Whether you work with .NET, Java, HTML 5, Flash, Objective-C or any other platform, the localisation of software presents specific challenges above and beyond the linguistic and technical aspects of translation and website localisation.
In addition to communicating the meaning of the source language, it’s important to follow the norms and conventional expectations of software users in the relevant locale, and to ensure consistency between the translated user interface (the menu items, messages, buttons and other on-screen text) and accompanying documentation such as help files, screen shots and manuals.
Mobile apps and games must target and adapt to many different device sizes, alongside more traditional desktop environments – so screen space is always a technical limitation which needs to be incorporated into the localisation process, to ensure that translated software strings fit the available space in popup menus, dialog boxes and other visual or touch-input elements. And don't forget the non-visual aspects of localisation: audio prompts may also need to be translated.
At translate plus we work with our own custom localisation tools as well as off-the-shelf packages such as Passolo and Alchemy Catalyst – where we have the highest editions available (Passolo Unlimited Edition and Catalyst Developer/PRO) – to fully localise apps and traditional software for Windows, Mac/iOS, Android and Unix-based systems. We also work with more specialist programs such as easyGUI/easyTRANSLATE and QT Linguist for adapting the GUI (graphical user interface) of embedded systems for medical devices, testing equipment and point-of-sale terminals.
Not sure where to start?
If you’re approaching software localisation for the first time, translate plus can advise you on the options for the internationalisation process – for example, when considering “externalising” strings to resource files or assessing font support for multilingual character sets.
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