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What is software localization?

July 14 , 2021

What is software localization?

by Target Language Translation Services

- July 14, 2021

software localization

To reach potential customers in this era of digitalization, software localization is of great importance. After all, only 20 to 30% of Internet users speak English — and ones that don’t are fussy than ever, who expect high-quality local-language versions of the websites they visit and the apps they use. If you've ever tried to set up an electronic device that was configured in another language, you know the significance of software localization services. Without them, a program can be at best frustrating, at worst unusable.

Because of technological advancement and innovation, there is intense competition in the market. Global companies need a localization strategy to compete in the globalized digital world. They are developing their software to be utilized inside and outside the company for clients. With the assistance of internal software, the head offices of global companies can easily access subsidiaries. If the software is localized then no matter in which corner of the world your employees are, they can access the company’s standardized rules and regulations. For external customers, companies localize their software so that customers have access to their products and services online. While it’s often treated as an afterthought, software localization is of critical importance to any business that wants to adapt its products for new markets and users.

software localization

What is software localization?

Software localization — often abbreviated as “L10n” — is the process of adapting software to a specific culture, which refers to the translation of separated content into specific language, and usually occurs after internationalization. But it goes further from there. It can include cultural and country-specific aspects of languages, such as: writing directions, date and time formats, currency formatting conventions, address formats, input methods, decimal separators, accounting standards, links and other resources, calendars, hand symbols, gestures, or signage, culturally appropriate images, dates and times, spelling and phrasing, right-to-left languages like Arabic or Hebrew, etc. It helps in changing the user interface according to the cultural, regional, and linguistic nuance. It is not about what you are saying; it focuses on how you are saying it. Customers and employees have a great user experience if they can interact with the interface of the given page, screen, or window in a familiar way. It handles the translation of the software considering all the local and regional intricacies. Translation of software in multiple languages will help global companies to reach a wider audience. Implementing software localization requires a repeatable, solid process you can use to make sure no matter how many languages you want to operate in, you’ll be able to do it easily and efficiently.

software localization

Process of Software Localization

Software Localization is a tedious process comprising software translation and software adaptation. The process of software localization involves the alteration of the following graphical user interface: menu, dialogue boxes, CTA buttons, error and status messages, different Media and other graphical scripts.

Step 1

The localization project manager will download strings from your software every once in a while. Usually they also need to issue a “string freeze” call to the software engineers at the mean time, to enure that no new strings make it to the release untranslated.

Step 2

After downloading the strings, the PM either uploads them to the translation platform or sends them out to your language service provider (LSP), aka translation agency. The former case usually takes less time, as the uploading and assignment process is automated. Once the translation is completed, the PM downloads the translated strings and pushes the content to your string repository, where you can merge and ultimately publish it.

Meanwhile, one thing that will definitely help the quality of your localized content is having a style guide for your translators. It should spell out what your product and brand is about, who your main audience is, what tone of voice you desire, which terms you want to translate, transliterate, or kept as is, and so on. This will require some upfront investments but can save you from some embarrassing faux pas in the long run.


Software localization is indispensable for increasing your appeal in new markets, attracting new users and setting up your company for global success, which helps to satisfy the customers, increase the customer base, mitigate the barrier for new entrants, increase the click rates, increase sales and helps to take your software business to the next level. Software localization is equally vital for all companies worldwide. To avail of these opportunities and to grab the attention of global customers, you need to go for software localization. Target Language Translation Services has profound experience certified qualification to deal with your software localization.

Reach out to us today to find out how our software localization experience can help you build great software for any market.

This article is reprinted from F450C and Smartcat.

If there is a copyright, please inform us in time, we will delete it right the first time.

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