Significance of Localization in Software Development
According to the US Census Bureau, the number of languages spoken in America is over 350. Where the majority of the population may speak English over one-third prefer speaking a language other than English. Everything has turned into a global market, even our homes. Competing in this age requires software development of businesses, their products, and their digital marketing. There is now a difference between multinational business and global business.
While multinational companies have new strategies, global companies work a little differently. Translation and localization are the key elements of a global company. There is no denying that this is an age to digitization. Companies no longer have the option to go without the use of software for themselves or for their customers. With the digital transformation, companies have been pushed to develop their own software for in-house use and to communicate with the customers.
There is a high chance of missing quite a few markets if you don’t translate your software development. Even if it were to be sold only in the English-speaking countries there are still differences that need to be covered. All in all, it would be a disservice towards your customers if you do not go beyond just one language. If you want to make a place in the international market and sustain it, localization is a very effective strategy to do it.
What is Software Localization?
There is a difference when it comes to software localization and software internationalization. Where software internationalization means that the product is developed in a way that it can accommodate localization, the actual process of localization is entirely different. Software localization refers to the changes made in the said software development in order to adapt to a certain culture or a language. While internationalization is a part of the product development process, very often localization is sought afterward. Internationalization cannot stand on firm ground without localization, therefore it should be made an extension of the product development.
To localize a software development there are five core steps:
- Create a kit of resource files that need to be translated
- Have it translated
- Review the translation
- Insert the files in code structure
- Resize layout as needed
- Compile and test
The Importance of Software Development
If you want to have a global software market, then it is impossible for you to skip localization. Localization is the essence of the international market.
There have been many businesses that tried going global and instead of growing came back with nothing. The reason is that they neglected the importance of adherence to linguistic norms and cultural limitations.
Many start-ups have started after globalization started having its impacts, and they understand the importance of localization as much as any business. They inculcate the process in their core processes and try to capture every market that they can.
Localization is essential for businesses of all ages, and sizes. There is no difference anymore. Focusing on just one language means you are ignoring a huge market out there.
Did you know that there are about 7,000 living languages still in the world, and the native English speakers only make up about 4.8% of the whole world’s population? That is the market that you are originally catering to.
Think of all the potential that you are missing out on, not because of your product itself but because of a language barrier, which you can easily overcome by localization. Localization has become a necessary step and the key for a stable international market.
Here are a few key reasons that you should not waste any more time in thinking and get your software localized as soon as possible.
Faster Reach to New Markets
- The best way to get a quick and smooth way into a new market is to inculcate internationalization and localization into your product. This will help you penetrate new markets as soon as your product is done.
- It is rather time-consuming as well as expensive to seek localization afterward.
- Make sure that you do your homework and identify the best markets for your localized software.
- Target markets that have a demand for your product, and use it to help with your campaign.
A Bigger Customer Base for Software Development
Right now, all your customers are using your software in one language. Most of your customer base would include people who speak English as the first language. And while your customer base may also include people who speak other languages, there is no way to ensure that they will be repeat customers or recommend it to others.
With localization, you tap into an entirely different target market. It includes people that prefer their own language over English as well as people who know only their native language.
Localization Breeds Loyalty
Gaining customers is just one part of the deal, the real story is about making them loyal. Businesses not only depend on their loyal customers to thrive and grow but also to sustain their existence in the market. And the best way to do that is by giving your customers what they need. Word of mouth is your best marketing strategy. And when you give people your software in their own language, they feel a connection and it breeds loyalty. They not only feel a sense of dedication towards using the software but also towards inviting other people to use it.
Improve User Experience as well as Satisfaction
What is quality? It is anything that ensures complete user satisfaction. You want your product to have quality. By localizing your software development, you are improving the quality of your product. Customers prefer the products that are in their own language. A software that is in their own language helps them understand it better and use it more effectively. Ultimately, this improves the overall user experience.
Moreover, in order to ensure better user experience, you need to make sure that the software conforms to linguistic trends and cultural norms. This also helps the customers connect with the software.
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