Product managers know that any significant interruptions in the product cycle cost a lot. After starting to use agile methodologies, the development approach has changed. Development teams started building amazing products faster and saving time and budgets for clients.

The localization process, which is also included in product development, should be agile and allow continuous translation. The localization will never be finished if your product proceeds with development, so you will always need to translate new material or update the old ones. Irrespective of the type of content that needs to be translated - software, literature, or audiovisual material - the continuity process will mean faster results, less slack, and lower costs. If you are the head of product, you are interested in keeping all aspects of the production cycle tightly integrated, timed efficiently, and working together friction-free.

And as a cherry on top, you need to combine agile development and localization processes in one workflow that will fit your needs the best and allow continuous product growth.

What is continuous localization?

Continuous localization is a workflow in which translators and developers work simultaneously on the product. Translation came in small parts in parallel with the agile sprints. The traditional translation methods, waterfall, for example, can ruin agile workflow because the development and translating teams are desynchronized. Agile methods enable uninterrupted multilingual content delivery.

Traditional Translation WorkflowContinuous Translation Workflow
Drop frequency of projectslowhigh
Size of projectsbigsmall

Why is continuous localization management a best practice?

#1 Meet release deadlines

Traditional translation workflows usually start very late in the development cycle. Developers meet release deadlines while translators have just begun work. As a result, half-done or delayed product releases and developers wait on translations for days or weeks. Continuous translation enters an earlier stage of the development process. Translators have enough time to work out high-quality translations and meet release deadlines too.

#2 Send out software updates, features, and bug fixes quickly in all languages

The release of a product no longer represents the end of the project but the beginning. After the initial release, software development teams process continuous updates, improvements, bug fixes, etc. Hence, global organizations roll out updates more frequently, and translations must keep up with that speed. It wouldn't work if updates were available for a small group of local customers because of translation lags. Customers expect a fully functional and updated product in their native language. Thus, your localized product requires translated text for every update. Continuous translation parallelism software development and translation. Fully integrated translation workflows empower ship-ready products for all locales at the same time. Local customers will always use the latest version of your product in their native language.

#3 Automate translation workflows

You can no longer afford to send translation texts by e-mail and copy-paste translations from a spreadsheet into your product. This manual translation process is time-consuming, inefficient, and doesn't meet agile standards. Lingohub's continuous translation system integrates the two very different processes, development and translation, and automates many steps along the path to a localized product: Connecting your repository/development systems and translation management tool automates the transfer of translatable content. Lingohub auto-detects changes or updates in source texts, so you don't have to worry about outdated or duplicate content. Translation speed increases because your entire translation team receives notifications if there is a need to translate or edit strings. Once translations are approved, they can be immediately published. Lingohub fully omits the additional manual workaround of copying/pasting translations. You can push back final translations to repositories at the push of a button to release them.

#4 Implement more transparent and predictable workflows

Continuous localization unifies your development and translation teams making the process more transparent for both parties. For translators: Auto sync of translatable content ensures updated texts for your translators. New texts are immediately passed on to your translation management tool so your translation team can save time. For developers: Lingohub tracks the translation progress. Developers know at any time of the development process how translations are going and when translated content is expected to be delivered.

#5 Collaborate more efficiently

Developers and translators have long worked separately. Thus, collaboration and information flow could have been improved and faster. Developers can use early sprints to collect new key terms, information, and interface screenshots for translators. Lingohub's continuous localization system makes it easy to share such valuable information across departments:

  • Term base: Developers can share technical or product-related terms and clarification text on term bases. They can add these terms directly in Lingohub or collect them in a separate CSV file and import it at a later stage.

  • Comments: Developers can add comments for specific text segments directly in resource files which will be imported as descriptions in Lingohub. They automatically share this valuable information with translators upon import.

  • Quality checks: Developers and UI designers know the software layout hard. You cannot expect that from your translation team, primarily when you work with external freelance translators. Product managers, designers, or developers can define quality checks for text length, line breaks, placeholders, HTML tags, and terms in Lingohub. These checks are automatically controlled and enforced so translations won't break your software.

Wrapping it up

It seems logical that agile software development needs continuous translation. One without the other won't meet customers' expectations of frequent multilingual product updates. Fully integrated agile development and translation workflows shorten turnaround times and cut localization costs. Continuous translation accelerates the overall localization process and spurs productivity in your development and translation team as they no longer work independently. Convince yourself and start your free trial today!

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