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Localization (sometimes referred to as l10n) is the process of adapting any product designed for a particular locale (which often corresponds in commercial terms to a marked market as defined by the geographical location or linguistic characteristics of its target customers) to make it suitable for another such locale. In software and web development it usually refers to the activity of adapting language, currencies and measurement units, designs, images, contact details and links to suit a new target audience for a website or software product or service. Before localization can begin it is usually necessary for the website or software to undergo an internationalization process. While one of the central tasks of the localization process is translation, it also involves tasks that need to be done before translation can begin and after translation has been completed.
Globalization is the term used by some software development companies to describe the combined tasks of internationalization and localization.
Computer-assisted translation (or CAT) is the term used in the translation industry for some of the powerful software packages used to help improve the quality and consistency of translations at the same time as speeding up the translation process. Typical features of such tools include translation memory and terminology management functionalities. Some products also include capacity to integrate external machine translation systems into their set of functions.
Major CAT tools include SDL Trados, Star Transit, MemoQ, Across Language Server, Déjà Vu, amongst many others. CAT tools specialized in software localization include SDL Passolo and Alchemy Catalyst.
All good computer-assisted translation systems include a functionality to compare translation units to be translated with others that have already been translated in the past, assigning a percentage value to them, depending on how similar the current text is to one that has already been translated. This can significantly accelerate the translation process and help the translator keep his or her work consistent with work already done in the past. Such comparisons are also often referred to as "partial matches".
If a current translation unit is absolutely identical to one and only one translation unit that has been translated in the past, then the translation memory tool will mark it as a 100% match. Penalties may be applied to matches for cases where the translation memory contains two different translations for the translation unit.
When a translation memory finds a unique 100% match whose previous and subsequent translation units are also 100%, then it considers it a "context match", which indicates with an even higher level of certainty that the previous translation can be adopted for the current one.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. For our purposes, it is the central discipline involved in most localization workflows. However, for localization to be completed to an acceptable level of quality, the translation process usually needs to be accompanied by other tasks, both before translation begins and after it is completed.
A locale is a set of parameters that defines a user's language, country and any special variant presentations that a website or application user interface should display to such a user. These presentations may include the way currencies and numbers are displayed, date and time formats and even character encoding and keyboard layout. A locale is almost always defined primarily by a language, often with a secondary regional, national or other territorial classification.
Translation of your text is a two-way process. We ask you the right questions and actively encourage your feedback because we are as passionate about our translation as you are about your product or service.
We are a small team based in Berlin and we take pride in being personally involved with all the translations and adaptations for which we are responsible. Unlike agencies, which field out work to hundreds of freelance translators, we prefer to concentrate on the English and German languages, using only tried and trusted language professionals and coordinating them to ensure that they work together with maximum efficiency to achieve maximum quality.
The localisation of your text is a process which involves much more than merely translating the words on the page. It’s the steps taken before and after the translation stage which can make a decisive difference to its quality.
You may only need our services for one project. Or you may prefer to develop a longer term relationship with us. In the latter case, we can build up a terminology database specific to your business, which means faster translation turnaround, discounts for volume and repetition and long-term customer satisfaction. The translation memory system that we develop specifically for your business ensures that you never have to pay twice for a single translation. The "fuzzy matching" system also ensures consistency in style for your branding texts.
We can help you ensure that your brand's message is pitched the way you want it to be.
Through our use of the latest translation memory technology, our communication with you, our understanding or your needs and our attention to detail, we can guarantee not just accuracy of translation, but also that your brand is pitched in a consistent, well-targeted, professional style.