Client Success Story: Making Software Multilingual

Last Updated October 1, 2020

How an international design and engineering company used localization to deliver software to a global audience.

When an international design and engineering company wanted to launch a new version of their innovative software onto the global market, they asked Summa Linguae Technologies (SLT) to create native-language versions for users in different countries.

Here’s how we helped that client successfully create a localized piece of software and save time and money on future translation efforts.

The Challenge

The design and engineering company is part of a world-leading engineering and R&D group with a roster of clients spanning many essential sectors—Automotive, Aeronautics, Space, Defense & Naval, Rail, Infrastructure & Transport, Energy, Industrial & Consumer, Life Sciences, Communications, Semiconductor & Electronics, Software & Internet, and Finance & Public Sector.

This huge and diverse organization has offices in America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and around 270,000 employees spread across almost 50 countries. With years of experience dealing with clients and managing employees around the globe, clear, comprehensible communication is essential in every aspect of their operation.

So when they were preparing to launch a new software product for the international market, it was crucial that it would be perceived as native to every user.

Because as a multicultural business with clients across the globe, the ramifications of a mistranslation in any of their products would be severe. Misleading operating instructions for a crucial piece of software, for example, could be catastrophic. So comprehensive and accurate software localization is an absolute must.

The Solution

Once the client had provided SLT with the latest version release of their software (v3), the team turned their thoughts to the creation of an appropriate TM.

If you’re new to localization, a translation memory (TM) is a database containing the source text and target-language translations of previously translated text. Entries in the database are broken down into the smallest meaningful groups of words—such as ‘select an option’, ‘the blue button’, or ‘twenty-seven’.

As a new piece of text is analyzed, the TM is used to automatically identify matching entries and suggest translations from its database. The larger the database, the fewer phrases need to be translated from first principles, i.e. without the help of the database. This increases the speed and decreases the cost of the localization process.

In this client’s case, the existing TM from v1 of the software was available for use but, following an initial analysis of the files, SLT identified many disparities between the text used for v1 and that required for v3.

To bridge this information gap, SLT requested access to v2 of the software, which had not been localized. SLT then proceeded to localize v2 – and used the process to build an extensive TM. This was then used as a highly effective TM for the localization of v3.

Amol Agarwal, Head of Production for SLT APAC, describes the challenges overcome on the project, “There were some initial mismatches that made localization a challenge. However, we traced the error back to an incomplete source TM. Rather than admit defeat, we successfully navigated our way around the problem to deliver a first-rate solution.”

This innovative localization process had the additional benefit of creating a fully up-to-date and usable TM database for the client.

The Outcome

The project resulted in:

You can discover more about SLT’s software localization services by contacting us here. 

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