When entering new markets with your software solution you want to make sure to be well understood. The user interface is part of your product presentation, so language is an important factor users’ perception of your solution. User interface translation plays a vital role when going into new markets:

“The user interface (UI), in the industrial design field of human–computer interaction, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. (Wikipedia.org)

In the following post, we have collected you six checks to put in place to streamline your user interface translation – and avoid pitfalls.

How to pursue user interface translation happiness

1. Make sure you find one language service provider that covers the languages you wish to supply
This one is big! If you find a language service provider that doesn’t only understand your product but also the way you like to talk about it you are golden. Such LSP can guide you thru your language challenges and even your development roadmap and offer you a user interface translation that mirrors your style of language.

2. Share information about your product
Usually, your programmed solution is able to spit out an Excel worksheet with all the words included in your product. When going to user interface translation you will export your words and send them to an LSP to get a quotation. Add as much additional info to these words as possible. The additional info helps translators (already in RFQ phase) to better understand and size your project. Project managers at an LSP will happily share with the designated translators. Thereby you increase the quality of the translated text. If possible offer your LSP a walkthru of your solution or give the LSP live access to your solution.

“Ignoring all your brilliant coding”

3. “Ignoring all your brilliant coding”
Your LSP has seen code before but it is never a bad idea to spend some time to talk about the <a href=‘http://go.primaru.de/’ target=‘_blank’>syntax</a> and the %s variables you are using. In general, if required we will pick the relevant text right from the code leaving your brilliant code aside. But how this is handled should go in your process outline.

4. Set the process
At primaru, we manage the process of translating and localizing contents as well as software for our clients. We recommend you establish a process of your own that incorporates clarification cycles. UI translation usually requires additional steps. During these steps, the translator adds certain words and segments to fit the wording to the context. “We often think of our UI translation work more as linguistic engineering”, says Teresa Marshall, Sr. Director of Localization and Globalization at Salesforce.com.

5. Have translators running the testing of it
And, finally, once the text is uploaded, give your translator access to the platform. Have them log onto the software and check all the words in action. That way all translations and added terms are reviewed in a live setting.

User interface translation

We want to learn from you

How are your experiences with UI translation? What are your process milestones for successful localization of software? This list is a work in progress and we will add the new lessons we encompass in our work with software suppliers. Also, user interface translation will be developing and we are going to update this article accordingly.

Also, we are happy to discuss each of the milestones and how they can work for you and the translation of your user interface.


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