Developing software can be challenging, but when localization is also required, there are simple concepts which when incorporated will make localization easier and quick. Here is what needs to be followed:
Keep the text and code separate
When writing to code, the coder may be tempted to embed the text directly into the code. Ensure that this is avoided as this will cause the software localization experts to have to reread the whole code to determine which text needs to be translated. This process will be time-consuming and costly.
It is important to give room
Some languages such as English are compact allowing the developer to keep the code compact. However, some languages such as German and Finish, for example, are longer and denser. If the coding is compact with no extra space when the APP localization is done, the string may overlap onto the controls and require the APP or software to be edited after the translation.
Be specific on language and country
It always pays to be precise and the same applies to software development. It is therefore advised that a language and a country code are used in the coding. After all, US English will defer from UK English in spelling as well as in date formats, etc. These differences, when addresses, will help you to add similar language options with ease as the software is tuned for new geographies.
Some developers do not place complete sentences in the code causing the APP localization experts to have to guess the missing sentence which causes errors and confusion in the translation process. These incomplete sentence puzzles are difficult to crack and cause a lot of time wastage.
Ensure Unicode support
Use UTF-8 as it standardizes the encodings across the browser and server. After all, you will want to avoid a situation where the server is in English, the browser in Chinese and all the characters get corrupted.
Numbers, Units, Dates & Times
During the App development process, remember to request not to hard-code the number, units, date and time format as these differ with geographies. When software localization is being done, hard-coded formats cause difficulty in adapting to the changed culture and can be confusing.
The writing does not always flow from left the right!
Unlike English, some languages are written from right to left and a few others vertically. Ensure the coding allows for APP localization to adapt to these different forms of language input. It safer to prepare beforehand for the complex writing formats than to have to spend considerable time for software localization.
Enable secure communication
When coding a variable can have different meanings, and this largely depends on the coder. In these cases, it is important to communicate with the localization expert to make him/her understand what the variable stands for. Ensure the coder leaves notes and tips to enable smooth localization minimizing the errors.
Beware of images which contain text
Images are great for APP development as they reduce the word count and make the coding easier to understand apart from making the APP/ software more appealing to the user. However, when these images contain text, the software localization process is impaired as the text on the graphic also needs to be translated and re-coded. Remember to always keep the images and the text apart for easy translation.