AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF TRANSLATION

Software Translation and Localization: Connecting the World One Device at a Time 

The existence of software has entirely changed the way our world works. Software translation services naturally developed alongside it, giving global reach to devices of all kinds.

Software translation services, providing developers and users with multiple language options.

Have you ever tried using a device in your second or even third language? For many people the world over, this was their reality at the onset of our digital age. Thanks to software translation services, such issues are a thing of the past.   


What is Software Translation? 

Software translation is the process of translating the language utilized in a software application from one language to another. This includes everything from the text of the user interface and error messages to system prompts and help files enabling users worldwide to enjoy the same apps and devices without being constrained by their linguistic knowledge. 

However, software translation is not just about replacing words from one language with words from another. As with all other forms of translation, it demands an in-depth understanding of the source language, the target language, and the subject matter.  

Here, for example, translators need to have a high level of industry-specific terminology and technical knowledge about the software in question in not one, but, at least, 2 languages. Without understanding the software’s functionality, features, and purpose, no accurate translation can be produced.  


Why Do We Need Software Localization? 

Software localization goes beyond simple translation. It involves adapting a software product to meet the language, cultural, and other requirements of a specific target market. This could involve modifying graphics and websites, adapting content to suit local tastes, and even altering data formats to conform to local requirements. 

Localization takes local sensitivities and cultural norms into account. For instance, colors, symbols, and images that are acceptable in one culture may be highly offensive in another. Therefore, an expert in software localization needs to have a deep understanding of the culture of the target locale, in addition to language proficiency and technical knowledge. 

Without such expertise, a product or brand can easily undo any goodwill they have acquired in a specific market or obliterate any chance it had to succeed in that part of the world.  


Do I Really Need a Translator? Isn’t AI Good Enough? 

Translators play a critical role in software translation and localization. Besides linguistic expertise, which AI may possess, a robust understanding of the software industry and the specific software on which they are working is also required. To ensure the seamless transition of the software from one language to another, translators need to be aware of any and all adaptations that would need to be made to the software itself. 

As such, AI is still a long way away from having the capabilities to process the human side of our world. The knowledge a translator possesses aids them in understanding the context and function of the text they are translating, ensuring an accurate final product. 

Moreover, there are many conventions of certain target locales, including common phrases, idioms, and expressions that may not translate directly. This cultural sensitivity is crucial to the field of localization as it ensures that the software is not only linguistically accurate but also culturally appropriate, non-offensive, and uses language that is both up-to-date and close to the user. 

So, to answer the question briefly, no. AI certainly has its benefits, but can leave you with errors and issues more complex and costly than a translator would ever be. In our many years of experience with AI, we find that businesses get the best results when it is in the hands of experienced professionals like those GORR employs.   


Putting Software Translation and Localization to Work for Your Business 

Considering going international with your business? Software translation and localization are an often overlooked but critical step to success when opening your brand to new markets. Without a strong translation partner by your side, your exploit may never get off the ground.   

So, what can software translation and localization do for you? 

Increase Your Market Reach:

By translating and localizing your software, businesses can reach new markets and attract a wider audience by using language that resonates with your potential users. This makes it easy for users to incorporate your product into their lives without the added hassle of misunderstandings or having to resort to using a language interface that is not their mother tongue. 

Enhance Your User Experience:

Localized software provides an enhanced user experience by communicating with the user in their language while respecting their cultural norms. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, particularly in the case of “smaller” languages that do not enjoy the same translation rates as larger world languages like English, Chinese, or German.

Try using your phone in a language you barely know – a few minutes of this will clarify why using tech in your own language is such a staple in a business’ development and growth. 

Provide a Competitive Advantage:

It is not hard to imagine that, in our tightly interconnected world, offering localized software can easily give a business a competitive edge over companies that only provide software in one language. Giving users the ability to switch their device or app to their native language creates a larger audience for your product and, thus, the competitive edge needed to overtake others in your industry.

Improved Sales:

A study by Common Sense Advisory found that 75% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language. Furthermore, a staggering 60% stated that they rarely or never make purchases from websites that are only in English. Therefore, increasing the number of languages offered by your firm is a solid way to increase sales – the numbers say it all. 


The Duplicitous Dangers of Raw Machine Translation 

It’s unlikely that there are too many people out there who haven’t yet used Google Translate or DeepL to assist them linguistically. The speed and affordability of the technology are undeniably attractive, however, while machine translation tools have improved over the years, relying solely on them for software translation and localization can end badly. 

As previously mentioned, machine translation tools still lack the ability to understand context, cultural nuances, and industry-specific jargon and often produce translations that are either inaccurate or culturally inappropriate. In the past, AI has been accused of purveying bias, stereotypes, and racism that it absorbed through its programming, excluding large customer bases.  

Leaving such delicate matters to chance can easily do irreparable damage to a company’s image and reputation. Errors in translation can make a company appear unreliable, unprofessional, or out of touch with its audience – all of which mean a quick loss of revenue. Putting AI in the hands of professionals in machine translation is a far safer investment.  

Failing to know your audience is the fastest way to send them elsewhere.  

In short, software translation and localization are essential steps for any business considering international expansion. Though both do require an investment in time and resources, (and you can take this from the experts) the potential benefits created make them well worth the effort. 


SERVICES

At GORR, we offer comprehensive solutions to all your language needs:

Translation
Certified Translation
Editing and Proofreading
Translation and Editing
Localization
Interpretation
Live Interpretation
Software Translation
Website Localization
MT & MTPE

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