Frequently Asked Questions

Translation and Localization

Translation and Localization; Translation is the process of converting written text or spoken words to another language, Localization is the translation and adaptation of a software or web product

What is translation?

Translation is the process of converting written text or spoken words to another language. It requires that the full meaning of the source material be accurately rendered into the target language, with special attention paid to cultural nuance and style. The difference between translation and localization can be defined as follows:

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What is Localization?

Localization is the translation and adaptation of a software or web product, which includes the software or web products, which includes the software application itself and all related product documentation.

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How does localization differ from straight translation?

In scope it is certainly true that localization involves translation (e.g. of manuals and other documentations, screens, help texts, and error messages). Equally, product names may have to be changed to avoid unfortunate associations in the target language. However, the process also requires other non-linguistic skills.

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What is document translation?

Most of the localization projects contain some user documentation. Here are some examples of documents often included with software applications:

  • Installation Guide
  • Getting started guide
  • Online manuals
  • Collateral material
Most of the instructional text will be included in the online documentation. It is now quite common to have reference or administrative guides that are published on online format. the only printed books generally provided with the software are the Installation or the Getting Started guides. Software products also contain collateral material that is translated. Standard items include quick reference cards, marketing pieces, disk labels, and the product box.

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What is software translation?

In general, software translation refers to the translation of all graphical user interface (GUI) components of a software application, such as dialog boxes, menus, and error or status messages displayed on screen.

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What is software localization (l10n)?

Software localization (l10n) is a process for adapting a software product to the linguistic, cultural and technical needs of the target market. This process is labor-intensive and often requires significant efforts from development teams.

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What is web site localization and translation?

As there is an enormous market for international Web sites, two points are worth considering: First, the target audience's willingness to read a Web site increases by over 300% if the site is written in their native language. Second, compared with the costs of building a Web site, Web site localization and translation is an extremely cost-efficient alternative.

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Why do you need localization services?

Localization services are indispensable to any market expansion endeavor, especially if there is a difference in culture and language. Localization ensures cultural acceptability by eliminating the language barriers and any offensive colors, graphics, symbols, geographic significance, etc.

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What is the standard localization process and why is not translating enough?

A product that has been properly localized has the look and feel of a product originally written and designed for the target culture. Here are just some items that, aside from language, have to be considered in order to effectively localize a product or website. It is the measuring units, number formats, address formats, time and date format (long and short), paper sizes, fonts, default font selection, case differences, character set, tables for sorting, word separators, local regulations, copyright issues, data protection, payments, currency conversion, taxes...

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What are the different types of localization services?

Software localization

  • The user interface must be localized in all of its structural components (menu bars, button, status indicators, generic messages, error messages, etc). This phase requires an ability to work with source code editors, resource and graphics files, and software compilers adapted to the language of use.
  • The software guide must be localized to be consistent with the terminology used in the localization of the user interface, respecting the format (Rtf or HTML) of the original structure.
  • Any documentation accompanying the software (manuals, brochures, packaging elements etc.) must be localized taking into account the language and cultural aspects, the type of publication and the market sector for which the software is destined.

Website localization

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What is the definition of internationalization and how does it relate to localization?

Internationalization is the practice of building or modifying software to support multiple languages, character sets, currencies and other cultural or regional conventions, ideally from a single code base. In a general sense, the word also refers to equivalent activities for online content, such as document design and content development.

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Why pay for localization services if some distributors offer them for free?

Distributors can be excellent sales organizations, but they are just not localizers. The quality they offer is often poor and that can risk your image and damage your global sales

  • Their localization capacity is very limited, which means they can delay the localization of your product if they have other priorities
  • If you already have your products localized professionally, you can use that to negotiate better conditions with your distributors
  • If end users complain to distributors about the quality of their own localization, you may never know about it
  • There can be legal implications about the ownership rights of the localization work

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Why pay for translation services instead of using free automatic translation?

If you think the question is a silly one, you do not work in the translation field. Most translators and translation services are bombarded by questions about free automatic translation.

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Why pay a localization company when I can do it internally?

Establishing your presence in new foreign markets will require work on your part. The sooner you start planning for it, the easier the process will be. One important question that needs to be answered before anything else can be done is, “Do we want to localize in-house or outsource localization to a localization vendor?”

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Are you able to download our website to localize it?

We are able to download any non password-protected site using software for this purpose. However, this method has its limitations. We use this system for estimation work, but for the actual site localization, we prefer that the client supplies us with the complete structure, or that we are given ftp access for download from the server where the site is.

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Why do you need your website localized?

Translating your website, keywords and titles and submitting them to international search engines and directories is one of the most important parts of an effective global online marketing strategy. From simple one-page translations of your homepage to the translation of entire corporate and ecommerce sites, Opticentre has the necessary expertise, experience and knowledge to build and maintain your online visibility within foreign search engines, enabling your business to grow internationally.

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What kind of documents can you proofread and edit?

We can proofread/edit for you translations done by other translators and documents in written language. For example technical manuals, marketing and general documents, website content and other types of documents.

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What is specialized translation?

Specialized translation is translation on specialized subjects. It is a high quality translation, used for your most important documents - corporate material, product brochures, or user manuals. The quality of these documents has to match your company image: a professional company, offering quality products.

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Why Opticentre is right for you when it comes to document translation?

We offer...

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Why choose Opticentre for Desktop Publishing Localization and File Translation?

Opticentre's multilingual in-house DTP team has extensive technological expertise as well as solid typographical experience in character and alphabet languages.

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What is the process of multimedia localization?

Project Manager: Receives the multimedia presentation data and instructions

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Authoring Tools and Technologies?


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What is translation memory?

A translation memory is in its simplest form a database where a translator may record old translations for future reuse and easy searches. Although these programs are best classified undercomputer-aided/assisted translation, one must not confuse them with machine translation programs - translation memory software does not translate anything by itself, whereas a machine translation system actively produces language and translations based on linguistic data,such as grammatical rules and glossaries. A translation memory systemleaves all the actual translating to the human translator.

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Why use TM?

Most documentation projects are updates. The material is not written from scratch. Similarity between releases may be in the region of 70 to 80%. Translation Memory technology allows us to leverage all of the previously translated material, and to maintain consistency of style and terminology across releases.

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A note on TMX?

TMX stands for Translation Memory eXchange. It is a vendor-neutral, open standard for storing and exchanging translation memories created by Computer Aided Translation (CAT) and localization tools. The purposeof TMX is to allow easier exchange of translation memory data between tools and/or translation vendors with little or no loss of critical data duringthe process.

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Preparing Documentation for Localization?

The most commonly-used DTP applications are FrameMaker, Word, Interleaf, QuarkXpress, and PageMaker. Of these, FrameMaker and Word are the most prevalent. With the exception of Word, these formats cannot be directly processed by Translation Memory tools. Filters must be used to convert native DTP files into a Translation Memory-compatible format - usually RTF.

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Preparing Help for localization?

Because there are a wide range of Help technologies around, the preparation of Help for Translation is a reasonably involved one. However, there are a number of basic steps that are common to all Help projects:

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Graphics localization?

On most occasions the graphics for documentation projects will be created using on of the popular graphic design programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw. These programs create layered graphics which allow the designer to isolate the text from the background of the graphic. These layered graphics are then flattened and exported anappropriate format.

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Help Testing and Engineering?

Once you receive translated files back from the translator there is still a considerable amount of work that needs to be done before the files can be delivered to the client.

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Basic terminology?

Back translation

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