Software localization

  • Software localization for international marketing of technical products. Software is now a component of the majority of industrial products in the form of user interfaces or for controlling product functionality.

    Software in new versions and formats, e.g. for Bus Systems such as PROFINET or IO-link is being used in the era of Industry 4.0.

    PRODOC knows the most efficient methods for localization of software of different types and formats.

  • Get in touch with PRODOC
    +49 89 20000 70 880

Software localization using CAT tools

From our point of view, the use of CAT tools such as memoQ or Transit NxT is definitely necessary for Software Localization.
There are several reasons for this.

Software updates

  • Software updates go together with software like the chicken and the egg.

    Software updates are produced at regular intervals and should be available in all languages in which the previous version was available, of course.

    During the software update parts of the source code are changed, enhanced or replaced, but the majority remains the same. The texts which have already been translated, the parts which have been changed and the parts which are new can be reliably detected using a CAT tool via outsourced AI.

    In other words, only the new and changed texts are manually translated, whereas existing translations are automatically inserted by the CAT tool.

    The software developer does not need to mark or filter out new text but can always provide the entire data for translation/localization of the software. This saves a great deal of work.

  • Localization of software

Languages for localization of software for the industrial automation sector

For software localization we offer the same language combinations as for Technical Translations.



  • Consistency between software interface and help file or manual

    Software interface, help file and user manual are usually created using different programs, and are therefore in different formats which the technical translator generally cannot edit himself.

    With the CAT tool, a standardized platform for the translator exists, with which he can edit all of these formats without needing to own the software or have it installed.
    In this way it is ensured that the same translator can process all of the necessary file types that are required for software localization.

    The text of the user interface is usually translated first.

    The translated user interface texts are then available to the translator during the technical translation of the user manual or the help file, and it is ensured that the texts in the user manual/help file and the user interface match up.

  • Consistency within the software

    This terminology database built into the CAT tool and the Translation Memory containing the previous translations ensure that terms and phrases are translated consistently thus achieving consistent Software Localization.

Software localization for capital goods

Localization of software for capital goods usually involves the Technical Translation of various v components:

  • User interface (often German to English only)
  • Help file (German to English and other languages)
  • User manuals (German to English and other languages)

Different languages for software and manuals

  • In the Industrial Automation sector, it is often the case that only the German to English translation of the software itself is required, whereas the technical translation of user manual and help file has to be performed into several languages.

    It is assumed that a Korean user can understand the English user interface, but would like to obtain more detailed information from the User Manual in his Korean mother tongue.

    More details about this approach can be found in English under Internationalization of manuals. The associated description for the translator can also be found in English under Using Live Docs with fake TMs in our Wiki.

  • Software localization - different languages for software and manuals

File types used for software localization

Our CAT tool memoQ has filters for the different file types as standard. These include filters for HTML help files or RESX files.

  • Help files

    Help files can be created using many different tools. One very popular tool is Robohelp, but we can define an appropriate filter for importing into memoQ for almost any format. For example, we also receive help files which have been created with Schematext ST4 and are made available to us in XML export format.


    User Manuals and Guides are produced using either DTP tools such as Adobe Framemaker or Adobe InDesign and (unfortunately) also Microsoft Word, and content management systems such as the above-mentioned ST4 or Noxum are also being used more frequently.

    Of course, memoQ also supports DITA.

  • Device control software

    For device control software, the texts to be translated are often provided in tables such as Excel files with reference ID’s and associated text.

    Configuration files

    Furthermore, there are configuration files which have text or XML formats with many different structures. An example for the efficient technical translation of these file formats can be found in our post concerning IODD files.

Software localization for desktop PCs and mobile devices

Use of resource files

  • In software for desktop PCs and mobile devices, the texts to be translated can be stored in resource files. This makes it possible to change languages during operation by simply switching to the translated resource file for the respective language.

    The creation and the format of the resource files are different depending on the operating system and the programming environment. However, an XML-based format is used in the majority of cases, such as RESX files for the Microsoft .Net Framework.

    If no filter configuration exists for a certain resource file, we can configure the XML import filter of memoQ for this resource format and ensure that only the texts to be translated are translated using the CAT tool.

  • Software localization - filter configuration

Direct translation of RC, DLL and EXE files

If there is no resource file, but there are RC, DLL or EXE files to translate, Transit NxT provides a facility for importing and translating these files directly.

Website localization

During the localization of websites, it is important to have a smooth exchange of data between the CMS system (with which the website is maintained) and the CAT tool (with which the website is translated).

Detailed information about this can be found in our post Optimizing websites for translation.

SEO relevance

  • A particular topic during the Localization of Websites is expert know-how in the field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

    On the technical side, the creation of “Duplicate Content” must be avoided during translation.
    From the point of view of content, important pages should not just be translated, but the relevant keywords for the target language should be determined and the translation optimized with regard to these keywords.
    However, this is an additional service which requires appropriate know-how. Please contact us if you are interested in this!

  • Software localization - know-how

Posts on the subject of software localization