TRANSLATION EXPERTS FOR SOFTWARE LOCALIZATION
Software Localization and Internationalization Defined
Software localization (or localisation) is a means of adapting computer software to different languages and regional differences. Specifically, localization is the process of adapting software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text. In contrast, internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Some companies, such as Microsoft and IBM, use the term globalization for the combination of internationalization and localization.
Localization is a Key Element in Reaching International Markets and Increasing Profits
In a commercial setting, the benefit from localization is access to more markets. Some argue that the commercial case to localize products into multiple languages is obvious, and that all is needed is a budgetary commitment from the producer to finance the costs involved. It costs more to produce products for international markets, but in an increasingly global economy, supporting only one language or market is scarcely an option. This is particularly important when global markets are growing at a rate faster then that of domestic US markets. Companies are counting on new revenue streams from these important emerging markets.
Best Practice Methods for Software Localization are Essential for Effective Translation of Computer Software
The prevailing best practice process is for applications to place text in resource strings which are loaded during program execution as needed. (See sample below)These strings, stored in resource files, are relatively easy to translate. Programs are often built to reference resource libraries depending on the selected locale data. One of the most popular software libraries that aid in this is Gettext. To get an application to support multiple languages one needs to design the application to select the relevant language resource file at runtime. Resource files are then translated into the required languages. This method tends to be application-specific and also vendor-specific. The code required to manage date entry verification and many other locale-sensitive data types also must support differing locale requirements. Modern development systems and operating systems include sophisticated libraries for international support of these types.
Technical Expertise in Software Localization is Vital to Effective and Compatible International Functionality
Samples of Software Localization Helps See the Process & the End Results
Samples of Software Strings:
Software Strings with Localized Software:
Screenshots of Localized Software in French and German:
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