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Localization is the process of adapting your product for use in a foreign market. Successful localization yields a high quality native tongue translation and retains the functionality of the product. Localization must also consider how various cultural conventions in the target country require implementing source code changes.


Can you imagine how a bad translation can damage your product or brand image? Consider the following example:

Practice recommended by Sun is application sucked MVC model. MVC model View Controller means. The model are the data of application (e.g. product, customer, orders etc.), Views are opinions of these data (e.g. product lists, price lists, goods baskets etc..).

Critical Resources

Another common mistake is to underestimate the financial resources and the management attention necessary to pursue a successful localization project. Localization is expensive because it involves the manual work of highly paid professionals. In addition, these professionals are distributed across the globe because only native speakers can deliver reasonable language quality.

The high cost of localization requires a series of optimization measures such as the preservation of translations from the last software release and the avoidance of repeated text fragments. Also, a translator-friendly presentation of your localizable items will save substantial localization cost, at the prices of an increased software development effort on the client side.

The Localization Process

The Figure below shows a brief overview over the linguistic processes that take place in a typical software localization project.

Basically there are four inputs to this process:

  • The current software release to be translated
  • The current documentation and Help files
  • The last software release that has been translated before
  • The last documentation and help files that have been translated before

The translation process takes as a base the translation of the last software release and integrates this translation into the translation memory. This way only new or changed items need to be translated, saving time and preserving a consistent terminology.

A project is usually divided in four phases:

1. Preparation Tasks:

  • Creation of a project schedule
  • Setup of the project team
  • Analysis of the product and terminology research
  • Pre-Production planning
  • Glossary development

2. Linguistic and Translation Tasks:

  • Translation of software strings
  • Translation of Online Help
  • Online Documentation
  • Tutorials
  • Demos
  • Printed Documentation
  • Incorporating target language screen captures
  • Disk labels
  • Packaging
  • Add-ons

3. Engineering Tasks:

  • Extraction of text strings from the software
  • DTP layouting of the translated documentation because of text swell
  • Dialog box resizing because of text swell
  • Adaptation of accelerator keys, tooltips, tab order, menu options, buttons
  • Adaptation of sorting orders in list boxes
  • Compiling of the help files using help authoring tools
  • Localization of multimedia files and embedded graphics containing text
  • Re-creation of sound effects containing text

4. Testing Tasks:

  • Consistency checks against localized software
  • User Interface Testing
  • Functional Testing
  • Cosmetic Testing