Benefits of software localisation
Developing software in the English language only is no longer a default choice. You may claim that in the era of globalisation everyone can communicate in English and so the need for providing products in other languages is reduced. In fact quite the contrary is true.
General understanding of the default language doesn’t come together with the abilities to cope with the English user interface. The risk of being confused and lost in the jungle of words is especially valid in the case of highly specialised and technical software. While many foreign users would easily decipher the meaning of simple commends such as “Close” or “Save”, the vast majority of unexperienced users would probably struggle with more complicated error messages such as “Failed to enumerate SSL bindings” or “String or binary data would be truncated”, etc. However, making the message clear is not the only benefit of software localisation. There’s much more you can gain with it:
1. Better understanding of product functionalities
If users can grasp the text displayed in your software perfectly, then they can also use the product properly and understand all of its functionalities. They can then clearly recognise all advantages of using your software, as no language barriers stand in their way to exploit the full potential of your product.
2. Reaching users in many countries
Software available in several languages is more likely to reach a myriad of users in numerous countries. As a result, your software becomes widely usable, which in turn increases sales and strengthens the company’s position.
3. Building international reputation
This is related to the benefit above. Once your software localised to other languages reaches users abroad, your brand will establish an international reputation and gain trust of the non-English speaking customers.
4. Reducing support costs
Proper understanding of your product, achieved by translation and localisation, means better customer experience. This reduces the number of potential queries related to the product and eases the workload of your service desk. As a result, the support costs can be lowered and your company can invest in other activities.
5. Gaining competitive advantage
Offering software in several languages may be a way to differentiate yourself from other providers. In case your competitors already sell localised software and you don’t follow this trend, you may be losing potential customers who are more likely to purchase products in their native language.
On a final note, software localisation may build up a strong brand of your company and contribute to gaining trust and loyalty on the international market.
About the author: Dorota Pawlak
Dorota helps businesses, organisations and individuals to communicate successfully across cultures in the online and offline world. She is an entrepreneur and a qualified translator specialising in IT and localisation of websites, games and software.