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Monday, September 27, 2010

Software Localization - some details in terms of how the process work - Part 4

The previous post in this series (Part 3 of localization testing) talked about the time period when to start the process of doing the internationalization of the software, including getting the list of strings. In this post, I will talk more about the processes involved when you are trying to internationalize the code, more in terms of trying to ensuring maximum efficiency and cost reduction.
Most companies do not have the requisite talent for localizing the software, in terms of people who know the various languages in which the software needs to be localized, and for many, hiring and keeping people who know all this can be a task that they would rather outsource, and there are a number of companies that handle all this translation and localization work. However, before we get into this, there are more details that need to be explained.
Consider the case when your software needs to be internationalized. What is the process ? In the previous posts, we have talked about when to start the process, and how it is technically done, but not more details once the required strings are available for translation.
Well, during the translation process, the following is required:
- Line up resources in each desired language who can convert the various strings and return them back for incorporation
- For accuracy purposes, it is desired that these translations be reviewed through a formal review process. So, first the strings are generated for translation, these are translated, and then another language expert does the review
- Once the review is done, these are then incorporated and built into the software
- The software is now ready for internationalization testing, and there are 2 levels of testing required
- The first is functional testing where it is confirmed that the software works fine in the various desired languages. A language expert is not needed; in most cases, the tester takes the English language version and tests the other language keeping the English one in mind (except when the test cases specify a different need in the language version)
- Next, a language expert is needed to verify that the translations appear properly in the various sections of the application, the translations fit the context, and that there are no grammatical mistakes, etc. It is desirable to have a native language speaker do this level of testing.

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