Best Localization Practices

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So, you have made the decision to localize your product, chosen your markets, and decided upon a strategy. Now, you’re anxious to delve into the project! Before you do, make sure you familiarize yourself with the best practices for common localization tasks – the do's and don'ts of how to turn your efforts into a glowing success.

In this post, we equip you with insight into the industry that will help you evaluate each localization provider for quality and value. You’ll also learn a number of best practices you can adopt in-house to ease the localization process. These methods will enhance the final product – and reduce the time, effort, and money it requires.

Choosing the correct localization process is essential to the long-term success of any international product. Translation may be the key task in the initial localization, but translation reuse will become the most important consideration after the first product release.

Applying the correct localization process to facilitate translation reuse can mean the difference between an international product release that is on time and one that comes after your target date. The guidelines will help you choose the process that will best meet your strategic needs.

It has been over twenty years since the benefits of single sourcing have been identified, yet its use in the industry still falls short of its full potential.

It is no secret that single sourcing can save time and money for any publisher that releases the same content into many formats, media, or channels. Here, you’ll learn more about how the advantages of single sourcing will also carry over into the localization effort.

Often writers work solely in the context of their own language. They may not give much thought to the ramifications of their writing style for localization – how accurately their words will convey their original meaning in another language.

Writers need not be fluent in other languages to create documents that translate well. Here, we offer basic guidelines that will not only improve the chances of successful localization, but also enhance the quality of the source language. An experienced localization professional shares a few tricks.

This chapter contains simple but very powerful facts about working with art during localization projects. We provide you with suggestions to follow as you create and store your graphics – tips that will make your localization effort easier and more affordable. So crucial are the best practices described here, you’ll wonder why you never thought of them before!

This is one of the most critical steps to achieving a localized product that resonates with international consumers. There are many options for choosing a localizer or translator. How do you choose the right one? Here, we’ll review the services and limitations of each to help you make the best choice.

In-country reviewers evaluate the result of the initial localization by testing the product. This proofing stage can contribute greatly to the success of your final release. But the process – both the evaluation and the interface between reviewers and localizers – is more complex than many realize. You’ll find what you need to know in this useful link.

Here, you’ll get a look inside the localization industry’s method of arriving at the numbers that vendors provide. It’s information that you can use to lower the cost of your next update.

Last-minute updates to the source files always throw a wrench into localization planning and efforts when it is tolerated least – just before the project is due for release. Here we give you step-by-step instructions on how to deal with these updates in an efficient, stress-free manner. Turn this daunting task into a forte!

Overwhelmed with the complexity of the tasks at hand and prefer they are handled by a company whose core competencies include identifying and applying the latest localization best practices? This post provides details about what to look for to achieve the best outcome.

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About the Author

Nabil Freij Intel Software Partner ProgramNabil Freij is the author of Enabling Globalization and the president, founder, and owner of GlobalVision International, Inc. (, a Software Localization and Translation specialist. He is trilingual and holds an MSEE from Brown University and an MBA from Bryant University. Freij has worked for 25 years in the hardware, software, and localization industries. He has traveled the world and lived in five countries. He is frequently published and quoted. Nabil is married and has two children. He currently resides in Palmetto, FL. Mr. Freij can be reached at . You can read his blog at:


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Utilizing technology writers from the targeted countries improves the readability of software and documentation. It also allows for more efficient marketing of the software to that country as well as bootstraps the sales of the software. This is true for software, hardware or any product. One of the great examples of a company ignoring this process was Chevrolet with the marketing of the Chevy Nova in South America. Executives in Chevrolet couldn't understand why the vehicle wasn't selling until it was explained to them that in Spanish No Va meant no go.