Software localization is the need of the hour. With the world getting more technical and digitalized the software applications have to be good enough to meet and resonate with the needs of the people coming from diverse backgrounds and regions. The process of software localization is technical and challenging. It often gets tough to consider all the relevant elements while catering to it. Culture is one of the crucial factors that needs to be taken into account. The software products require cultural preferences and expectations of the target user according to the norms and conditions common in the region. Customers, when they find the software and app according to their cultural and regional practices, are more inclined to use and download the software for their personal use.
The following factors are important to consider and carry out vigilantly to ensure culture-friendly software localization.
An accurate language translation is completed with the adoption of regional practices, dialects, and nuances. Also, the translators need to understand while working for software localization services, that it is not all about translating the words. The meaning and context behind it are also significant to consider. This further ensures that the idiomatic expression, humor, and cultural implications are properly integrated as per the likenesses of the customers. These all factors require proper consideration. A single language has different variants even within the same region and country. Therefore, translating the content accordingly is extremely crucial.
User interface design
Another factor in conserving the cultural aspect is ensuring that the interface design is according to the requirements. The user interface should not include or show any such element that can infuriate the user. The layout, for instance, its navigation and placement of elements should follow the patterns of the target language. Moreover, the icons placed on the interface and the symbols used also require culturally appropriate placement. These all factors should be good enough to resonate well with the audiences. The local audiences should be able to understand the user interface and should also feel it relevant.
Date and time formats
The methods of using and entering the date and time formats are different in different countries. Different cultures adopt it differently. To work on a culture-friendly software localization it is advised to follow the practices of entering the date and time formats as per the regional practices. Moreover, the calendars should also be displayed according to the display that is common in the targeted regions. The mode used should be familiar and more logical to the relevant users.
The numerical fonts and their entry also leave a great impact. The currency, numerical formats, units of measurement, and numbering system are also get written differently in different cultures. A changed entry can confuse the masses not approving your software localization. Culturalization also helps to ensure that formats are accepted according to the conventions that are of the local regions. The numerical fonts are sensitive information and hence need to be entered carefully. A wrong entry can make the relevant people suffer.
There are certain symbols, colors, and images that have different meanings in different cultures. It is also important that symbols and imagery used are considered accordingly and should be according to the intended audience and region. It should not contain offensive and inappropriate content. Moreover, the whole content and text should be culturally sensitive and respectful of local customs and traditions. As we talk about the role of culture and culturalization in software localization, cultural sensitivity is even more crucial. Also, the developers should ensure they only hire the services of a professional translation company. They should also check for native speakers who understand relevant cultures and know how to integrate the factors in software and app localization accordingly.
Legal and regulatory compliance
Every business expansion, process of globalization, and software localization comes with certain responsibilities and regulations. Not following the defined rules and procedures while localization and globalization can make businesses suffer in the hands of legal authorities and regulatory people. Therefore, ensuring culture also means taking into account the legal and regulatory requirements that are particular to that region. This further includes data protection laws, privacy regulations as well and legal requirements that are often different in different countries.
A user experience can only be pleasant and comfortable when they understand the content and find it culture-friendly. A single factor, word, or image that goes against their culture can make them boycott the software and also spread their views around accordingly. Therefore, taking culture into account allows us to enhance the overall user experience by tweaking and tailoring the content as per the preferences of the local audiences. During the process, understanding the user behavior and cultural norms in creating an intuitive and user-friendly interface can also make the user feel good and satisfied. They not only accept and use the software themselves but also suggest the same to others.
Culture plays a vital role in software localization. Businesses, software developers, and companies must understand the significance of culture while localizing their applications and software. They should work on the language translation, user interface design, date and time formats, and numerical format. Cultural sensitivity and legal and regulatory authorities should also be considered for it.