Companies compete in a far larger market nowadays than only a few decades ago. In most sectors it is not enough for them to be the best in a regional or national market, because their competitors are spread all over the world. Given this background, it is important to be present in all target markets. The most important aspect of presenting yourself well is adapting products, such as a computer programme, to local factors.
Software localisation is therefore much more than ‘just’ translating a few documents into a different language. It is not only the user interface that must be translated into different language. The whole programme – from documentation and instructions to help texts, error messages and possibly also online user forums – must be adapted to both the language and the culture in question.
The language experts from finetext GmbH work closely with your programmers during this process and provide highly-skilled specialist support for the localisation of your software. As part of our localisation service we:
|-||highlight the elements of the software to be translated and draw up a localisation strategy|
|-||create a schedule based on the difficulty and scale of your project|
|-||allocate the different parts of the localisation project to appropriate linguistic experts, who have relevant knowledge of both programming and the cultural background of the target market|
|-||co-ordinate the co-operation between the translators and your programmers to achieve the highest levels of accuracy and uniformity possible|
|-||recommend steps to simplify the internationalisation process (i.e. localisation in more than one language/culture)|
|-||test the programme when it has been localised and provide our well-known proof-reading service|
Why bother with localisation, let alone internationalisation?
The common assumption that “the whole world speaks English anyway” is incorrect. It is just as wrong to assume that only locals will use a particular programme. Of course, it is impossible to take every dialect into account. It is still nevertheless recommended to be prepared for the possibility of developing in markets with different languages.
Many users nowadays expect a programme to “speak” their language. Even if it means extra costs for the developer, it is worth providing localised versions for the regions using the most important languages as well as preparing user support services in English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian or Japanese. This reduces the risk of users making potentially costly mistakes.
What is more, there is in some cases such so much competition that it is often not the best programmes but rather the most user-friendly ones – those with a user-interface customers can understand – which become the most popular. What is the use of creating the most comprehensive, quickest and most efficient programme if customers go with your competitors because their products are more intuitive?
Plan a potential foreign language implementation as early as possible during the development of your software. This means that texts, language files, names of functions and documentation should be available in formats that are easy to edit instead of being integrated into the code of the programme. This prevents the need for the whole programme to be rewritten. finetext’s experts will advise you during each phase of the localisation process and can start working with you when the programme is still in development.
This ensures that you can easily create versions in other languages at a later date, saving us effort – and you money! Whether it is a small programme or complex accounts management software for a large corporation, you can be sure that your localisation is in good hands with finetext GmbH. Nothing will be in the way of your international business any more. Contact us, so that we can discuss this in more detail.