Localization Best Practices
Localization isn’t difficult. Like any projects, localization projects need to be well managed and planned. Common sense and these best practices will guarantee the best outcome – on time and within budget.
- Listening the customers — Software localization is not about you and your workload. It’s about making your customers’ lives easier.
- Good planning – A good plan helps you to see the big picture and allocate resources to the right things. Set a clear target, milestones, and delivery criteria for the project. Plan testing along with localization activities.
- Task prioritization – When the target is to do more with less, focus only on important tasks and leave minor things with less or no attention.
- Using standards – Accommodate standards and use industry-wide formats whenever possible. Compatibility with different tools and a wider selection of skilled professionals ensure the optimum use of resources and more predictable results.
- Skipping unnecessary costs – In a localization project, the most productive people give the biggest contribution. Many tasks can be automated instead of repetitive and resource-consuming work.
- Maximizing the use of owned resources – Reusing old translation projects and maintaining localization technical skills guarantee best time-to-market.
- Keeping it simple – Decide what to localize and what not, e.g., Web pages, user guides, software, and marketing materials. Focus should always be kept on tasks that produce the best business benefits.
- Realistic approach – Do not try to optimize all costs forever; the payback can be negative. Once ideal skill-sets, subcontractors, and tools are found, keep, reuse, and maintain them.
- Meta-localization – Along with the original text, one can provide translation hints and other context-related information.
- Constant improvement – Be innovative and find new methods and features in your localization to make localization faster and more effective.
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