There are different ways to go through software localization, and each of them has its own advantages and pros and cons.
1. Waterfall Localization Workflow: The most common and the most traditional localization model, this is a classic linear technique. It is commonly used by language service providers (LSPs) while translating texts. Indeed, waterfall localization is commonly employed for the translation requirements of regulated industries such as life sciences. Essentially, translation and localization occur after the work has been finalized. When using it, you could risk the User Experience (UX) quality of your website or system, more bugs could appear, the design breakout and the process could be slower than the other workflows.
2. Agile localization Workflow: Because of the constraints of the waterfall approach for translating material for digital products such as software, games, applications, and websites, this localization method emerged. An agile approach, as the name implies, is when localization and translation are completed during the product development lifecycle rather than at the conclusion. This parallel procedure is often completed in sprints (short work cycles) of two weeks or less. The goal is to produce a workable build or integrate as many features as feasible every two weeks, correct errors, and repeat the process. This software localization workflow is more efficient and more flexible than the waterfall way.
3. Continuous Localization Workflow: It is frequently seen as a subset of agile localization, and it improves on agile localization. Continuous localization, as opposed to agile localization, is a continuous cycle of localization and translation deliverables. Another significant distinction is that in the agile approach, localization is included in the process, but in continuous localization, it is integrated into the software's continuous delivery workflow. Continuous software localization workflow doesn’t require lots of resources, and at each stage of the software localization lifecycle, extensive documentation is produced. However, some of its disadvantages are the greater expenditures for retroactive issue patches or changes, as well as delivery delays and version control concerns that may arise when different language versions of a product coexist.
The process of Software Localization, What to Expect to Be Done to Get a Perfectly Localized Software Product
From point zero, the (handoff) phase, when the client gives the product to our project managers, till the last point, the (hand back) when the software localization is completely done and tested.
Here are the steps that our teams undertake in the software localization process.
1) HO Received and Checked:
this means that our offices have received the project and are checking it. The handover process doesn’t take long, but it’s essential to schedule the handing back date, the requirements, and the client objectives from the software localization process. Also, we find out the target audience's language, delicate, and culture.
2) Sending Files to Engineering Team:
After checking the files, they are sent to the engineering team for validation of the source files. The engineering team plays a key role in this validation process, as they ensure that source files are complete, accurate, and free of errors and bugs, reify that the source files are in a format compatible with the localization tools and systems used by the translation team, help the translation team understand the context and structure of the software, making it easier for translators to accurately translate the content, and identify potential issues early, reducing the likelihood of complications during the localization process.
4) Reviewing by the QA (Quality Assurance) Team:
Their primary objective is to ensure that the localized product meets the highest standards of quality, functionality, and linguistic accuracy. Here are key aspects of the QA team's role in software localization:
• Linguistic Quality Assurance pillars:
Translation Accuracy: QA verifies the accuracy of translations by comparing the localized content with the source content. They ensure that the translated text accurately reflects the intended meaning and context.
Consistency: QA checks for consistency in terminology and style across the entire localized product. This includes ensuring that the same term is translated consistently throughout the software.
• Functional Testing:
QA verifies that the localized software functions correctly and doesn't introduce any bugs or errors. This involves testing all features, buttons, and functionalities to ensure they work as intended in the localized version.
• Cultural Appropriateness:
QA evaluates the localized content for cultural appropriateness. This includes ensuring that images, icons, and other visual elements are culturally relevant and appropriate for the target audience.
• User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Testing:
QA tests the localized user interface to ensure that it is user-friendly and aligns with the expectations of the target audience. They check for proper layout, text display, and overall usability.
• Error Identification and Reporting:
QA identifies and reports any errors, inconsistencies, or issues in the localized software. This feedback is crucial for both the localization and development teams to make necessary corrections.
• Compatibility Testing:
QA checks the compatibility of the localized software with different operating systems, devices, and configurations to ensure a seamless user experience across different platforms.
• Regulatory Compliance:
In certain industries, QA may verify that the localized software complies with specific regulatory requirements and standards applicable to the target market.
• Performance Testing:
QA may assess the performance of the localized software, checking for factors such as speed, responsiveness, and resource utilization.
5) Preparing for the Handing Back:
This step is made by the project manager's team. After ensuring the functional quality and linguistic quality of the software localization of the product, and checking it carefully, they hand it back to the customer and ask for feedback.
There are so many approaches, ways and details in the software localization process, and each of them hits a critical part of the efficiency of a software product and its global and international success. To achieve your product’s globalization and internationalization, you need to choose carefully your localization partner and we’re ready to help you.