Software Localization Checklist

Successful software localization usually requires translating not only the actual software but also other things such as websites and fact sheets. Here is a checklist of things that you should consider when localizing software.

Actual software: This is self evident. Especially if you localize to several languages, a software localization tool will save you money in managing the translation outsourcing, re-using existing translations and detecting and fixing localization problems automatically.

Product website: Probably the most important thing to translate. Before translation, check and optimize your current website so that it’s quick to translate. Also note that small, focused websites often sell better than large, non-optimized sites. Remember to make the site optimized for both visitors and search engines.

License agreement: This is important because this defines the legal relationship between you and your client. Always take the local legislation into account! See also “fact sheet”.

Web store: If you use an outsourced web store service, this step is extremely simple. Most widely used web stores have not only full translations but they also support different currencies and handle VAT across many countries. I cannot imagine selling software globally without a reliable web store partner. The best web stores also support payment methods that might be unique to certain countries. This naturally increases sales. Just make sure that you localize all the manually inserted information about your product.

Fact sheet: This must be well translated because together with the license agreement this document usually defines what you actually deliver (and promise) to your clients.

Brochures: Depending on the software this might not be required. Nowadays the website actually replaces the brochures in most cases.

Adwords ads: Today the advertisement in search engines is a crucial part of marketing almost any software. Thus it should have an important part in your localization project. Consider outsourcing the management of your ads to a company in the target market. You will get better results than with just translating.

You probably need translations to languages that you don’t speak yourself. Finding good translators with reasonable cost is essential in successful software localization. Therefore please read also our guide for outsourcing translation.

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Multilizer / Niko Papula

I am managing director of Multilizer, a Finnish software company specialising in software for enhancing translation quality, speed and cost.

One thought on “Software Localization Checklist”

  1. any project shluod show USD 0.07 as minimum price. Then translators would be able to offer their services at a rate they consider fair, according to the difficulty level, responsability involved and expertise required (I mean translating important medical instructions for a big manual is not like translating strings for a fun game).I am in Italy and 4 eurocents per source word would be considered almost unacceptable nowadays for a professional working full-time, plus taking into account the floating exchange rate (PayPal deducts commissions). On that sum, we must pay 20% up to usually 27% tax (according to one’s overall income) and 26,72% for social security.I hope I made my point.Best,Silvia Prendin

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