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Software Localisation

Software Localisation is the adaptation of computer software packages and their associated documentation to suit the requirements of different languages.

ALS offers a comprehensive localisation service comprising effective solutions for software, online help and documentation. We specialise in providing a comprehensive service, taking the full English product, localising the various components and delivering a ready to market translated product.

We achieve this by doing the following:

  • work closely with our client, liaising with in-country reviewers where required.
  • set up fully localised testing environments, simulating use of the localised product.
  • devise test scripts in cooperation with our client and provide specialist implementation.
  • conduct rigorous linguistic and functionality testing of the online help and documentation to ensure consistency and compliance with client terminology.
  • focus on client communication at all levels to guarantee delivery of a top-quality localised product.

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Web site Localisation

First impressions are important, and since your website or marketing material may be the first point of contact between you and a potential client, it is imperative that you adapt your site or documentation to fit the local conventions of your target audience. This does not mean simply translating the text on your site or documentation into another language; it also means that you need to ensure the language is appropriate, the spelling is adapted to the locale and the cultural references meaningful. For example, whilst America and the UK share the same basic language, some spellings and colloquial phrases are quite different.

It is likely that your documentation or website will be comprised of a mixture of content: international and local. International content includes information that is applicable no matter where your clients are based (product information, corporate profile, world-wide branding messages etc.). Local content will be material pertaining to a particular country or market-place and may include local promotions, locally available products, sales campaigns etc.

Our linguists will consider the following:

  • Spelling
  • Formats and conversions of currency, dates, times, weights, measures, etc.
  • Pictorial representations, icons, symbols and colours
  • Adaptation of databases and accounting packages
  • Adaptation of the length and/or size of screen dialogue boxes and fields
  • Enlarging (and if culturally appropriate, adaptation) of graphics to accommodate a new language
  • Specific cultural references

Our Service…

Initial audit of material

Sometimes our clients have a very specific idea of what is required for their website or other material. In other instances, they ask us to carry out an initial audit.

Taking into account all the relevant aspects, and in consultation with our client, we can produce a clear report outlining our recommendations for how the material should be localised. Occasionally our clients have already produced a multilingual site or some documentation, and they ask us to check for any localisation issues.

Brand checking

We have professional cultural advisors who can examine your logos, product names etc, and determine whether or not they would be acceptable in the specific countries you are targeting. If they feel there may be a problem, or even just an ambiguity with your design, they will give an explanation and advise on alternatives and cultural adaptation. This ensures that your company will not suffer any embarrassment, and that your target audience will not be offended or upset inadvertently.

Testing the market

Sometimes our clients opt initially to prepare a small part of their existing website or documentation for localisation. This means a client can measure the return in investment before committing to the localisation of all their material. By allowing for a test period, you can allocate your resources to the market that shows the best promise.

International Search Engines

Once you have taken the plunge to have a multilingual website, you will need the relevant search engines to find your site. We can advise on international search engine optimisation, and if required, organise it. This process involves advising on key phrases and correctly configured HTML tags.

Responding to your international clients

By localising documentation and/or websites, your clients are likely to get in touch with you by email. It is possible that they will contact you in a language you are not familiar with. We can seamlessly communicate with overseas customers on behalf of our clients, keeping you one step ahead of your competitors.

Source site/documentation versus translated version

To keep your documentation and web presence fresh, your source material will be updated from time to time. If required, we can perform periodic checks to ensure that the translated version is also updated. If there are changes to be made, we can report to you and leave you to decide on whether you would like us to modify the translated version accordingly.

The localisation team

Our team of translators are qualified and professional and only translate into their mother tongue. Each translator specialises in a particular area, such as IT or medicine etc. This means we can match the localisation of your material with an appropriate linguist. We take particular care to choose a native linguist from the relevant country, for example we would use a Spanish speaker from Mexico to localise material aimed at the Mexican market, rather than use a Spanish speaker born in Spain.

Technical considerations

If it is a website that requires localisation, our linguists use software to protect the client’s HTML code from damage during the localisation process. Typical software would be Trados, Transit, SDLX, FrontPage or Dreamweaver.

In almost all cases, we are able to provide the completed work in the same format as we receive it - even if the text uses different encoding (e.g. Japanese or Greek). We prefer to perform a small test at the outset of the project to ensure complete compatibility with browsers and operating systems.

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Case studies

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