Still today, a lot of medical device software is not designed with translation or localization in mind. Inevitably, this will result in target-language text being cut off, awkward lined-up or hyphenated, or not render properly.
Software internationalization is an important but often neglected step in the development process.
And the same is true for pseudo-translations. If used properly, pseudo translations provide an inexpensive yet effective sanity test for the "localizability" a software application.
Yet we all know how tempting it is to skip pseudo-translations (and, for that matter, internationalization). But before you rationalize skipping these steps with "cost savings" or "lack of time", here are a couple of great quotes from the Localization Project Management Log to keep you on the straight and narrow:
"I always regret having to pseudo-translate, because it involves an extra step, annoys the engineers, and generally slows things down. BUT, whenever I don't pseudo-translate, I regret it even more."And:
"...try to flush out ugly problems when time is cheap, rather than when it gets expensive."This is great advice for pseudo-translation, for internationalization, and for project management in general.
For more on pseudo-translation and software internationalization, take a look at the following:
- The Theory and Practice of Pseudo-Translation [PDF] draws on the real-world experiences from Yahoo!
- Software internationalization in action gives an overview of the practice
- Internationalization isn't just for software as Preparing training courses for international markets shows
- Inter-Locale provides a simple dedicated Pseudo-Translate tool to generate non-ASCII data from ASCII strings - handy.
ForeignExchange's METRiQ quality system provides medical device companies with measurable, known software localization quality. To learn more about our medical translation solutions, contact ForeignExchange Translations.