What is Localization in Software? | Process, Benefits & More

This FAQ post will focus on the query "what is localization in software" and how it is done in the modern software world. Stick till the end to learn everything about it.

What is Localization in Software Development?

Software localization is the process of adapting one version of a software product to multiple languages. It involves translation, editing, and testing. The goal of this localization is to make it available in more languages with less effort on your part as well as to ensure that the correct translations are used when supporting each language.

Software localization involves translation from source code into various languages (e.g., English, French, German). This may be done manually or automatically depending on how much human intervention you want in this process. Some common automated solutions include machine translation (MT), natural language processing (NLP), and statistical machine translation (SMT). 

>It boosts quality, productivity, and consistency as designers can use local end-users as testers.

Localization is important because it helps make software available in more languages. It also boosts quality, productivity, and consistency as designers can use local end-users as testers. For example, if you're developing a mobile app for Chinese speakers, you might need to test the app on an iPhone with Chinese characters installed (the default language). If this is not possible or feasible, then your app may not work properly when tested on an English device or tablet running iOS 10 (the most recent operating system).

>Software localization is not just about translation. It includes many other facets like testing and validation.

The process of software localization starts with translation, but it doesn't end there. After translation, your translated files need to be reviewed for errors by a human translator or machine translator who will correct any mistakes in the text before releasing them for production use (or even distribution). 

Once you have finished with these steps, it's time for testing: a human tester checks that all features work as expected across languages and platforms; an automated tester checks that your program behaves correctly when running on different operating systems. There are three steps involved in the software localization process.

Step one - Translation

Translation is the process of converting a document from one language to another. It can be done manually, but it's much more efficient to use software for this task. The translation is a two-way street: in addition to translating your document into another language, you also need someone who understands what it means in your target market (your target customer). This person will provide feedback about how well your translation captures the intended meaning of each word and phrase, as well as any grammatical errors or other mistakes that should be corrected before publishing anything online.

The translation isn't just about translating words; it also involves understanding cultural differences between cultures so that you can avoid making some common mistakes like misusing gender pronouns or using incorrect spellings/pronunciations instead of their closest equivalent equivalents terms used elsewhere around the world.

Step two - Interpolation

Interpolation is the process of replacing missing characters in a text with other characters that are similar but not identical. It can also be used to fill in gaps in a text, such as if there are no words available for the word ‘and’ between two other words (e.g., “They have a dog and cat”).

In localization, interpolation is used to translate words or phrases which do not exist in one language into another language. If an English speaker reads something like this:

  • "The boy's teeth were yellow."
  • "The girl was wearing blue jeans."

then they need translations for these phrases so that it sounds natural when spoken by someone who speaks English as their first language but does not know how to speak Spanish fluently or German perfectly yet.

Step three - Testing and validation

Testing is a critical step in the localization process. In-house testers can be used to test your website and apps, but they may not have the expertise or time required for this task. If you don’t have an in-house tester on staff, hiring an independent professional tester is recommended. If you choose to outsource your testing needs, there are many different ways that it could be done:

You could use an external agency that specializes in testing websites and mobile applications (often referred to as “testing companies”). We recommend using the testing services from WeTest to ensure industry-standard localization and bug-free operation.

These professionals will come into your office or home office with their equipment such as computers and tablets/smartphones loaded up with software that allows them to simulate real users across various devices including desktop computers running Windows 11/10/8/7 operating systems etc.

Wrapping Up:

Before we summarize our topic for "what is localization in software", it can be stated that when you're creating a product, one of the most difficult parts is localization. That's because it involves adapting one version of your software to multiple languages. It can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be. The goal of localization is to make your product available in more languages with less effort on your part as well as ensure that the correct translations are used when supporting each language.

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