ClickHelp Software Documentation Glossary

What is Document Localization?

Document localization is a special part of working with documentation when the interpreter translates the document and adapts it to the inhabitants of the target market of the particular country or cultural group.

This strategy is widely used in the sphere of digital products development, while the increasing globalization leads to the necessity of being flexible to have success in the foreign markets.

Document localization is a part of the developing process, and as any feature, it is tested by QA teams and even natives who work on the company. The same situation happens when we talk about software localization with the difference that here we adapt the software itself, while in the first case, we adapt the ‘theoretical’ basis. This side of the product requires a great amount of attentiveness and knowledge of particular cultures.

What is the purpose of document localization?

As it was said, it is not enough only to translate the document from one language into another, but it is necessary to make it clear for a reader of other cultures, backgrounds, and world-viewing.

It is not a secret that people of one nation may interpret the meaning of any article completely wrong, only because of its nation’s history or life circumstances. Here we face the importance of the right interpretation.

It is connected with the end-users who will have to deal with instructions and tutorials of the businesses’ digital product and the developers or QA engineers, who may live and work on the other edge of the world.

Benefits of using document localization

As mentioned at the beginning, document localization is widely used by businesses as it provides many benefits. First of all, it helps to avoid misunderstandings between different developing or quality assurance teams who have to work with the same documentation. Even technical writers may encounter misinterpretation and the articles according to the ‘wrong’ requirements.

The second benefit is connected with the product’s success among the audience of end-users. People will not buy and use an app if they do not understand the manuals and instructions. The first impression is the most important, so not catching them within the first hour will be a total failure for the company.

The process of document localization

The localization process is closely connected with knowledge of the targeted language and everyday culture.

So, the first we have to do is to translate the document. But here is the process when we have to be attentive. Some expressions possess different meanings in different languages, so it would be better for a business to call for a translator and engage a professional linguist in the working process.

After the text is translated, it should be tested by the QA team and some natives of the targeted market (if they are available). When the testing is completed and all the mistakes found are corrected, we may release this documentation to the working teams and the end-users.

Why is using a localization file to localize document so important?

For the purposes of localization, companies use localization files. Their main goal is to govern texts and other parts of the document structure so that they are shown properly.

Localization files use keys for particular strings and even text messages. If you provide a document that should be used in two or more languages, this system makes the work easier as you only have to program the text itself.

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