Tips for Small Budget Software Localization, part 2: Prioritize Tasks

This article is originally published at translation-blog.multilizer.com.

This is the second part of our small budget software localization tips. In the first part we discussed about planning.

When the target is to do more with less, focus only on important tasks and leave minor things with less or no attention. For example translators usually charge for the amount of translated words. Then fewer words mean smaller cost. Before you decide to send only every other word to your translator, consider these aspects: avoid duplicates, write concise text, and prioritize the parts to be translated. It is not always crucial to translate and localize everything.

Even if one translates everything and pays for every word, the other parts of the localization process can still be optimized. For example nowadays mobile phone and other electronic equipment manufacturers put limited instructions into the boxes. They include only the most crucial information and the rest can be found only in the Internet. This way they decrease the printing costs. And by cutting some other costs, they can pay for the full translations.

Thinking the situation from the customer’s point of view is the key point here. You need to decide which kind of user experience you want to offer to your customers. Consider carefully what you do to those parts of your software localization project which are only supportive from the user’s perspective, like the user manual. Think for example the following questions: Is the user able to use the software without reading a manual? Can your customers understand a manual in English? Can the manual be shortened for other languages? What does the local law say about these things?

Likewise websites, brochures, ads etc. can follow different strategies in different languages. A small budget sets limits what in turn creates a need for some decisions and cuts. Start with the most important tasks and proceed with your priority list as much as you can.

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