they give more details it's hard to know if they really will deliver on that promise. Find out if they will dedicate one project manager to your job from start to finish. Then, ask for the specific ways that they monitor the quality. If you receive periodic status reports with QA metrics throughout the process, you'll have the confidence of knowing flaws and errors will be caught and fixed before your release date.

Methodology provides a unique combination of services enabling our customers to accelerate their global releases, while achieving superior quality and reducing cost and risk.

Our methodology follows five main principles:

  • A holistic and comprehensive approach designed to meet our customers' business goals. It spans from a product's inception, through global planning and internationalization down to the localization and testing effort. It encompasses people, processes and technology. aims to contribute to the success of your business as a whole.
  • Adaptable and flexible - a methodology that is the accumulation of's experience and best practices. We start with a framework which can be easily adapted and customized to your business. It is technology-agnostic and applies to documents, software, web sites, content management systems and other containers alike.
  • Emphasizes quality, prevention, and risk control. We identify defects early in the product's life cycle. We build a sound product foundation and address issues at the root. Plus, our dedicated project management provides real-time visibility into risks. Combine all of this with our regular reviews and the result is a pro-active approach to controlling costs.
  • Accelerate your global releases. Our methodology is inherently incremental and iterative - allowing us to start on the localization and translation effort while core development is under way. This key feature eventually enables simultaneous shipments.
  • Leads to lower cost in the long term. The clear definition of business and technical requirements, of roles and processes, allows the team at large to work seamlessly towards a shared business goal. Corrective and preventive actions reduce error patterns and rework. Our high level of automation enables better re-use and leverage.