Why Should You Use a Localization Platform?
Spreadsheets may seem like a good localization solution at first, but they're not. Here's why you should consider using a localization platform.
With you being here, we can safely assume you're starting to think about localization, but are still unsure whether this is something you can do manually through spreadsheets or you need the help of a localization platform.
A spreadsheet is enough to manage your translatable content for your app. It is fast and convenient, almost everybody has access to a form of a spreadsheet. All you have to do is keep a list of keys and their translations for each targeted language.
However, soon you will start distributing your software in a few different countries. Or you might be constantly adding new features to your software, and they need to be translated. As your app scales, you will realize that localization with spreadsheets is going to cause delays in your business plans and frustrations within your team.
Here are some of the most common roadblocks teams encounter when using spreadsheets for their translatable content.
Copy-pasting from spreadsheets is a painful, error-prone, and slow process
Your developers could be doing something far more complex, focusing on researching, designing, and implementing new features. Besides the fact that copy-pasting from a spreadsheet is a very boring task, it is also highly error-prone. Miscopy one sentence and the user will not know how to use that fancy new feature you spend months to build. On the other side, you should think about the time this manual localization process takes and how much of it you lose on every release.
You can't automate localization process with spreadsheets.
Imagine a company with multiple software teams that develop and maintain a Web, iOS, and Android app. That is a fairly common scenario as the companies wish to be present wherever their customers are. The underlying technologies and how the content is localized for these platforms could be vastly different from one and another. Now you have to figure out how to export that spreadsheet into a format that each of your software platforms demands. You may have to build and maintain scripts that transform that spreadsheet into an acceptable format.
Essentially you have to take the time to learn the rules of your target platform. For example, there are certain forbidden characters in an XML file format such as < &, ", >. You have to write your script in such a way that guards against those characters in your content while exporting your spreadsheet into an XML file. There is not much value added here. It is the bare minimum requirement to be functional. To make matters worse you will have to do that for each of your platforms. It is simply a productivity loss for your teams.
You have no centralized platform to work from
Even though you are probably using a shareable spreadsheet, your translator may not have access to this document due to security reasons.
So you copy this document and send it to the translator. By the time the translator sends the translations, the original file changed — somebody added something new or deleted a few keys. Now you have to use excel magic and formulas to match the translations back to the master file. Oh, you have to do this for each target language. At this point, you can't even keep track of how many files are flying around to perform a seemingly easy translation task.
And when you have no centralized translation management software to work from, you can't cut down the hours of manual work. You're working with outdated technology, a decentralized team, a high margin for error, and costly delays.
Collaboration is not so easy
If you've ever tried to localize your software with spreadsheets then you'll know how hard it is to coordinate between product manager, translator, proofreader, programmer, and client. Your collaboration options are limited to email threads and Skype chat. By managing the whole software localization process from one place you have access to awesome collaboration options. You can provide context or screenshots for your translators. You can add comments for your programmers.
Faster software localization with translation management software
You can speed up your localization projects by leaving spreadsheets behind you. With robust localization software like Translized, communication between all parties is easy. Your projects are faster and more efficient, reducing your time and cost. Instead of all that dangerous manual work, you can harness the power of technology to get more done quicker. Automated platforms were made to streamline and improve our workflow, leading to improved efficiency and reduced cost. We at Translized strive to provide a fully automated localization experience and seamless integrations, ultimately making the localization process easy.
If you are ready to accelerate your business growth, we do offer a 14-day free trial so you can try Translized today.