Software localization

Service scope

We provide the following services for software localization projects:

  • Engineering
  • Software translation
  • Translation of mobile applications
  • Testing
  • Screen shooting
  • Language work

The difference

Software translation has several special characteristics compared to regular translation. These require special tools, processes and experience.

Terminology and style guide

Translation is typically one of the last steps in the software delivery process. The intention of the software companies is to keep the time-to-market timeframe as short as possible. Software translation therefore requires in most cases the teamwork of several translators. A well-defined glossary and style guide at the start of translation is a must to avoid inconsistencies and to achieve a superior quality.

User Interface translation

There are various technical and linguistic aspects translators have to keep in mind during the translation of UI elements.

Variables. First of all, variables have to be recognized by the translators. This sounds easy, but there are often so-called ‘speaking’ variables, which can be easily mistaken to be translatable text (e.g. ‘DATE’). Then translators have to find out or to guess what will appear instead of the variable – e.g. a number or a date or some text – and have to position it correctly within the string.

Hotkeys. Translators must recognize hotkeys and position them correctly.

String length. Translators must observe the maximum length limit of strings.

UI element type. Messages, menus, buttons, checkboxes, radio buttons, fields… All of these UI element types have special characteristics which must be taken into account during translation. ‘Open’ can have several meanings: a menu element or a field status text.

Context. A particular string can have totally different meanings depending on where it appears on the screen. Even the operating system or, in case of mobile applications, the phone type has an influence on the translation.

Abbreviations. Strings are often full of one or two-letter abbreviations, which are sometimes very hard to translate. Software translation tools used by MorphoLogic Translation Services support translators in these tasks and provide various technical and linguistic QA checking functions.

Translation sequence

The right sequence plays an important role in the software translation process. Parallel translation of the user interface and the documentation should, if possible, be avoided, otherwise referrals to the UI in the documentation cannot be kept consistent. On the other hand, as documentation and help provide much more contextual information, misinterpreted UI translations can be identified and corrected. UI translation should therefore be not closed before the whole project ends.

Online help, end-user documentation and training material

During the translation of such materials, it is essential that the translator identifies the exact translation of referenced user interface elements.


To see our language portfolio, check out the Languages page.