Write for Easy Recycling and Reduced Localization Costs

You should author your content as though it is going to be localized. Using this rule in the initial content creation stages allows you to design proper content and graphics with local markets in mind, which will ease localization should the plan change. Most content localization is performed using content recycling tools that are based on existing translated content; costs for localization projects that use text recycling tools are much lower. There are several guidelines you should follow to enable easy recycling and to reduce costs.

Only change the content in a product upgrade if the justification is more than cosmetic. Changing the content from a previous version results in eliminating the exact matches in the already translated content, which means that the content has to be manually translated. Do not make unnecessary changes. For example, do not replace "The following tools are available with Microsoft Windows 2000." with "The tools listed below are available with Microsoft Windows 2000." If you do, loss of recycling will result, without any value added to the content.

Also, be as consistent as possible. For example, either use "Click the icon." or "Single-click the icon." rather than using both phrases interchangeably. Consistency increases the number of repeated sentences and segments in the content. These sentences and segments can be batch translated all at once by most content localization tools, and the manual translation of one occurrence takes care of all other occurrences automatically. The results are a faster localization cycle, reduced localization costs, and a higher quality in the U.S. content and in the localized content. Finally, remember these basic rules.If you can remove a sentence because it does not add clarity to the content, do it. If you can cut words from a recycled sentence because they are superfluous, do it. If you can preserve recycling because the legacy content is still accurate and conforms to standard style guidelines, do it.



Microsoft Corporation - Developing International Software
Developing International Software
ISBN: 0735615837
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 198

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