Localization is not simply translation

Many executives do not realize the level of effort involved in localization, dismissing it as simply translation.

For many years now, advances in internet technologies, development tools, authoring tools and platforms, have expanded the use of different file formats and build environments. Software applications and manuals are no longer based only on Microsoft resource files or Word documents. Java, XML, ASP, HTML, as well as many other formats, have become standard in many applications and products. Furthermore, with the continued trend toward the convergence of technologies, companies are marrying software, hardware, mechanics, chemistry, biology and other sciences to develop high-end solutions.Translators are now expected to understand all these different technologies and file formats, and accurately translate only what is needed, without modifying tags, links or code. If errors are made, a significant amount of debugging time is needed to fix and build the international products.

Localization is both an art and a science. Do not underestimate the efforts needed or short-cut the process. It takes experienced engineering and translation professionals to properly implement an efficient translation-reuse process and localize your product.

By Nabil Freij, President, founder and owner, GlobalVision International, Inc.



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