Internationalization - a critical step for site and software localization
It’s back-to-school season, so Lingotek is offering a few lessons on the basics of translation with our educational blog series, Translation 101. In this series, we will be addressing and answering the most common questions our customers have about translation terminology, products, and services. This week, we are talking about the importance of internationalization (i18n) and pseudo-localization.
What is internationalization and pseudo-localization?
Internationalization ensures that your software applications can be translated into multiple languages for many different regions without changing your source code. You may also see it written as “i18n” because it has eighteen letters between the "i" and the "n," and the abbreviation is a little faster than taking the time to spell it out. To ensure that the localization process is faster, easier and cheaper, start with internationalization.
To ensure that the localization process is faster, easier and cheaper, start with internationalization.
Pseudo-localization is covered by many terms: pseudo-translation, test translation, round-trip test translation, translation simulation, or dummy translation. It basically means simulating translation by automatically replacing text with test characters while preserving non-translatable code and simulating expansion or contraction.
The 7 elements of internationalization
1. Regional settings
Ensure the settings for the following are changed automatically for locale:
- Number formats
- Date/time and calendar formats
- Address and phone number
- Sorting rules (A to Z vs Asian characters sets for example)
2. Character sets
Ensure that European, double-byte and Asian characters display correctly--left to right vs right to left.
3. Translatable text
Ensures that translatable text is externalized into resource files and/or tagged so that it can be extracted with filters and reduce or eliminate the costly and time-consuming manual processes.
Translators are best at translation, but programming--not so much, so it is best to keep them from touching anything they shouldn’t. When the over-externalized code is translated, it can essentially “break” the application and prevent the localized version from compiling correctly.
5. Text expansion
Text tends to expand in translation, so leave room for text expansion, either with
existing sizing or with dynamic resizing.
6. Image text
Embedded or hardcoded text requires more time and money for localization. Whenever possible, separate text from images in different layers.
7. Concatenated strings
String concatenation is the operation of linking two or more character strings end to end. Many concatenations can cause problems for translators.
The Benefits of Pseudo-Localization
Pseudo-localization enables quick testing of: character sets, translatable text, over-externalization, text expansion, and image text.
Pseudo-localization ensures that you’re reaping the benefits of proper internationalization--faster turnaround times, reduced costs, and more reliable quality.
Pseudo-localized files ensure that your websites and software will be localized quickly and cost-effectively and that you’re reaping the benefits of proper internationalization: faster turnaround times, reduced costs, and more reliable quality.
Pseudo-localization testing by Lingotek Language Services includes:
- Automatic character replacement
- Multiple character sets
- Simulation of text expansion and contraction
- Insertion of marker characters
- Preservation of non-translatable code
Lingotek Offers a Wide Variety of Translation and Localization Services
With a full range of language services, Lingotek helps clients succeed in the global marketplace by localizing their global content into any language. We have a network of over 5,000 + linguists who are the best in the industry. They are native speakers of target languages and recognized experts in their subject areas. Our people, processes, and technology ensure that all of your localized content is functional, linguistically, and culturally flawless.
Lingotek | The Translation Network is the only cloud-based solution to connect all of your global content in one place, giving you the power to manage your brand worldwide. Our tech-enabled language services and industry-leading technology pairs with the best enterprise applications to continuously push dynamic multilingual content to all of your global markets. Lingotek is more than an enterprise-class TMS, it is a completely integrated, end-to-end translation hub.
Do you have questions or want additional information about Lingotek internationalization and pseudo-localization services? Contact us US +1(801)331-7777 or outside the US +44 (0)1628 421525, send an email to email@example.com, or go to our website: www.lingotek.com.