Translating multimedia assets during the localization process requires special preparation. Without it, localization projects can run into costly corrections, especially if those multimedia translation errors surface during end-stage quality assurance (QA) testing.
If you take the following precautions during the multimedia translation process, youll not only save money, but the time it takes to complete localization QA testing will be shortened:
1. Define which files need to be localized. Take the time to remove redundant pieces.
2. Do what it takes to ensure that the text in the multimedia translation portions of your software or product can be easily extracted for translation and then reintegrated. Use of XML formatting is common in this part of the localization process.
3. Understand the implications of your animation and take steps to avoid costly creative decisions. For example, dont animate the individual spelling of words, as they will need to be animated for each target language.
4. If possible, focus on vector images, not bitmap. Understand that text strings will impact the overall size of navigation and interface labels. Using vector graphics will permit you to scale these items instead of having to redesign individual assets. Different languages will expand or contract these graphics.
5. When using audio cues, realize how cues should automatically adjust according to longer or shorter localized audio. Also, include timing cues for audio dubbing in the source language script. This way, studio production and reintegration of localized audio will be easier.
6. With multimedia translation, text such as closed captions synchronized with audio should be adaptable for new languages.
7. Always finalize your scripts before production. Re-recording audio in multiple languages is not only costly, but detrimental to your localization timeline.
8. Search your multimedia translation project code for hard-coded text that will require translation and form fields that cannot process foreign language characters.
9. Review all graphics for culture-specific meaning. Currency icons and hand gesture animations do not have universal meaning. When possible, seek alternatives which function in multiple cultures, or find a new way to communicate the underlying idea.
In terms of localization qa, take the time to integrate quality assurance early on. Test one language early in the localization process before you roll out assets in multiple languages. If you wait until the entire multimedia translation project is complete, youll find yourself fixing the same error across every instance of the target market languages. Leverage what you learn early in the localization QA process to inform the remainder of the build.
With these tips in mind, youll not only save money on multimedia translation projects, but youll find the entire localization process a much smoother experience.