Best Practices For Software localization

Complications of Software Localization

Software localization is one of the hardest and most complicated processes in the localization cadre. Various software localization services run out of business just because of inefficiency. And the inability to cope up with rigorous methodologies to translate software effectively. 

Importance of Structure In Software Localization Services

It is not mere luck that leads to the success of certain software translation services. Rather it is a byproduct of a structure that enables an efficient translation management system. However, certain steps can be practised by various localization firms such as app localization services or website localization services that can help to reach a greater output.

1) Utilizing Discrete Resource Files

  • Preparing Codes For International Market

If you are planning to expand your business and enter foreign markets, your code needs to be ready for the international market. Because if you don’t do that, you would eventually have to write appended codes. 

  • Dividing Texts According to Language

The text that you would have to code would depend upon the number of languages you are offering. Often software translation services go with hard coding one language into the software. But the better thing to do is divide the text according to the language. And that too into discrete files, as it will allow you to extract and further export or import the file without damaging any of the original code.

2) Managing Codes to Tackle Different Languages

  • Utilizing Placeholders

After dividing your files, you need to properly evaluate your code. During the process of coding UI, it’s imperative to utilize the placeholders. A placeholder is what enables the incorporation of the changing content such as the words or dynamic characters. 

If you complete this step properly, you would not need to change words, phrases, or sentences for every language. Rather you would have to code the placeholder which will automatically change the words into the desired language. 

  • Combined Strings

One cannot use the placeholders and still not avoid combined strings. Because if you do not avoid them they will make the parsing activity extremely arduous. Hence, you have to understand that every language has a separate and distinct word order. 

3) Constructing Space for Language Length

  • Language Space

Languages also differ from each other pertaining to the space that they take up on a page. Hence, it is the responsibility of the designers to understand that they have to either increase the space for a particular language or decrease it.

  • Prevalent Difference in Language vis-a-vis Practical Example

If we take the example of translating the English language into the Spanish language. It can cause the text to increase by a factor of 3. On the contrary, if we are translating the German language into the English language, it will cause the text to shrink by 40%. 

  • Smoother Design Process

This step needs to take place before the process of coding starts. In this way, you will enable the code to alter the size of the texts concurrently. And you would not have to change the code every time you add another language. Moreover, your design process will get smooth as well.

4) Choosing the Appropriate Images and Symbols

  • Cultural Diversity

Every culture is different in its values, traditions, and practices. The symbols and images have to be carefully chosen for every target audience. When you are in the design phase, the images that you will eventually use must be in accordance with the market. 

  • Prevalent Difference in Culture vis-a-vis Practical Example

To explain things in a better way, let’s take an example of how people greet with symbols. For instance, in the United States of America, the moving hand signature or image is a universal way to greet a friend via text or message. 

The chances that the intended audience is going to misunderstand that specific hand signature are very low. However, if one uses the same hand emoji in Chinese culture, it might convey a completely different message. In Chinese culture, a waving hand emoji represents that you are cutting off a friend or ending a friendship. 

  • Proper Research of the Culture

Thereby, one has to be very careful in what images he will utilize for converting a message. The best thing is to conduct proper research before using them. In this way, your chances to offend someone or convey a completely different or useless message via complex symbols can be reduced. 

5) Prioritizing the Locale

  • Foreign Market Penetration

It’s alright to think about the language that you are going to add to your portfolio. Since you have decided to expand your brand internationally, language should be the first thing to consider. However, there is another thing that you need to focus on. And this is the locale.

  • Differences in Similar Languages

Although there are a lot of languages that might seem similar to each other. The fact that cultural diversity persists is also prevalent. For instance, let’s take the example of the English language. In Great Britain, a lot of words are different from the English spoken in America. The word, “Horse riding” in Britain is spoken of as “horseback riding”. The word “pavement” in the UK is substituted by the word “sidewalk”. This shows the different representations of a common language. 

Hence, you have to think about the locale and the culture first. It doesn’t matter if the language is the same. The variation in cultural intricacies plays a huge role in the localization process, especially app localization services. And that is the reason a lot of website localization services conduct proper research of the target audience. 


In this article, we discuss some of the best practices that organizations should incorporate in their operation during the software localization process. 

It should start with utilizing discrete resource files. Then you should manage codes to tackle different languages, Meanwhile, constructing space for language length, and choosing the appropriate symbols for the target audience and locale should be prioritized. 

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