Localization is a complicated process, and in some cases, its quality is neglected. And in vain: in today's market, this is not an aspect that can be ignored. Poor localization can increase the cost of development, create a negative response from the audience, and, as a result, fail sales in a new market. This article describes the primary challenges teams face during product localization and ways to solve them.

So let's go!

Development team: pain points

Manual work - import/export files

No developer will be happy to do routine manual tasks like creating documents for translators. Using spreadsheets can frustrate the entire team and decrease the localization quality to a low level.

Manual-created files have a list of disadvantages besides the developers' motivation:

  • lost control of the process. There is no data about who, when, and what did.
  • the translator can break a file by deleting or adding some additional space or tag;
  • developers should spend time back-and-force or fixing the document if the issues are present on the technical part.
  • businesses lose money because they pay for monkey jobs instead of technical tasks.

How to fix this?

The synchronization between your repository and the translation management system is the way to solve the issue above. The translation management system, like Lingohub, provides a list of integrations with the following services:

  • GitHub
  • Gitlab
  • Bitbucket
  • Azure
  • Amazon Code Commit

The connection between your repository and the Lingohub app reduces hours of manual work. It allows developers to push the changes directly to the repository in a few clicks.

Version control

In all software projects, the source code is a treasure: it is a valuable resource that needs to be protected. For most software development teams, source code is a repository of invaluable knowledge and understanding of a problem area that they have painstakingly collected and refined. Developers feel permanent stress if the translation management system does not allow working with separate branches.

How to fix this?

Lingohub supports the branches, which means your development team can:

  • work on specific project parts in parallel;
  • create separate branches for localization;
  • create pull requests to protect your project from code issues;
  • push localized file directly in the selected branch;
  • keep the project versions clear;

Missed placeholders, duplicated content, and other issues with the files

One minor issue, like additional space, can break the entire file. The developer should check the document and spend time on this to proceed with the work. Agree that is not the best example of effective work time spent.

How to fix this?

The predetermined rules and criteria can save the team from such issues. Lingohub provides a quality checks feature that helps to control translators' work. Set up the rules and rest assured that the files are clean and will not break the code.

Tip: If you start working on your project and think about further localization, never hardcode the text. Even if, at the first stage, you will not promote the product in foreign markets, make a separate file with all texts as variables. This will make the work of translators and localizers easier in the future and save you time and money.

Design team: pain points

No context from the start

Before the designers start the work, they should clearly understand the context. Replacing images with local culture-closer ones or adding a few symbols is not enough and is wrong. When entering a new market, there is only one chance to make a first impression. So designers need a deep understanding of the marketing message, target audience, and technical specification.

How to fix this?

Start the localization with deep communication. Combine the marketing team's knowledge, technical aspects (Right-to-left or Left-to-right language, an example), and general vision to provide the entire picture of the predicted result. From our side, we at Lingohub deliver a solution that allows communication directly in the application. With the discussions, you can quickly reply and clarify any questions about a specific project or its part.

No fast feedback for the result

If there is no fast ability to check if the designer is going the right way, you can get a non-work design that doesn't fit the language requirements - too big or too small text borders, mismatch of idioms and images, etc. Thus, the designer is forced to redo the finished versions instead of correcting them at the prototype level, which is more complicated and time-consuming.

How to fix this?

We provide the Figma plugin that allows one click to import the translated text from Lingohub to the appropriate prototype in Figma and check the result. A simple forth-and-back process enables your team to fit even minor edits without manual copy-paste.

Translating team: pain points

Lack of unification

If you have a team of translators, there should be exact rules to make their work unified. It will be strange to have different titles for the stuff in the online game just because each team member used their option. Or when part of the text was written in the first person when the next one is in the second. Such mistakes spoil the collective image of the product and are an indicator of low quality. Moreover, if there is no unified documentation, translators are doing additional work and permanent text edits.

How to fix

Term base and the style guide are called to support the translating team in their work. These features combine the primary information your team needs to know and which the localization manager has already approved. The availability of this information in a single translation management system will allow translators to do their job and save time because there is no need to contact the manager and ask him low-level questions. The Lingohub application automatically provides the correct terms translation if it is added to the project glossary.

Lack of context

Working on localization, the translators also adopt text to the market. For example, if a segment is translated into Spanish and references French folklore, it will be replaced with one understandable in Spain during localization. So the text length can be changed even more than during translation. With an understanding of where the text will be used (on which part of the page), translators can create more appropriate content from scratch.

How to fix

Communication and one more time - communication. The Lingohub allows translators, developers, designers, and managers to discuss all the projects inside a single interface. Moreover, we provide context image features - add them manually or upload them automatically. With context images, the translators will see the exact place of each text segment on the prototype or ready page.

Marketing team: pain points

No knowledge of the target audience

Avoid the trap of targeting the current market audience. New locale = new marketing strategy and deep research. Otherwise, there will be a few options.

[object Object]0. The product will fail in the market. It will not interest the client you are targeting your marketing activities on.  [object Object]1. You will have to increase funding to know the current target audience and still arouse consumer interest.

Do not miss

Check that infrastructure support global operations, an example:

  • is the system support all needed characters, symbols, etc
  • will the system work without issues with x2, x3... traffic
  • doesn't your domain or application name mean anything wrong in the new market?
  • does the system work with different currencies?
  • etc

Bottom line

Localization is a challenge, but with the right strategy and reliable tool, you can avoid the troubles from scratch and provide a comfortable and quality-oriented process for your team.

You create - Lingohub translate - this is our vision, and our team is doing its best to provide modern features, engines, and integration to simplify the localization process as much as possible. Contact us and let us know what challenge and pain point you have already faced, and we will provide the solution for you.

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