Localization Project Management
What is Localization?
◦ Localization (L10N) vs. Translation
◦ Internationalization (I18N)
◦ Localization History
Localization Project Workflow
◦ Major milestones
◦ People Involved
◦ Software Localization
◦ Documentation Localization
Localization vs. Translation
LOCALIZATION (L10N ) is the adaptation of a product to a new language and
culture. A localized program should be indistinguishable from a program written by
members of that culture
TRANSLATION is the simple changing of words and phrases from one language
to another. It does NOT take into account, the cultural differences between the
people and the countries of the source and target languages.
◦ English: President Barack Obama approved the budget of ten million dollars for the celebrations
of the 4th of July in Washington DC.
◦ French Translation: Le président Barack Obama a approuvé le budget de 10 millions de dollars
pour les festivités du 4 juillet à Washington.
◦ French Localization: Le président Nicolas Sarcozy a approuvé le budget de 7 millions d’Euros
pour les festivités du 14 juillet à Paris.
INTERNATIONALIZATION (I18N) is a process of generalizing a product
so that it can handle multiple languages and cultural conventions without redesign.
During this process, linguistic and cultural elements are isolated from the code.
Things to consider:
◦ Country-specific institutions : date/time format, holidays, telephone and address
format, measuring units, paper sizes, default font selection, case differences, word
separation and hyphenation, taxes, etc.
◦ Graphics and graphical symbols such as money ($, €, £,¥)
◦ Text expansion: number and length of words, sentence structure and punctuation.
◦ Character sets and fonts
◦ Terminology, abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon.
◦ Lists and Indexes (sorting/alphabetizing)
◦ Software: GUI (e.g use of color) and text
◦ Documentation: concise, clear, no slang or jargon, no culture-specific examples
Globalization = I18N + n x L10N
The greater the level of effort spent on internationalization, the
lesser the effort spent on localization.
Started in 1980s
Introduction of desktop computers -> need for localized software
More than just translation: project management involving translators,
New technologies : Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) and Translation
Memory (TM) tools
1990s – Consolidation of the Localization Industry
◦ More localization service providers
◦ Emergence of a relatively standard production
◦ Further professionalization : industry organizations,
conferences, publications, academic interest and
generally increased visibility.
English speakers : only ¼ of the world
population (some level of competence).
Nearly 5 billion people are unreachable
More non-English speakers use localized
Most software users expect their software
to be written in their own language.
US software dominates the world market :
about 80% of software is localized from
English into other languages
Typical localization priorities: FIGS
(French, Italian, German, Spanish) and
Why localization is needed?
◦ Increase Revenue
◦ Engage customers more effectively
◦ Maintain global brand recognition
How to localize? Localization Tools
Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools
◦ Segmentize the text into sentences
◦ Present the text in a convenient way to a translator
◦ Save the translation together with the source text in the
Translation Memory (TM)
◦ Reuse of the Translation Memory in future translations
◦ Fuzzy Search: can find segments which do not match 100 %.
◦ Terminology Glossary lookup
Importance of using the CAT Tools
◦ Translation consistency and uniformity in terms usage
◦ Saving localization costs: repetitions are charged less then new
◦ Saving time
Localization Project Components
SOFTWARE DOCUMENTATION HELP
Program Files PDF Web Help
Sample Files Tutorials
December 26, 2009 26, 2009
Localization Project: Major Milestones
◦ Pre-Sales: a request for localization comes from Sales/Operations
◦ Analysis of Source Material: what files should be translated
◦ Scheduling and Budgeting: L10N PM asks for detailed quotes from several localization
vendors (costs, schedule, work to be done, deliverables)
◦ Kick-Off: L10N PM organizes a kick-off meeting with the L10N vendor
◦ Terminology Setup: prepare a Glossary of special terms used in your industry.
◦ Preparation of Source Material : prepare a L10N Kit (localizable files, detailed explanation,
◦ Translation of Software
◦ Translation of Online Help and Documentation
Engineering and Testing the Software
Help Engineering and Desktop Publishing (DTP) of Documentation
Product QA and Delivery