Localization of an app is more than just translation of UI strings. The success of localizations depends on the proper preparation of the files to be translated and providing necessary reference materials, such as string comments, briefs, and screenshots for the translator to see the context and available space.
Not so long ago, we localized an app containing thousands of text strings to be localized to one of my native languages (Ukrainian and Russian). None of the above reference was provided. Therefore, we had to use our judgement and experience to deliver the best possible result within the tight deadline.
Even when the reference is provided, it is often not enough, because you can't forsee all the potential issues, so the translator usually makes a list of queries asking for more context or explanation for specific strings. The client answers the queries, and the translator delivers the final result.
In the localization job I mentioned above, it was impossible and unreasonable to create a list of queries, because there would be hundreds of them, which would take many hours to compile. Luckily, the translation agency said that the client would check the localized content themselves.
Moreover, the localized content needs the QA. As a rule, the client prepares the screenshots of localized app screens, and the translator checks them for such potential issues as out-of-context mistakes, inaccuracy, truncation, typos, implementation issues, etc. All this requires more time and is paid in addition to localization. However, the result is quality localization of the app.
For more information about my English to Ukrainian/Russian localization services please see my home page.
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