Software is a great invention of modern technology. They are living entities that evolve by technological advancements. Many companies sometimes develop or buy software to increase the efficiency of their business.
If you come across software that is not in your language, then you will become frustrated. Even if you translate it, still you will find it difficult to operate. Then what to do? Software localization is a solution to it. It is a parameter of software that resonates with the target market.
This process is full of challenges that require a solution. Some people make it a mistake by considering it an afterthought. It is significant for companies that want to tap into new markets.
For instance, as a Chinese entrepreneur, if you want to open a subsidiary in the USA then, you must be looking for HR software that connects you to the head office, and you can keep the entire organization on one platform. It is an internal process.
On the external side, customers must be looking for products and services that are in their native language. Moreover, software must be localized by keeping the external and regional intricacies in view.
You must be imagining that software localization is about changing the language of the few sections that you want to click. Localizing software is more than that, it involves the transition of things like the size and placement of buttons and other design elements.
Moreover, it also involves altering the codes at the back end so that employees in different regions can manage and update the software.
If you want to localize software from Chinese to English, a simple translation will let you understand the text only, and probably you will face usability issues.
It may be possible that font size is not supporting Chinese characters and sometimes the length of the text decreases to the point that affects the graphic of the software.
This is before taking into consideration English users. When thinking about all these things, you must be feeling that software localization is a more complicated process than it looks on the surface.
Why Software Localization is Important
With the help of digitalization, you can communicate across borders well. This is equally important for developers and users. As a software developer, globalization is about a limitless market for applications and new programs.
One of the advantages of building software for a local market is that it can become more specialized in its niche. The resolution that you build in your software seems native to current customers.
It may not be successful in other markets where the preferences of people are different. If you are a foreign consumer, then software from another region will show you the resolution with cultural impact.
The different user interfaces of the product can’t stop you from using the product. You must be aware of the fact that the manufacturer of the software didn’t develop software with you, so linguistic and cultural nuances are not kept in view.
In this way, people don’t like your software. Moreover, they don’t recommend it to others.
If you don’t go for software localization, then your software might not impact the global users in the same manner as it used to do in your native country.
A badly localized software will damage your brand loyalty and international sales. In short, software localization helps you to avoid some of these disadvantages and ensure that you always provide the best services to global consumers.
It is not a damage limitation. On the other side, localized software gives you a competitive edge as you enter global markets. If people find your software easy to use, then your company can become a success story.
Whether You Should Localize Your Software or Not
Software localization can do wonders for your business. It is important to start the localization of the software simultaneously with the development. Let’s have a look at which leverages can you take from software localization.
Software are Region Specific
If you have developed an app for a specific region, then you don’t need to localize the software for different target markets. However, if you have a community with minorities, then they can take leverage from software localization and translation.
Development for Initial Software Offering
In the software development process, you must focus on your native land. Moreover, you must think of localizing the software at later stages. Therefore, you should develop your content in such a way that it becomes easy to localize the software at later stages.
For this, you must add several file formats and international characters so that you don’t need to rework later. When writing for software, try to keep your sentences brief and avoid using difficult phrases and idioms.
It Increases Your User Base
When software increases the efficiency of work, then the customer base increases exponentially. This is due to the power of the network, which is an additional user that is added to the existing platform.
If you want to increase your user base, then simply go for software localization. It will increase your access to new markets, so you should start the localization process immediately.
Add software localization best practices into the software development process so that you can cater to more and more markets.
Globalization and Localization
Localization is adapting your products and services according to the global market while keeping cultural and linguistic nuances in view. In the software industry, another word commonly used is internationalized content.
It is a work that can be adjusted into any language and locale. Therefore, software and website navigation and interfaces use it. The relationship between localization and globalization is well-defined by the saying
“The Most Personal is the Most Universal”
For conducting business across borders, many companies go for internationalized content. It means communicating with the people across the borders in the language that they understand.
Moreover, speaking with them according to their culture is localizing. Globalization is the amalgamation of two levels, like internationalization and localization.
The first phase is the development of internationalized content of the software and disseminating it across borders. The second part is the localization of the content for multiple markets.
There are multiple cultures and markets in the world. Each of them speaks a different language and has different consumer behavior. Do you know that there are 7000 languages spoken around the world?
According to marketing research, people respond to the software that is in their native language. Interestingly, the content around the globe is translated and localized into 80 languages so that they can reach 80% of the population.
Evolution of Localization
With the advancement of new technology, people are getting great leverage from localization and translation. Over time, these both tasks adapt their self-according to person-to-person activity and business-to-business.
Additionally, country to country basis. The translation is started to communicate with the customers in their region. Technology innovation helps enterprises to automate translation and provide the company with localization so that they can communicate with the potential consumers in their language and according to their needs. Over the years, the development of localization is phenomenal.
- Translators used computer-aided transcription systems, CAT. The CAT is integrated with artificial intelligence AI and machine learning ML technology. With the integration of these technologies, the efficiency of the CAT tool has increased, and it has also improved translation quality.
- With the evolving nature of the localization industry, linguists, translators, and reviewers should be qualified and trained. Understanding that candidates should study software’s web design, AI, and ML along with other technical skills for job advancement and movement.
- Search engines reach is helping the companies to access comprehensive information about their customers. Moreover, social media has also helped global companies to understand consumer behavior. Besides, it assists in understanding cultural values, geographic location, and many more.
- Online assistance of dictionaries, is helping the translators to understand the terminologies related to software and the words and slang with obscure meanings. The localization industry is making progress in its way with the technology
The Future of Software Localization
In this era of digitalization, businesses are not restricted to geographic boundaries. You can now release software in any region, making software companies globally.
The growth and success of your company lie in state-of-the-art translation and localization services. In the future, due to the advancements in technology, localization will be much more economical, more global, and faster.
Every software developer and company must use technology for translation and localization services to strive in a competitive world. Besides technology, the developers also need to consider the cost.
Although the translation and localization industry is making progress, they have to provide competitive prices to stay.
In the unprecedented time of the pandemic, there is great demand for translation and localization of software. So that companies can integrate the systems for global use to enhance efficiency.
Software localization will continue to grow as more and more entrepreneurs are tapping into global markets and want to sell software to international audiences.
Software Localization helps to release the software in multiple languages. Therefore, it is a necessity, not an option.
According to the business world, the best is yet to come in software localization. The assistance of translation and localization services with a combination of state-of-the-art technology will help in the global expansion of software companies.