Software has undergone numerous shifts in the last decade. There have been new approaches, tools, agile methodologies, scrum techniques, automated processes, open-community leanings, parallel development, containerization or Dockers that have impacted the industry as we know it.
Along the way has come an equally appalling and disruptive onslaught of form-factors. The world is no more just about plain-Jane desk machines when it comes to devices. First, the desktops were displaced with things more portable and then phones or carry-along devices themselves underwent huge advancements. There was miniaturization of technology accompanied by a fierce pace of consumerization.
Soon these phones became smartphones and while the world was getting used to technology getting crisper, faster, smaller, cleverer; there were wearables, Virtual Reality headsets, and IoT-powered house appliances waiting on the verge.
In short, an average user can not be summed up with one device. Form-factors have been melting and new ways and interfaces continuously surprise and wean away existing users. These are also times when companies and marketers keep guessing the app-only or website debate with much confusion and risks at stake.
When one is being surrounded in an environment such as this, one can not at least ignore the common denominator when the guesstimates are happening on the bigger questions. For a marketer, the task of software localization is no more a tech-thing to be handled by a geek team. It is of extreme importance when every new or existing user would make huge impressions based on how the interaction with the screen happens. It could be a website or a complex interface on a certain device or simply the manual of handling a particular product.
There is no way that such screens are left to arbitrary language decisions. One has to be both strategic as well as tactical in devising software code at the core, and accompanying APIs, add-ons, upgrades, supplementary material, follow-on pieces in a way that the desired user finds the whole experience smooth, whatever be his language.
Translation makes this part smooth despite all the complexity that goes under the hood. Software localization services are often offered as a portfolio solution when professional localization service providers are approached for general translation work. Software localization is not just a mere technology work but also a product of the understanding of cultural aspects of the target language. It is a process that starts with translators and ends with localization project managers.
They also touch upon website translation services keeping in mind a global and tech-savvy customer. This way they handle visual elements, engineering trivia, coding issues, scripting factors and debugging processes in a holistic manner.
Website translation services, when done with a short-sighted view of simply rehashing text in a new language, can be extremely risky and costly. One has to address many underlying and long-sighted issues that will ultimately define the overall user experience. For a marketer, software or website localization and translation are not two separate decisions. They have to be hinged closely so that the overall outcomes shape up as planned and without precious time being wasted.