If you are a new developer, you would be wondering what localization is. Wikipedia relates language localization as the process of adapting a product’s translation to a specific country or region. It is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation to account for differences in distinct markets, a process known as internationalization and localization. In the shorter term, localization is adapting something to a country’s needs in terms of language or specialization.
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SEO-friendly websites are usually localized and have translations in place if you are not in the default language. Web development companies offer SEO services that help boost traffic to sites that have localization and other minor details to enhance the consumer’s experience.
1. You must have basic support from the start: do not add it in too late.
Localization is something that must be added in from the start – especially if the new site has a lot of traffic straight away. People from around the world will come to look at your website if it becomes well-known, meaning English (the most spoken language on Earth counting it as a second language) will just not cut it. Localization is handy for translating into Spanish, French, Mandarin, and other well-known languages that also top the chart. If you’re an enterprise of developers, you can leverage the professional help of translation services that will localize the platform you’re trying to create in terms of language, culture, and customs.
People are now expecting this from the off-go. It needs to be added as soon as so the consumer has an enhanced experience and can translate into their native language if it is not English.
2. Use a TMS (Translation Management System) – it is quicker and eases stress that would usually be brought on
Translation Management Systems are easier to use than humans. They are quicker, more reliable, and can easily handle stress. However, you need to make sure that you have the right option in order to get what you really want out of it. For this, they should have:
- Use an API integration system – it is fast, easy, and gets the job done
- Web translations
- Connected to GitHub as a place to share and source code, having continuous translation
- Files and strings – context tools to make it easily understandable. You might want to convert to PDF, so the files don’t change the format and are presented in their primary form.
- Features to let you and your team collaborate
- Translation memory for the consumer
3. Use the correct formats and units for currency or time
This should be simple, but a lot of the time, it goes unnoticed. Sometimes, currencies are not correct based on the country it is in – it happens a lot. For instance, if you are in GMT -4 (Eastern Standard Time US) then you do not want to be seeing UK currencies because it is a British website. There could be an option to change the currencies, but this may not always work.
Furthermore, time zones are not always correct either. Localization scripts can help with this error, changing into the correct times, and making sure that everything is correct based on the area someone lives in.
These scripts can also help with Arabic and Persian writing styles, where they write right to left instead of conventional left to right.
4. Use the time you have to think ahead – plan the UI out and see where everything would be
Localization is not just nitty-gritty and basic – it can be hard work, especially if you are coming across it for the first time. Use the time you have to think ahead and plan your site’s UI. Your website must look as clean and as broad as it did before the localization stage is added. Translating from English to French (such as however = cependant or because = parce que/étant donné que) can increase the length of your text.
Furthermore, the right to left text means that you must re-customize your website entirely. A simple yet thought-provoking design would work here. It would be much easier to change it around, especially if you are using just HTML and CSS in the basics.
5. If you are going to use icons, be very careful
If you are going to use icons, be very careful and check that they would fit. For instance, do not put a US postal box for mail inquiries in – it does not translate to British or Eastern countries. This is especially useful when changing to countries that have no political ties with America. It may save time and money, but it really would not be worth it. A shopping basket or trolley would work though if you were to make an e-commerce website.
Icons do not always fit in either. If you went for a colourful website with dull-coloured icons, it just would not match. The modern colour scheme is heading toward more neutral colours – grays, blacks, and whites. They are not warm or cool colours.
In conclusion, localization is important for setting up a website that would have a larger audience. People are starting to expect it on most websites, and those that do not have them will not get the traffic.
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