Thursday, February 17, 2005

Stages in a big localization project

Our company is about to start working on a big localization project. We are not the main contractor: we shall only be providing our services to a major translation and localization company.

Unlike many other projects I've seen in the past, this is very well organized, and includes, in the correct order, all the most important activities for such a project:
  1. Creation of a project glossary, translation of the SL glossary into the TLs, approval of the TL glossaries by the customer
  2. Creation of a style guide for each language
  3. Translation of the UI, and approval by the customer
  4. Testing the UI
  5. Translation and editing of the documentation
  6. Publication of the documentation and final proofreading
  7. Generation of the help system from the translated documentation
There are, of course, many more intermediate stages and activities: from the management of translation memories to organizing and implementing a system for answering translators' questions.

It is surprising, though, how many projects do not include some fundamental steps, or do them in the wrong order (such as translating the documentation before the software is translated... or at least stable enough not to cause too many problems during documentation translation).

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