Software translation allows companies to release products in foreign-speaking markets. As a subset of software localisation, software translation is normally delivered as part of a more comprehensive language service ahead of the release of new products – or for existing products in new markets.
In this article, we explain the role of software translation in the development and promotion of products, as well as the ongoing customer experience software companies are required to provide.
What is software translation?
Software translation implements a system for changing the language of text (and any audio) in software products to support users from different language backgrounds. As a complete service, this can also include the translation of marketing material, support documentation and other resources, such as app listing pages.
The aim is to create a native experience for users in every target language. Within the product itself, this increases engagement with your software, which is a key strategy in maximising recurring revenue.
Beyond the product itself, software companies also have to consider the wider customer experience, including customer service, satisfaction and support.
Who needs software translation?
Software companies that want to launch their product in overseas markets need to translate their product and the broader customer experience. This includes companies releasing new products in foreign-speaking markets or an existing product in new, foreign-speaking markets.
This is increasingly important in the modern world of cloud computing where customers can purchase and use software without any additional hardware or on-site implementation. The cloud computing era has also produced a new Software as a Service (SaaS) sub-industry where customers pay monthly fees to subscribe to products, rather than pay a one-off fee.
With SaaS products, companies can earn monthly or annually recurring revenue from customers, provided they can keep them engaged, retained and subscribed to their product. To achieve this, companies have to provide a flawless customer experience, not only within their software product, but also within their surrounding services and customer support strategy.
For companies targeting foreign-speaking audiences with a SaaS product, a comprehensive translation strategy is essential for maximising customer retention and recurring revenue.
Software translation vs software localization
Software translation is normally delivered as one part of a software localisation strategy. These are two different, but closely related services so it might help to explain the difference between these two.
It translates the text in software products into target languages.
It adapts the wider software experience for target languages.
Software localisation is a more comprehensive IT translation service that optimises products beyond the text and any audio present.
For example, software localisation addresses the issue of text expansion/contraction that takes place when you translate text from one language to another. Text expansion can break the layout of your UIs by changing the size of elements – one of many issues that can be avoided or solved through the implementation of a software localisation strategy.
Technically, software translation can be performed, without a complete localisation strategy, however, this is not advised. In the case of software localisation, this cannot be performed without translation.
Need help with your software localisation strategy?
For an efficient software translation and successful localisation strategy, businesses should seek advice from professional software localisation agencies that can truly meet your needs. This is because there is a strong overlap between software translation and other tasks, such as market and audience research, software development, UX design, marketing and customer service.
For example, it is recommended to speak with agencies that have a solid understanding of programming experience and which also understand translation, and how it affects the coding of your game, the visual layout of interfaces or the user experience. These are important factors that should inform translation choices.
With a proven experience within this area, we currently help our customers with all these aspects including managing translation strategies for their full customer and product cycle.
You can speak to our software translation team by calling +44 (0)20 7324 0950 or by submitting the form on our contact page to arrange a call back and discuss a project.