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ROI for software internationalization

ROI for software internationalizationSoftware application development is rarely designed, built, and tested with wide-ranging locale requirements in mind. As a result, there is often an expensive surprise waiting when it comes time to translate or simply support user data like complex character sets, sorting, and variable formatting.

Cultural differences in expressing things like dates, numerical units, postal addresses, phone numbers, and currencies represent a whole new level of difficulty. However, when internationalization is performed effectively, software can be quickly leveraged for any worldwide market opportunity.

The current issue of Multilingual features a good article on software internationalization. Adam Asnes of LingoPort does a nice job providing the rationale for internationalization in both emotional ("internationalize or die") and business terms.

The ROI calculations were drawn from a client's experience and give engineering and localization managers a great tool for the old "it costs less to find and fix issues at the source" argument. An early version of the article was featured in LingoPort's newsletter and can be viewed here [PDF link].

For more information on software internationalization, check out Adam's webinar Best Practices for Software Internationalization and primer on software internationalization.

And for those with a mind for numbers, here are three more articles that deal with quantifying translation-related investments:

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