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Translate with Smartcat’s AI engines and/or with human translators from Smartcat Marketplace
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Localize content in any file format into any foreign language 3x faster with high-quality, automatic AI translation and human translators.
Easily translate UI design assets, including landing pages and user interfaces. Switch between languages, collaborate, and adapt layouts, all without leaving Figma.
Smartcat has a global network of 500,000+ vetted linguists that can work with you collaboratively on one platform for centralized control and transparency of any step in the translation lifecycle. AI sourcing finds the best linguist match for your product needs.
Combine the best of both AI technology and professional human linguists to achieve unprecedented localization performance levels.
Get a high-quality automatic translation in minutes with Smartcat AI translation. Then, decide whether to review the translation in-house among your team or assign a Smartcat linguist in seconds to carry out a post-AI translation edit step.
Smartcat offers an industry-first AI-matching algorithm that analyzes content and linguist performance to assign the best resource from the world's largest pool of linguists and boutique agencies.
Product localization is the process of aligning all language and cultural conventions used across your product to the target market. One thing is to translate from English to Spanish. However, it becomes much more complex when you are launching your product in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador all at once. In such a situation, the Spanish must be “localized” to make sure each target market reader fully understands.
A localization strategy involves translating product-related language, usually in the form of written copy and/or audio, and adapting it to make sure that the target market fully understands it, and to optimize its chances of resonating fully with the buyer persona. A localization strategy usually takes the form of a standard translation process with the added step of using region-specific translation assets such as translation memories and glossaries, or hiring a human translator that is native to, or highly familiar with, a specific flavor of a language – for instance, Austrian German as opposed to German from Germany – to adapt the language to this specific market. It differs from standard translation processes, which may only translate into one flavor of a language, for instance, from one language into US or UK English only.
Localization is important because it ensures that the language used for your product - be it copy or audio - is native to the target market consumer or user. If you are launching a new product in Australia, it optimizes the product’s opportunity for success if the language that it uses is adapted to be in Australian English, as opposed to, say, American or South African English. It also ensures that any language faux pas or lack of understanding is avoided.
App localization is the process of adapting your app’s written or spoken language - all language used across your app - for a specific target market. If you are launching an app in both France and Quebec, the localization process would ensure that the French language used is, respectively, Quebec French (Québécois) for Quebec, and French from France for the France market.
Following software localization best practices can help the process to be as efficient and value-generating as possible, ultimately resulting in supporting growth in global markets. Here are some tried and true best practice tips.
Plan for localization before beginning product design. By designing with localization front of mind too, it will facilitate the process and help avoid errors later on.
Don’t take anything language or culture-wise for granted. It’s so easy to overlook many elements when localizing. For instance, while in Spain you drive in kilometers, you would translate distances into miles for the UK market. Also, a cultural reference, expression of speech, or even a joke in one country and culture may not translate at all. In this case, localizing would involve looking for an alternative way to communicate the same message. This also applies to design elements like icons, which should also be confirmed to be culturally appropriate.
Leave room for differing word and character counts. Certain languages use up more or fewer words to say the same thing as another. In some cases, it can be a lot more or fewer. For product design, keeping this in mind from the beginning of the design process can make localization faster and easier to implement and help avoid time-consuming redesigns and editing rounds later on.
Test-run your localized product. Before a full release, it’s a good idea to test your product after it’s been localized with a sample target market group. This lets you see how it performs and to ask for feedback on how, if applicable, the localized language can be improved and become more pertinent to the market.
Measure with A/B testing. To get a strong idea of the ROI of your localization efforts, you can test-run a localized product versus a non-localized version of the product with a sample group. Asking for the group’s impressions of both can help you understand the impact of localization on product appeal, user-friendliness, brand appeal, and sales.
Overall, giving the localization the time and resources that it requires for optimal outcomes can help ensure a smooth product launch that makes maximal impact with each target market consumer.
Localization works by adapting the language that you use for any copy or audio to the specific market in which you operate. It involves using translation memories and glossaries that use market-specific flavors of a language and/or assigning a human linguist to either translate or edit content. For instance, if you have product copy that has already been translated for the US market, the localization process would ensure that the language is adapted for the UK market before launching in the UK.
Some of the most common localization challenges include having to work within a design framework that has not accounted for localization appropriately. This often results in generating a more time-consuming, labor-intensive localization process. Other challenges includes not being able to source the right human linguists, effective communication and collaboration, scheduling the time required before launch to execute a full localization process, and taking full account of cultural nuances and differences as overall part of the localization process.
Product localization ensures that the consumer or user fully understands the language used across the product. It also avoids a possible language faux pas from occurring, which happens often when an international product launch doesn’t have a localization process. Often a word’s meaning can be entirely innocent in one country, but mean something else entirely in another, even when they speak the same language. This is why it is essential to adapt the language for the local market when launching a product.
The ultimate benefit is that it optimizes product language communication, which helps the product to achieve maximized success with each target market.
Localization testing is a method of analyzing the effectiveness of your overall localization process. It ultimately determines the quality levels of your products in all global markets, searching for and flagging any errors or bugs to be fixed. A strong localization testing function includes steps in translation accuracy analysis; checks that image text have been correctly translated; and ensuring the right localization infrastructure is in place for database input, contextualized format support, and unicode standards, among others.
It is a key component of localization, acting as an exhaustive deep process analysis system to safeguard your localization success in all markets.