Anyone who has managed or participated in a software localization project knows how complicated it can be. Whether you’re doing website or app localization, there’s a lot of activity: manually creating translation strings from software code; constant back-and-forth between developers, project managers and translators; checking and double-checking translation accuracy; and in the end, repeating the process for another language or project. Let’s call it what it is: slow, labor-intensive and disjointed.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. The operative word in today’s advanced localization systems is “Intelligence,” and it’s changing the way web and app developers are looking at translation projects. Localization Intelligence is all about leveraging data-sharing, technology tools, automation, best practices and analytics tools to take the pain out of translation efforts.
Here’s what an intelligence-driven process looks like:
Start with an Automated Localization Processes
The core localization process should be fully automated (yes, it is possible!) Your system should preserve translation snippets as you go so you can easily re-apply them across multiple translation projects and future iterations and updates. Developers often have several projects on their plate at once, so building a repeatable process means shorter translation cycles, far fewer potential errors to correct and adding new languages without starting from scratch.
Add in Smart Linguistic Technology
Wouldn’t it be great to have a team of professional linguists at your beckon call to choose the most accurate translation possible for every word, sentence and idea? These days, you don’t need a team of linguists — technology does the heavy lifting for you. Today’s contextual translationengines are so intelligent they can provide ten times the translation accuracy, removing the guesswork and make every translation feel natural and authentic.
Leverage Translations from Others
Translation management can be an uphill battle if you work in an isolated framework, removed from the experiences of other translators and developers. Odds are, many of the specific translations you’re working on have already been completed and stored in a community database. All it takes it accessing the repository and you can get common translations for free. That’s a better use of your time.
Keep Your Team in Lockstep
Smart localization is a team effort. When developers and project managers have a direct, real-time line of communication with translators, redundancies are removed and projects move along more smoothly.Intelligent localization systems give you a central platform to collaborate while you sort, translate and publish project strings.
Metrics Feed Localization Intel
If you’re not tracking the status and performance of your translation projects, you’re missing out on important information that can save you time and effort over the long haul. Metrics are critical for translation efficiency: monitoring how close your web or mobile app is to full translation, where the bottlenecks in the process are, the pace of completed translations, or even how each individual translator is ranked by previous performance.
Localization intelligence brings a lot to the table for the entire team that contributes to translation projects. Keep these best practices in mind sooner rather than later and you’ll find that software localization doesn’t have to be so tedious after all.