Localisation services – who could benefit from them?
Software developers always think big – their ideas reach far beyond the borders of their home country and they strive for international recognition, success and fame. The ready-made product is perfectly suitable to one, specific target market: the one that it was primarily designed for. In order to make it stand out on the crowded international market, it requires a little bit more effort during the development stage – and here’s your chance to stay ahead of the competition: during the preparation of global software launch, many app and software developers overlook the importance of cultural and linguistic aspect. Make sure that the software speaks the language of your target audience. Make them feel as if someone designed and developed the program with their comfort in mind.
When translation is not enough anymore
Just a few years ago it was commonly accepted that translating content into English was entirely sufficient to successfully launch software on diversified markets – after all, isn’t it called the modern lingua franca? Consider, however, the fact that your software is supposed to reach also those customers who might not be able to effortlessly communicate in English; maybe they did not have a chance to learn it or simply did not need it. The chances that they would still choose software offered by your company, remaining mysterious to them due to limited language comprehension, are quite low. They are more likely to select domestic provider who offers support and programs in their native language. Therefore, developers started to reach further and provide multilingual interfaces – and still, the demands of highly competitive international software market skyrocketed. Taking care of linguistic aspect only provided to be ineffective, with culture-based information making absolutely no sense at all to recipients who grew up surrounded by different set of values and popular culture references. International success does not happen overnight and is definitely not based on presenting your content in foreign language only. There’s so much more that you have to consider if you don’t have a habit of settling for less.
Three crucial components behind software localisation: language, culture, technology
Living in a global village where languages and cultures blend seamlessly, aided by modern technology, we fail to recognise how distinct differences between certain societies might be. It takes, however, only one marketing mistake to fail miserably at a given market. Gaining clients’ trust is always hard work; losing it is a matter of minutes. Agencies offering comprehensive scope of services aimed at successful localisation activities usually provide the aid of professional expansion team; these usually involve native speakers of a given language, who also have deep understanding and sensitivity to the novelties of both linguistic and cultural issues. This flexible team will make sure that language is appropriate for a given target audience and does not contain any mistakes related to grammar, lexicon or syntax. The task of adapting software to clients’ cultural demands is the most challenging – and involves great risk. It is no easier when technical requirements are taken into consideration; some languages make the character count increase considerably, making it nearly impossible to use the same interface as in the source version. These problems can be solved two ways: either by adjusting text length to the available space or changing the layout of the program.
Reach out to the target audience, speak their language and move their souls: the key to successful international brand launch
People tend to notice and appreciate things that are somehow relatable to their own experiences or dreams. Localisation is largely based on intangible concepts, cultural subtleties and sensitive ideas which are most likely to cause problems and make us realise that whatever we do, our endeavour is doomed to failure. Your software is most likely to become successful when it appeals to the end customers, provides user-friendly experience and intuitive usage; and there is only one way to ensure it. Establish a long-lasting cooperation not only with translators, but also native speakers of a given language or, even better, a team of professionals providing reliable advice on content localisation. Remember that software localisation cannot be ever considered as a complete process: further updates, troubleshooting and user support require just as much effort as the initial launch.