Russian Software Localization Brings In New Business

Beautiful piece of machinery

An inspection equipment manufacturer relies on Velior’s expertise to localize a software program.

About the client

One of our long-term clients (via another translation agency) is a major German manufacturer of inspection equipment. Their proven track record assures  product quality and precision, as well as well-written documentation and software that helps users make most out of their products.

Project background

In 2008, the client enlisted the help of Velior to translate a graphical user interface (GUI) for their inspection system management software from German into Russian, as they were getting ready to sell this system to a large Ukraine-based pipe manufacturer. This integrated hardware and software solution was designed to inspect newly produced seamless pipes for various flaws.

Project challenge

Translating this project required both subject area knowledge (inspection) and software localization skills. The translator assigned to this account had extensive experience with the company’s products, but his software localization skills were non-existent. To handle this new project without compromising quality, he needed to team up with a software localization expert.

Solution

The project manager added a linguist specializing in software localization to the team. Whereas the DE-RU linguist was responsible for correct translation of complex concepts and terminology, the software guru ensured that the localized GUI would make sense to end users. Not only did the communication and collaboration between them help improve translation quality, but it also expedited the translation process.

Project completion

The project went smoothly from start to finish, thanks to the right team and close supervision by a dedicated project manager. The text for translation came in the client’s proprietary format, which was not translation-friendly, to put it mildly. To make things easier for the translation team, the project manager extracted the source text into a separate document for processing within a CAT (computer-aided translation) tool. By doing so, she boosted both the team’s productivity and translation quality, since the ability to use a CAT tools makes a big difference for translators. However, because CAT tools display the original text out of context, translators may have a hard time understanding ambiguous words and phrases. It was therefore important to make sure that the translation team could see the GUI items in context, outside the CAT tool. To this end, the project manager made the source files in the client’s proprietary format available to the team for reference. Finally, she added an English translator to the team, since a small portion of the project was in English, not German.

The software translation specialist made a major contribution to the quality of this translation by teaching the basic principles of software localization into Russian to the translators. For example, the same source text could be translated differently, depending on its location in the program. The verb “Speichern” is translated by the verb “Сохранить” (Save) as a menu command, but by the noun “Сохранение” (Saving) as a dialog name. The localization specialist also made sure that the team adhered to common Russian translations, mainly originating from Microsoft products. For instance, translators with little or no software localization experience will likely translate “Ubernehmen” and “Abbrechen” as “Принять” (Accept) and “Отменить” (Abort) instead of the common “Применить” (Apply) and “Отмена” (Cancel), respectively. Another important contribution made by the specialist was advice about localizing words with ampersands (&) representing Alt hotkey combinations (e.g., Alt+D for “E&dit”) or placeholders.

Whether we would succeed or fail hinged on the ability to assemble a team combining both subject area knowledge and software localization skills. Bringing together employees with different specializations to work on this project gave us a unique perspective that played a key role in meeting the client’s expectations.Ekaterina Ilyushina
Project Manager, Velior

The editor revised the translations from an end user’s point of view and made corrections based on Microsoft’s Style Guide for the Russian language. He also checked the target text for errors of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. As a final touch, he used an automated quality assurance program to check for terminology inconsistencies and common errors, such as omitted numbers.

After translation and editing had been completed, our engineer converted the translation back into the client’s proprietary format, making it possible for the team to have a final look at the translations in context. By using a special dialog editor provided by the client, the translator corrected the formatting issues caused by the translated text’s expanding and overlapping with the adjacent GUI items. He also made sure that the hotkey ampersands were assigned correctly within each dialog or menu, and none of the letters was used twice.

After delivery, the client compiled the Russian version of the program and provided us with the screenshots for checking. Upon completing this testing, we returned a list of suggested corrections for the client to implement in the program.

Summary

The client derived three main benefits from working with Velior:

  • Single translation vendor for different types of text. Previously, Velior had translated only marketing collateral for this account. When the client also needed software localization service, they did not have to look elsewhere, because we were able to provide this service with the same quality they had come to expect from us—even though localization is a very different arena.
  • Higher quality thanks to using a CAT tool. We found a way to convert the client’s proprietary format into a translation-friendly format, making it possible for our team to leverage the advantages of translation memory technology.
  • Ability to assemble the right team. Whereas it is common in the translation industry to assign projects to translators based on their immediate availability rather than their fit for the job, we pride ourselves on careful selection of translation teams. Doing so in this project was crucial to its success.

 

Category: Technical translation

Countries: Germany, Ukraine

Industry: Software, inspection technology

Client: Confidential

Task: Software localization (10,000 words)

Solution: Buying translation from German into Russian from Velior

Advantages:

  • Extensive software localization experience
  • Industry-proven solutions
  • High quality of translation