Software localization is crucial to marketing your products in foreign markets and conveying a unified and robust brand image.

Software localization: how to ensure functional integrity and cultural appropriateness within your localized products

ORCO has specialized in software localization since 1989 when we were awarded our first large-scale software project by IBM. Since then, we have localized websites, apps, games, and every other type of business, productivity, and system software for many international brands and enterprises, including some of the world's leading names in information technology.

Software localization is a more complex process than simple translation, which requires technical expertise and know-how, in-depth knowledge of the target language, culture, and norms, as well as accuracy, precision, and attention to detail.

Software localization involves adapting cultural elements to the norms and standards of each target locale. Every element of the user interface must be correctly localized: dates, times, currencies, keyboard usage, and any other locale-specific information. Cultural norms must be adhered to, such as using singular/polite plural or forms of address. Placeholder tags that will later be replaced with text must be correctly inserted in the localized strings. Not to mention that space restrictions must be respected and that translation often takes place without any (or with very limited) context information.

Localization of a software product usually involves localizing both the user interface components (windows, menus, messages, tooltips) and the user assistance documentation, whether the latter is offered in the form of online help or printed documentation.

We can support you from the early stages of product design and planning your localization strategy through the preparation of your linguistic infrastructure and the full localization of your software and accompanying documentation to the thorough testing of your target versions, including bug fixing and in-country language reviews.

Why localize your software

The data shows that people like to shop in their own language: If you want to sell your product to global consumers, the best approach is to localize it - and this includes any incorporated software.

And the best way to do that is to hire a professional language service provider to ensure that all localized language versions will be fully functional and culturally appropriate. Nothing is more detrimental to your brand image than an improperly localized product that contains functional defects, errors, awkward or non-sensical abbreviations, truncated text, and culturally inappropriate details.

The difference between a poor and an excellent user experience depends on how easy it is for the user to feel that your product is culturally relevant to them and easy to operate.

Properly executed software localization can enhance user experience, strengthen your branding, and expand your customer base.

What this process involves

A typical software localization project will involve the following:

  • Complete localization of all user interface components (windows, menus, messages, tooltips)

  • Resizing and layout adaptation of all user interface elements
  • Creation of localized software build
  • Complete functional and linguistic tests
  • Correction of language bugs

Accompanying materials, such as help files, screenshots, and manuals, will also be localized, paying particular attention to maintaining accuracy and consistency with the localized software screens.

The process should ideally involve functional and linguistic software testing and bug fixing to ensure that your software runs smoothly and fits every locale.

We offer

  • A single point of contact throughout the project lifecycle

  • Transparency, accuracy, and precision in every step of the process

  • Expertise in what we do, guaranteed by our rich portfolio of projects and clients, experienced localization teams, and the use of the latest technologies and software localization tools

  • An understanding of the complexities and requirements of each type of software

  • A variety of options regarding the software localization tools to be used

  • Quality assurance through linguistic and functional testing and bug-fixing, in-country language reviews, and creation of customer-specific style guides and glossaries

Get a quote for your project, find out more about our services or learn about the Trados translation solutions.

If you are interested in joining our team, feel free to check out the available options under our dedicated Careers section.

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