Internationalization of manuals for unlocalized software

A case study for the internationalization of manuals: if a software is published in German and English only, but the user manual for it shall be translated into Korean, memoQ can show the correct user interface texts during translation…

A starting point for the internationalization of manuals

  • Device software (e.g. firmware of IPCs, or GDML or IODD configuration files) is usually localized only in a restricted number of languages, when it comes to the automation industry.

    User interface and help files are usually localized only in German and English.

    But the corresponding user manuals have to be translated into several languages, like e.g. Korean. For a Korean reader reference to the Germn UI texts would make no sense, in the user manual those should be substituted by English texts.

    The challenge for translation

    Existing device software translations are generally stored in the translation memory (TM) of the translation agency.

    But this TM does not contain any device software translations in Korean, because these have only been translated from German into English.

    The customer does not want to translate the device software into other languages. He just wants the software manual to be translated into Korean.

    The user interface texts in the Korean manual therefore need to be shown in English, not in Korean since the UI does not exist in Korean and neither in German as Koreans usually do not understand German at all.

    Therefore, a way must be found to efficiently insert English user interface texts into the Korean translation of the manual.

    • Internationalization of software - German software and manual

      German manual and device software

    • Internationalization of software - English device software

      English device software

    • Internationalization of software - Korean manual with english device software texts

      Korean manual with english device software texts

Solutions for the internationalization of manuals

  • Manual text insertion

    This is the usual way: the translation agency creates the German-Korean translation project in a CAT tool like memoQ.

    Before starting the translation all English user interface texts have to be manually entered and, only after this step, the project can be sent out for translation.

    This is a tedious and error-prone procedure, as the manual insertion takes a lot of time and is particularly difficult when the user interface texts appear in the middle of a sentence.

  • Manual text insertion for internationalization of software

The use of a “fake TM” or LiveDoc in memoQ

If you TM shows the English user interface texts in the German-Korean translation project to the translator, he will be able to insert the correct English texts during his translation work.

Internationalization of manuals - LiveDoc as fake TM

Moreover, you might also add the German-English translation of the same user manual into that TM and, when translating from German into Korean, the translator will have the entire English translation of the manual at hand, although he is translating into Korean.

We have discovered a way how to do that in memoQ through the use of Live Docs as fake TMs and are happy to show that at the upcoming memoQfest.