GTE Localize

How To Translate Software Efficiently

Posted by Chloe G. on May 09, 2023.

How to translate software fast and effectively? The success of your software translation project is not solely dependent on the skills of the translator team. The quality of the translation output is greatly influenced by how well you prepare for the software translation project. Neglecting the preparation stage could result in subpar software translations that fail to meet your needs and expectations.

To ensure the success of your upcoming software translation projects, here are some effective tips and practices to follow to get the best software translation.

1. Have a Clear Goal

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To ensure the success of your software translation project, it is crucial to have a well-defined plan with clear goals. Before starting the project, you should consider what you hope to achieve and how you will measure its success.

Furthermore, it is essential to establish open communication with your translators to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. To achieve this, you should provide your translators with as much information as possible, including a description of your target audience and your expected outcomes. This information will help your translators tailor their translations to meet your specific needs.

Additionally, you should inform your translators about any specific file types or layouts you require, as this will help them deliver the translations in the format that works best for you. Finally, if there are any other important notes or details that you think your translators should be aware of, be sure to communicate those as well. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your software translation project is a success.


2. Optimize Your Source Software Content Before Translation

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Before sending your content to your software translators, it is important to ensure that it is well-written and consistent. If your content is poorly written or inconsistent, it will be challenging for your translators to understand its meaning, and they may need to ask you for clarification, leading to unnecessary back-and-forth emails. To save time and ensure a smooth software translation process, it is advisable to optimize your source documents beforehand.

One way to optimize your source content is to make it more translation-friendly. Many translators and software translation agencies charge based on the number of words they translate, so reducing the word count can reduce software translation costs. To create cost-effective and translation-friendly content, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid using wordy sentences and long words.
  • Remove any unnecessary parts of your content, such as idioms, metaphors, jargon, or expressions that are only known in the source language.
  • Refrain from embedding text in graphics, as translating text in an image or chart takes a considerable amount of time. Instead, use captions.
  • Allow for text expansion when translating software content by leaving some space.

You can optimize your source content, save time and reduce software translation costs, and ensure a successful software translation project.


3. Create a Style Guide

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A translation style guide is a set of rules created by your company for translators to follow regarding language usage, composition, and orthography. It outlines your preferences for translation tone, writing style, spelling, punctuation, and other textual and visual elements. The purpose of a style guide is to ensure software translation quality and maintain a consistent brand voice for your company.

When creating a software translation style guide, you should consider including the following elements:

  • General information about your company, products and services, target audience, project overview, and project goals.
  • Tones of voice you want your translators to use, such as simple, casual, formal, or other preferred styles.
  • Linguistic preferences, including spelling preferences, abbreviations and acronyms, punctuation, names and addresses, and numbers and measurements.
  • A list of items that should not be translated, such as product names, person names, website URLs, and other important information.

By including these elements in your software translation style guide, you can provide your translators with clear guidelines to follow, ensuring consistent and high-quality translations that accurately reflect your brand voice.


4. Create a translation glossary

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A translation glossary is a compilation of essential terms used in the source content that requires translation, along with their corresponding definitions. Your company’s authorized translations for those terms may also be added to the glossary.

The following components should be included in a translation glossary:

  • Terminology in the source language (required)
  • Definitions of terms in the source language (required)
  • Approved software translations for the terms (optional)

By using a glossary, you can ensure consistency in translations of key terms and phrases throughout your software translation project. It also saves time and reduces the risk of errors that may occur due to inconsistent translation of key terminology.


5. Make the most of technology

Despite being greatly assisted by software and apps, particularly CAT Tools, the translation industry has long been wrongly perceived as a “human-only” industry. The use of CAT Tools, which come equipped with Translation Memory (TM), can help save time and money as translators are not required to pay the full price for previously translated words. By leveraging this technology, you can easily achieve your goals of high-quality translations at a lower cost.

CAT Tools are especially beneficial for long-term software translation projects. As the TM grows larger with each task, the cost decreases, resulting in further savings.


Prioritize Quality by Choosing Professional Software Translation Providers

When selecting a software translation provider, don’t prioritize cost over quality. It’s crucial to collaborate with professional software linguists if you want to achieve high-quality software translations.

The translators you choose to work with should be software linguists who possess a deep understanding of the language pair and expertise in the software industry. Here are some criteria to consider when selecting your translation partners:

  • They must be native speakers of the target language.
  • At least two years of experience in the translation industry is required.
  • A great understanding of the software industry is desired.
  • Work experience in the related field is a plus.

If you’re looking for a translation agency that meets all the above criteria, consider GTE Localize. As one of the best translation agencies on GoodFirms, GTE Localize has an extensive network of native software translators who can handle various language pairs to provide you with the best software translation services. Our team has years of experience translating content for the software and IT industries at a competitive price and fast delivery.

To get a free quote and a free test, you can get in touch with us here.

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