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Localization Software Must-Haves for Every L10N Manager


Localization software is one of the most valuable day-to-day tools you can use as a localization manager. After all, there are many moving parts involved with localizing your product for the enjoyment of your customers throughout the world.

The best way to move toward a purchase decision on a specific localization software system is to first know what the most important components are for localization management.

The following application capabilities have been proven to be the most important for enhancing team productivity and saving a significant amount of money for companies with L10N needs. When you’re done learning about these, we recommend a localization application at the end of this post that includes everything we mention below, plus more.

What to Look for in Localization Software for L10N Management

Advanced Collaboration Tools; More than Just Email

The first capability to look for in localization software is advanced collaboration. It’s likely that as an L10N manager, you collaborate with translators and other team members to produce translations. And communicating solely via email is slow and can be ineffective. 

People go to great lengths to keep their inbox and messages organized. When working with tight deadlines and publishing deadlines, managers can’t waste time communicating via email. It doesn’t take long for email communication to become disorganized and counter-productive, especially when it involves file collaboration. Few organizations are using Skype or Slack to communicate on translation questions.

The best localization software comes with Slack-like instant messaging functionality. Helping L10N managers to communicate in real time with translators and team members while keeping their inbox clean.

Translation and Quality Assurance Tools

Any top-notch localization software application is going to empower you to produce translations any way you want and allow you to control the quality of your translations whether you choose machine translation or human translation, work with internal resources or external suppliers.

First off, it should not only allow you to translate files and gist copy-and-paste translations, but it should also allow you to improve the quality of your file translations with a built-in translation editor that separates a file into text segments and places them side-by-side in both the source language and target language for editing and review. This makes it possible to edit your file text by segment.

Your app should also include Dynamic Machine learning. This technology will ensure that your improvements are automatically stored in Translation Memory for future use. What’s more, Dynamic Machine Learning will automatically find and replace repetitions within a file or batch of files. This applies to the current document(s) you’re editing, as well as future ones you upload. Dynamic Machine Learning will also help you train your machine translation engines to produce better quality first-draft translations. 

Additionally, your software should facilitate terminology management. This means you would be able to upload a glossary of terms and their approved translations so that everyone will produce translations adhering to any terminology guidelines set forth by your company.

And if your time is important to your organization, you should opt for a localization software system that comes with automatic file formatting. This means you can upload files and retain most of the original fonts, font style, graphics and layouts so that each document requires as little file formatting as possible and remains publishable. Some translation solutions will almost completely erase the amount of time you spend formatting your translations.

Last but not least, don’t forget about spellcheck. More specifically, Dynamic Spellcheck. Not only will this find typos for you, but it will also automatically find and replace all repetitions of an error across a file (or batch of files) when you correct just one instance of it.

All of the technology we just explained is integral to quality assurance, consistency, cutting costs and cutting back on working hours. 

Strong Project Management Capabilities

Localization software isn’t going to be any use to you as an L10N manager if it doesn’t help make project management more efficient or easier. 

After all, if it doesn’t facilitate the following, how can you keep everyone focused and collaborating?

Specific capabilities to look for include:

  • Running log of edits with timestamps & user names
  • User roles
  • Permissions control
  • Restrict Translation Memory access by group
  • Invite translation professionals into the platform from within the user interface
  • Contextual instant messaging by project

These capabilities will streamline team productivity and help you organize project correspondence by keeping it in one place and within the context of a translation project.

What’s more, the latest version of a translation is accessible to those invited to work on that project. This keeps everyone on the same page and is meant to break the counter-productive habit of emailing translation file attachments back and forth outside of the interface.

Just write your message and tag your colleague to invite them to collaborate on what’s in front of you, in real time. Get your questions answered in seconds instead of hours or days. If you need to chat it out, the messenger makes it quick and simple. For easy reference, you’ll be able to access a running dialogue for every file collaborated on.

API Access to the Localization Software Capabilities Listed Above

If you adopt a localization platform that doesn’t have a powerful API, you’re out of luck. An API (Application Programming Interface) will seamlessly integrate your localization solution with the various software systems in use across your organization to help you improve linguistic quality for content that exists in multiple areas.

Unfortunately, a lot of translation tools on the market only deliver raw translations and provide no features that help you improve the quality of your translations or provide quality assurance features.

The best localization software you can find will have a robust API that allows you to improve the quality of translations and deliver updates in real time.

Short (or Zero) Learning Curve Involved

As an L10N manager, you don’t have time to train your entire team on complex localization software. 

Sure, it’s important to communicate the benefits and be a champion of successful user behavior. However, the best localization application will be intuitive, yet powerful––with almost no learning curve

You never want to sacrifice intelligence, functionality and security when it comes to a localization management app, but the user interface should always make your team more productive, not distracted. In other words, no multiple clicks required to perform one function, buttons that aren’t intuitive or toolbars you need to learn. Look for an application with an easy-to-use user interface and reduce onboarding complexity.

Web-Based Access Across Multiple Devices

Do you want to pay a hefty licensing fee each time someone joins your team because they need localization software on their computer?

When it comes down to choosing a program, make sure it’s a web-based application. This means your entire team will be able to access it on a browser at anytime, from anywhere in the world. What’s more, web-based access makes your translations accessible in the cloud from any device and allows your team to use all the same functionality they have when using the application on a desktop computer. 

Whether someone is on their tablet, smartphone or desktop computer, they should be able to access and edit translations. There’s no download or installation involved, and there isn’t any waiting for updates to take effect. You can get your entire team started on the software within minutes. 

Compliance, Security & Confidentiality

Does your organization (or your clients) need to adhere to strict data compliance laws due to the industry in which it operates? You should look for localization software that meets specific mandates such as GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), or SOX (Sarbanes Oxley).

Along with this, you should opt for software that includes strong security measures to reduce your risk of a data breach. Look for two-step authentication, encrypted file storage, SSL certification and PCI-compliant payment processing. You want software that has passed a third-party security audit.

What’s more, your data and personal information should never be shared with third parties, nor should it be indexed or stored for anyone’s use but your company’s. Look for a “no return” policy to be included with your software solution.

Live Human Support

Top-notch localization software will include live human support. After all, your new investment should save you time in all respects. Test out their live chat feature and see how long it takes for someone to get on a chat with you.

Don’t purchase software from a company that won’t give you the chance to speak to a human. Sure, robots might save them time on providing customer support––but in turn, they will waste yours.

Recommended Localization Management Software System

If you want the best localization software with all the capabilities and qualities listed above, use Pairaphrase

Pairaphrase is a web-based translation management system for enterprise companies who want to translate smarter, faster and safer.

best localization software

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