How Devs Overcome Translation Challenges with Continuous Localization

How Devs Overcome Translation Challenges with Continuous Localization
Lucy Xu
February 4, 2020
4 min read

Today, modern technology and faster pace of work brings with it all the new tools and resources to make localization (and life!) easier. We have more and more translation methods on the table – from traditional translation to crowdsourced translation, machine translation, and beyond.

However, for developers and the more technical sides of localization, this also means overcoming the challenge of transforming localization workflows so that they are properly optimized to keep up with the fast-paced global demand.

So, while it’s great that we have all these translation methods, years of being a developer-driven and developer-focused platform has given us a strong understanding of how these new methods actually complicate traditional workflows — and the importance of helping developers stay in the localization loop the easiest (and most optimal) way possible.

In this next post of our #TXforDevelopers series, we break down how modern software like Transifex and innovative techniques like continuous localization are giving developers more control and power to effectively provide the development to optimally support localization efforts.

The Challenges of Modern Translation Methods (Like Crowdsourced Translation)

Leading global tech organizations including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit are moving away from traditional methods of translation, which include hiring freelance translators and working with translation agencies or Language Service Providers (LSPs).

Instead, they are now leveraging their user communities asking volunteers from around the world to contribute to translations (which are often done for free or for a low cost). Internal staff or professional translators then review translations for quality and consistency before the final release. While leveraging user communities can lead to higher quality translations as crowdsourced translators are often users who understand the product and its lingo, crowdsourcing translations carries its own logistical challenges.

For instance, companies must figure out the best way for translators to access source strings or files and submit translations; emailing translation files back-and-forth is slow, insecure, and impossible on a large scale, and systems like GitHub are suboptimal for translators, most of whom aren’t programmers. Companies must also decide how they’ll communicate with and manage hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of volunteer translators who are translating the product into dozens of languages. Add in the fact that code is deployed multiple times a day, and crowdsourcing translations adds even more headache to the traditional localization workflow.

How to Integrate Continuous Localization into a Your Typical Build Cycle

As we’ve seen from above, the rapid pace of today’s development processes — and wide range of translation methods that are being developed to optimize localization process — requires a more modern approach to localization that is more in sync with how localization initiatives and development teams work today.

To achieve this this, continuous localization process can solve the problems presented by traditional localization workflows and even allow for the crowdsourcing of translations. Continuous localization can be run in alignment with continuous deployment. In short, this means that changes and updates can most be most optimally responded and adapted to.

Shat does this look like in action? Many development teams use a Continuous Integration (CI) tool such as Jenkins or Bamboo to build and test software automatically and continuously. So, every time the source code changes, the CI tool is notified and a new build cycle starts. A default build cycle includes stages like validate, compile, and test, among several others. This allows development teams to deploy changes rapidly with the confidence that the code has undergone testing and quality assurance.

The Benefits of Continuous Localization

In addition to making all localization and translation methods possible for agile teams, a continuous localization process comes with a range or benefits, including:

  • Faster launch
  • Increased focus
  • Significant savings
  • Total flexibility

Don’t let localization slow down the agile process you’ve worked so hard to create. A continuous localization approach supports the way you work, not just in terms of speed — also by providing high-quality translations regardless of the translation method you employ.  For more specifics on how to integrate continuous localization into your build cycle and best practices of localization for agile times, download our Complete 2020 Localization Guide for Agile Teams.

To try out a best-in-class agile localization solution for your dev team, sign up for your 15-day free trial of Transifex and unlock all the global milestones you can achieve by using a localization platform that moves as fast as you do. 

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Lucy Xu
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