4dots Software

Localization Overview

The Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) defines localization as follows:

"Localization involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language) where it will be used and sold."

Localization elements include
  • Text
  • Layout
  • Graphics and Multimedia
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Fonts
  • Locale Data and Character Sets
In order to localize a product with Localtransformer successfully 4 steps have to be taken.

Step 1 - Internationalize Application

According to the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA)

"Internationalization is the process of generalizing a product so that it can handle multiple languages and cultural conventions without the need for re-design.Internationalization takes place at the level of program design and document development".

Internationalizing an application means to make it ready for localization. This includes that text should be separated from software source code. All strings and messages that are to be localized should be put in separate resource files. This ensures that translators will not change or break the program code because the resource files only contain translatable components and no coding. Internationalization is often abbreviated to "i18n".

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Step 2 - Create Project

The next step is to create a project in Localtransformer and scan the application or document. Localtransformer will then extract all data to be localized automatically.

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Step 3 - Translate and adjust Layout

Afterwards, we have to export the data to be localized and send them to the translator. The data has now to get translated and the layout adjusted so that it displays correctly the translated text. Some images and colors of the user interface might have to be changed , because an image might be offensive or confusing to another culture and because not all images are universally meaningful.

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Step 4 - Build localized Files

After the translator has finished translating the data and sends the translated export file or project back the development team imports the translated data into the Localtransformer project. The last step is to build automatically the localized versions of the application or document using Localtransformer.

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Localization Guidelines

Localization guidelines have to be established in order to increase the quality, accuracy, and user-friendliness of the international product version. Moreover use guidelines to significantly reduce the cost of localizing the application into different languages.

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Pseudo Translation

Localtransformer is able to pseudo translate the project for localizability testing i.e. make a translation simulation by filling the translations with random characters of the target language .In this way, it is possible to verify, that the user interface of the application being tested can be easily translated to any target language without re-engineering or making code modifications. It is necessary, to run pseudo translation at the earliest stage point, since localizability bugs have to be fixed in the code of the application.

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Recommended Books on Localization

We also recommend some books that can help you in the process of localizing a product.

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