If you have been following my blog, you at least have an idea of what localization is and what the entire process entails. Back in the days, it took a lot of work for companies and business owners to localize their content considering the fact that there was no internet connection neither were there localization software that would lessen their workload. The best option they had that made the entire process a bit bearable, was the use of spreadsheets which did not really lessen their workload. This resulted in a lot of manual back and forth for the developers, translators, and localization managers to ensure that their localization goals were met and in time. The complete process would include the localization managers converting all their content into a spreadsheet, sending it to the translators who would then have to write their translations on the spreadsheets manually. Afterward, really tedious and specific quality assurance would be done on the spreadsheets before they were launched for the public to see.
In my opinion, the localization process has really come of age. I say this with much confidence because of the tools and software that have been availed to us. They have all worked towards making the localization process really easy and less cumbersome for everybody. With that said it is very important to at least understand the key steps or factors that will ensure you get the best out of your localization. They say information is power, and I’m sure you clicked on this article because you were looking to get some information on the same. Below I have listed and further explained the crucial steps to take when localizing your content.
1. Identify The Files
Identifying the files, in this case, falls into a lot of categories for lack of a better word. It is the very first and important step of the localizing process. By identifying the files you want to localize you must be able to answer the five “W’s” and the one “H”. You must decide on What files you want to localize, Why you want to localize them, Who you need to work with to ensure a smooth process Where you will have them localized and When you need them ready and finally How you are planning to use the localized files to your benefit.
This sounds like a lot of work but it’s been proven that the minute you can answer all these questions then you are on the right path. When you reach a point where you already have identified the files you want to work with, then you already seriously thought about how the process would benefit you fully.
2. Select Translation Methods
At this point, it is important to note that we have two main types of translations. There is human translation and machine translation. The two types of translations are self-explanatory because the human translation is done by humans while the machine translation is done by a machine software. The minute you have all this information, it is important to decide on what type will suit your needs well and offer the quality of translation service that you need for your content. Many people love working with machine translators because they are fast and straight to the point. It is important to note that they are not 100% accurate as compared to human translators who might not be that fast. Depending on what is more important to you, you can choose either of the two. If you are looking to translate files that are not that important or professional and on a budget, then you can go with the machine translators but if you are working on important professional files, I would advise on investing in human translators who will ensure you get a great quality translation service that is 100% accurate.
3. Proofread Your Translations
You have identified the files you want to be translated, gotten the right translator for your files and they have already translated and returned the files to you. The next step that follows is to have the translated files reviewed or proofread with a more specific and keener person. It is very important to have someone proofread and review the translated files to ensure that you have them exactly how you wanted them. The reason you have to review the files is so that you can ensure that it follows the accuracy, language quality, terminology, and any other requirements of your software. There are translation service providers who offer this for a price and if you are lucky enough to incur the extra charges then well and good but if you cannot it’s best to get an in-house proofreader to do that for you at a lower price.
4. Upload The Translated Files
After you proofread and ensure that the translated files are exactly how you wanted them and have passed the accuracy and relatability test, it’s time to upload them on to your code structure. A code structure is some sort of application that allows you to have your files ready for launching on your website or blog. Depending on how you plan to release your content to the public, using a code structure will definitely allow you to plan yourself well.
5. Launch The Translated Content
The last step is launching your content to the public which will allow them to interact with it as you take notes on how good, or bad it’s fairing. Well, this is not really a localization step, rather the step that comes after the localization process has been completed. The steps that you should really be keen on are the four steps above which are the most critical and important in ensuring that the process is a success and no mistakes are made.
Every new person in the industry will come across different articles that will assure them a great and successful localizing process if followed to the letter. One thing I can assure you is that these five steps will not miss in all the articles you will come across speaking on the same. As you get ready to localize your content, don’t forget to make sure you follow these steps and you will not regret it.