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The Software Localization Process Essay

2103 words - 9 pages

Introduction
Living in the age of technology it has become much easier for businesses to expand at a global level. Businesses having websites and applications are becoming more and more common. As you can imagine when it comes to different countries and cultures, people tend to like and dislike different things. When it comes to languages, even same speaking countries tend to differ in dialect and have tendencies. The process of Software localization is to adapt the software to the cultural, linguistic and technical requirements of a target market. Localizing of a product can prove to be very labour and time-intensive. As a result the cost can be anything from $50,000 to $500,000 per language.

Localization normally begins in the development stages of software. The localization normally should finish when the product is released. The end product can result in changes to language, currencies and the technical workings of the software. The purpose being so the new market can just as easily use the software as the original market.

Localization phases
When it comes to the localization process there are three phases involved, these consist of:
1. Pre-Localization Phase
2. Localization Phase
3. After-Localization Phase

Pre Localization Phase
In the Pre-localization phase the aims and goals are set out. The localization process can become very complicated and tedious. Determining the exact requirements is very important as it gives a clear understanding as to what the product needs to do.

Once this becomes clear its best to take a look at the software architecture. Programs tend to use directories to read in strings and resources. Creating a directory for a different country can mean just a simple change of the named directory in the resources.

Another Step taken is to internationalize the code. In this step the code is engineered so that it has the potential to be localized in the future without engineering changes. This makes the localization process less costly and less time consuming. If localization is considered after the software is made, the process can become allot more complicated, costly and time consuming. The software itself may need to be re-engineered.

Usability test would normally be started here and carried out throughout the three phases. This can encourage talk among the developers for the purpose of better localization.

The Localization Phase
Once preparations are made and goals are set its time to get down to business. There are two in which people can undertake this phase. The first of which is to do it manually. The second is to use a tool. When undertaking this manually allot more technical knowledge of the software and software development is necessary. This method can be risky at times as there is a chance of making changes to that code that could make it in-executable. A manual approach can less secure and more time consuming.
To approach this with a tool can be a major bonus. It cuts time and cost as well as...

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