If your software has been a huge success in your home market and you want to expand it globally, you already know that product localization is not an option but rather a requirement for enterprises wishing to compete in the global market. Software localization may seem intimidating at first. You might be thinking about localizing your software, but you may be unsure where to begin, how to avoid common errors, or whether localization is the appropriate decision for your company. Software localization is a complicated process, including technical, cultural, and linguistic considerations. However, if you’re seeking a technique to overcome the most difficult obstacles, this guide to software localization best practices will assist!

First Thing First: What is Software Localization?

“Software Localization means making software fit for users who speak different languages and come from different cultures. This includes changing the language used in the software and making sure it looks and works well for those users. This makes the software feel like it was made just for them.

Experts who translate software follow a process to ensure it’s done right. They consider regional linguistic, cultural, and technical requirements and address them. This process has three main parts:

  1. Internalization: Getting the software ready for translation.
  2. Software Localization: Translating the words and ensuring they work in the software.
  3. Testing and QA: Check to ensure everything looks good, works well, and sounds right in the translated version.

Also Read: What is Software Localization?

Why is Software Localization Important for Your Business?

Making your software available in different languages can help you stand out from competitors and attract more customers. When people see that your product is available in their language, they will likely trust and stick with it. It can boost your business and make your customers happier.

Making sure your product fits the market it’s meant for is crucial for success. It shows you know what you’re doing, builds trust, and meets people’s needs. From a user’s perspective, not having a software version in their language or finding a poorly translated one can be frustrating. Imagine using a program with confusing instructions because of a bad translation. It might still work, but it takes extra effort. You’d feel like the software wasn’t made with you in mind. And that’s the impression you’ll share with others.

When a product is designed to fit the culture and language of its users, it becomes more attractive to them. Investing in localization means your product can reach new markets faster and attract more customers because people trust a product that feels like it’s made just for them.

Plus, with platforms like the Google Play Store and the App Store, reaching people worldwide is easier than ever. By translating your software, you can make it easier for people in other countries to find and use it, bringing in more customers and growing your business even more. So, it’s not just about making money; it’s about improving people’s lives.

Also Read: Benefits and Challenges of Software Localization

When should you start thinking about localization? 

It’s a good idea to get started early on. Finding the right partner to help with localization can make the whole process smoother. Look for a partner like Lisan India with experience working with businesses like yours. In simple terms, think about localization as soon as you start expanding beyond your home market.

Software Localization is Costly and Time-Consuming. What Are The Common Mistakes That Make the Process Lengthy?

Sometimes, when people are making software for different languages, they make mistakes. 

  1. One mistake is not thinking about translating the software until it’s almost done. But you should think about it from the beginning.  Different software might need different tweaks for internationalization. But some things are common, like how to handle plurals (like one apple vs. many apples) and how to sort lists. Things like currency signs and address formats might not apply everywhere.
  2. Sometimes, making software work for people from different countries isn’t as easy. For example, in English, making words plural is straightforward. But in Slovenian, there are special forms for when there are exactly two things, and in Russian, the rules for using singular and plural are different, especially for numbers.
  3. Another thing developers often overlook is how text looks on the screen. In Europe, they might forget that some languages are written from right to left instead of left to right. Also, text is often arranged in vertical columns from top to bottom and right to left in Japan. Imagine downloading a new app to write something in Japanese and then realizing it doesn’t let you write vertically!
  4. There are over 20 languages in India, and many of them have unique writing styles. Sometimes, the software doesn’t understand these complex rules, which can frustrate users.
  5. Another mistake is not planning properly. It’s also important to organize the text in a way that makes sense for translators. Some file formats are better for this than others. For example, Excel isn’t great, but formats like JSON and XML are suitable. And it’s important to use the right kind of text encoding to show all languages correctly.
  6. Another thing is making sure that the same people translate the instructions and the actual software so everything is consistent. Finally, it’s important to know exactly which version of a language you need, like Canadian French versus French from France. So, it’s beneficial to have a good partner who knows about this stuff and can help you from the start of making the software all the way to the end.

Where Should I Sell My Product, and What Languages Should I Use?

Before making your software available in different languages and regions, it’s smart to prep for it. That’s where internationalization comes in, often shortened to i18n. It’s about setting up your software to be easily adjusted for different countries and languages. Before you translate your product into multiple languages and try to sell it worldwide, it’s essential to think carefully. It might seem like a good idea to reach as many people as possible, but translating your product takes a lot of time and money. Plus, there’s no point in translating it if people in certain places won’t buy it or if they already have similar products they prefer.

Here’s what you should do instead: Think about where you want to sell your product and who your competitors are in those places. Then, determine how your product differs and why people might want to buy it instead of what’s already available. Once you have a clear idea of where you want to focus, you can start translating your product and trying to sell it there.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

When you’re translating stuff, you need to think about who’s gonna read it. What sounds good in one place might not work somewhere else. So, it’s smart to involve local experts to help you figure out how to talk to the folks in that area while staying true to your brand.

Make a Guide: Make a guide that shows how you want things to sound. That way, anyone translating your stuff knows what vibe to aim for. Please keep it in one place so everyone’s on the same page.

What’s the best way to translate software into different languages?

Many people think localization and translation mean the same thing, but they’re different. Translation is a big part of localization, but there’s more to it. Before translators even start working, a bunch of stuff needs to happen. 

For example, the software must be adjusted to show time and dates differently. It also needs to handle languages with different writing directions, like Arabic and Hebrew, which go from right to left. Sometimes, if the software isn’t ready, it might be unable to show the text properly.

The work doesn’t stop once the translators are done. Proofreaders check the translations to make sure they’re right before they’re put into the software. The software itself needs to be tested to make sure everything looks and works okay. For example, sometimes, a translated button might not fit properly, or some text might be missing from a window. These things can confuse or annoy people using the software, but they’re easy to find and fix during testing.

How Do I Handle the Localization Process?

Thinking about managing your localization process with just spreadsheets and emails? Well, that might not be the best idea. It’s prone to mistakes, takes up a lot of time and effort, and can frustrate your team.

Instead, consider using localization tools. They make the whole process much easier and smoother. With these tools, you can get translations done faster, bring your product to market quicker, and keep everyone on your team in the loop.

But picking the right tool can be tricky. Look for ones that are easy to use and allow your team to collaborate easily. It’s also important that the tool can grow and adapt to your needs and work alongside your existing workflows and resources. In short, using the right localization tool can make your life easier and your team happier.

How do you Choose Companies to Help Translate and Adapt Your Software for Different Languages?

When you’re looking for companies to help translate your software into different languages early on, involving everyone who cares about the process, like project managers and bosses, is essential. They can tell you what’s most important to them, which will help you focus your search.

There are many different systems to help with translation, but they each do things a bit differently. For example, some might not be able to handle the types of files your software uses. If your software works on different devices like iPhones, Android phones, and computers, you’ll need a system that can handle all the different file types for each one.

Once you know what you need, you can look at different companies. They might let you see a demo of their software or even try it out yourself. You can also ask them to give you a proposal, which is like a plan for how they’ll help you. This will help you figure out which company is best for your project.

Product or Project Manager

You’ll need someone to lead the localization project, keeping everyone updated and answering questions.

Translators, Linguists, Proofreaders, and Editors

You’ll need people to translate your content accurately and then check it for mistakes. You can hire freelancers or a professional service if you don’t have these skills in-house.


Your design team will ensure that your product’s look and feel align with the culture of your target market. They’ll work closely with the marketing team to choose the right visuals.


Your developers will integrate the translated content and adapted interfaces into the final product. Depending on your project’s size, you might need a specialist, a software localization engineer, to focus solely on this part.

Also Read: 7 Reason Why Software Localization is So Tricky


Software localization is a perfect way to expand your product in a worldwide market if done correctly. It has the potential to capture new customers to your software and increase its competitiveness, resulting in better ROI. For successful localization, all you need to do is properly prepare your program and ensure it is language and technical error-free. The best way to do this is by partnering with the appropriate language services provider who can handle all the cutting-edge technologies responsible for continuous localization.

At Lisan India, we are well-versed in making the software work well for people across the world. We have a team of experts who can speak the languages naturally, understand technology, and know how to translate and adapt software. 

Also Read: 9 Dos and Don’ts for the Software Localization Process