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A Practical Guide to Agile Localization

global enterprise localization

Software developers are under constant pressure to increase their development speed and reduce product release cycles. Professional developers adopt key practices to keep their software development process agile and efficient. Your product localization must go hand in hand with other product development processes. Agile localization fills the gap between your localization and development teams, so you can have a more holistic approach towards developing and localizing your software product.

Agile localization is a powerful concept that doesn’t just work around your project speed but also helps you effectively use your resources, such as time, money and other technological tools. It will also make your global enterprise localization effortless and simplified.

What Is Agile Localization?

It is a set of practices software companies use to integrate the localization processes into the product development cycle. Instead of doing the translations and localization activities at the end of software development, you make it an integrated part of the software development. The increasing trend of SaaS platforms and mobile apps has made it even more challenging for software developers to update new features, eliminate bugs and perform security measures all in real time. The idea of agile software development is becoming more widespread and allows developers to meet current-day expectations.

Challenges With Localization 

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Today, businesses need to modify their products in a way to resonate with global markets. Localization plays a major role in your global brand expansion. Translating your software for the different markets might seem like an add-on process to your development cycle. Software localization might appear very indifferent and unrelated to the development processes. Moreover, software developers may have a hard time fixing the errors made by translators and other localization teams.

It also makes software testing more time-consuming after localization is done. In order to minimize the quality risk, agile localization is a useful approach that most software development companies adopt. In agile localization, your development team can work in parallel with translators, minimizing the chances of errors. It also simplifies the localization processes, and project managers don’t really have to send extensive emails to localization teams.

Implementing Agile Localization 

Here are some practices that you must follow to achieve desirable results from agile software development and localization.  

Choose The Right Localization Tool

It all starts with equipping yourself with the right tools and resources. Choose the best localization management system to handle your translation and localization tasks in one place. Using a professional localization platform will save you from the hassle of organizing and managing your localization operations. Advanced localization management platforms come with features that allow you to communicate effectively with your premium language services provider or other team members.

 Similarly, these tools also allow you to integrate your design and development tools into the platforms, so you can handle all development and localization activities from one place. MarsHub is a good example here; it is a professional localization and translation management platform where you can integrate other apps for seamless product localization.   

Make Your Product Ready for Localization 

Once you have assembled your toolkit for localization project management, it’s time to make your product ready for localization. In the case of a software product, you do software internationalization to prepare your technological product for localization processes. Internationalization makes your software easy to mold and modify to different cultures and languages. Localization becomes less time-consuming and tiring when you already have internationalized software.

Developers should provide the full translator context of the resource file once they’re done with the development cycle. The translator should have some understanding of string functions. Developers must add comments with every string to make it easier for translators to understand the context of each element.

Translating The Files

For translations, the translators will get plain text files that will contain key-value pairs to spot the identifiers to the code strings. You may need to extract and convert the string into workable formats for translators. So, here you may need to use a tool that will help you with the string extraction from the code and converting it into more usable formats. Professional tools may help you monitor the changes in the source files and automate the whole process.

You can choose to work with a premium language services provider, freelancers or in-house teams to generate translations for your software. Once your translations are completed, you should review the translated work for relevancy, accuracy and consistency.

Translation Files Integration & Testing 

After completing the translation tasks, your finalized documents are integrated into the code. Here you can also convert the translated files back to the format of the target language. Once you have integrated the translation files back into the software code, there must be another test. Your global enterprise localization software may contain tools to automate the software quality assurance and testing.

Once your translations are tested, your software is ready to be released.

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