localization under the hood
The localization process followed by us depends on the client's needs and the product's format and life cycle but in general follows these steps:
Analysis [+] [–] The source components are analyzed with the target languages in mind and their requirements for such languages evaluated. The process may include a localizability Report or assessment about a product suitability to be adapted to other languages or markets. The outcome is to design the most appropriate strategy to a localization process
If, for instance, a web is quite marketing-orientated but with lots of technical terms, we would suggest to compile a glossary of technical terms and have it translated by a specialized translator with engineering background. The texts could then be translated by a marketing-savvy translator. Should the site involve software products, we would have in mind whether or not they will also be translated and therefore treat references to them accordingly.
Pre-translation Engineering [+] [–] The source material is handled in order to pinpoint the texts that need translation versus those that don't (no interface), repeated text strings and those with special requests such as locale specific format or adapted links for example.
Translation [+] [–] Texts requiring translation are then forwarded to the appropriated professional. We deal with the best translators and agencies for any language.
Proofing [+] [–] After translation, texts are edited by a single reviewer which ensures consistency between texts that, due to their nature, have been translated by different translators.
Post-translation Engineering [+] [–] The localized material is re-assembled (compiled) and checked for functional and aesthetic errors. In case of printed material such as packaging, manuals or leaflets, the target material undergoes a desktop publishing (DTP) process. In this phase, the translated text and dtp'ed material are shown together.
Testing [+] [–] The localized version is tested in target platforms or browsers according to the product specifications. The errors found are recorded and categorized for further control and then fixed by the appropriated professional: translator, localization engineer or developer, depending on its nature.
In software development parlance, errors are known as “bugs” thus, the process to getting rid of such errors is referred to as “bug fixing”.
Quality Assurance [+] [–] Usually abbreviated as QA, is a method to enforce and follow up on compliance with the quality standards set for each component, task and the product as a whole. Whether the QA is performed at the end of each process or as an overall check, feed-back loops are implemented and time and resources conveniently allocated.
Hand-back [+] [–] When the full localization cycle is completed we proceed with handing-off the localized versions as per client's instructions or, in case of web sites, publish them and apply site-wide updates if so required.
Some of these general changes might include, for example, updating the site navigation or its structure.