An Interview About Globalization with Kevin Benson

As part of Lingoport’s upcoming webinar, How to Engage Your Organization and Gain Critical Globalization Support, we interviewed guest speaker, Kevin Benson, Global VP of Corporate Sales at United Language Group to get some quick insights into the state of globalization including processes, communication, and opportunities for improvement.

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How has globalization evolved since you started in the industry?

Kevin Benson: Process optimization and enhancement, to support human translation, are the most noticeable differences in the industry over the last decade. The ability to seamlessly share content from internal systems of record, without human intervention, has allowed companies to expand their efforts at globalization. Incorporating MT to augment human-based process, in addition to TM, is quickly changing the face of globalization as companies are able to leverage globalization across a broader spectrum of content and processes.

 

What would you describe as the number one globalization challenge organizations face?

Kevin Benson: Budgetary constraints continue to hamper globalization efforts across companies at a global level. Globalization is often considered as an afterthought around processes which are already optimized for throughput.

 

How does a lack of support and understanding from leadership teams impact globalization quality and efficiencies?

Kevin Benson: Not considering the budgetary implications of globalization often times causes companies to accept short-cuts in the globalization process which directly impact process efficiency and quality of final content. A firm understanding of globalization processes, investment requirements and overhead of not addressing early in the process is critical to success. Many leadership teams are frustrated by the investment required to ensure global acceptance of their products, but fail to consider or understand the potential cost savings offered by pre-planning and process optimization in the area of globalization.

 

What is the biggest opportunity to improve globalization processes?

Kevin Benson: Technology and trusted vendor partnerships go hand-in-hand in improving globalization process. Building a globalization process on a foundation of technology, supported by a collaborative team of resources offers tremendous gains on long-term investment and time to market.

Ready to learn more? Register for the webinar today!

Date/Time

  • Date: August 22, 2019
  • Time: 9AM Pacific, Noon Eastern, 18:00 CEST
  • Duration: 40 minutes, plus audience Q&A

 

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Webinar: How to Engage Your Organization and Gain Critical Globalization Support

It’s surprising, but here in 2019, our industry professionals are still fighting US-Centric perspectives that see software globalization as a low priority.  There are still attitudes that US English is fine for expanding to global customers.

The battle has certainly gotten easier, but it still remains. There’s also tactical friction, in that localization can seem expensive and to get in the way.

There are many globalization objections and conditions I have heard in the last couple of years.

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Globalization Objections and Conditions

  • Our customers are technical and need to learn English anyway.
  • Our distributor says that if we give them our source code, they can just replace the strings with Chinese (what is this, 1995?).
  • We are already selling in these countries without doing anything new.
  • Localization is expensive.
  • We’ve already internationalized, but we’ve never tested that out and never translated.
  • We just don’t have time for that, we’re under a lot of release time pressure.
  • That’s a just translation.

These issues and judgements are a symptom of misunderstandings and limited mindsets.

There are organizational objections and impediments to globalization success that start with broad cultural mindset shortcomings, and then there are those that ultimately deal with day to day points of friction. As localization leaders, we need to consider both.

Localization is much more than a project management exercise, even if that is a person’s literal job title.

Upcoming Webinar

In our next webinar, we’re going to address cultural and tactical directives toward building more globally aware and responsive teams. We’ll be citing examples from experience, plus we’ve polled a few known industry experts.

We hope you can join this upcoming webinar. All those who register will get recording access.

And if you want to share your own success story, let us know and we can include it in the webinar.

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Date/Time

Date: August 22, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 12pm ET | 18:00 CET
Duration: 45 minutes, plus audience Q&A

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Lingoport Releases Globalyzer 6.3, Focusing i18n Detection

August 14, 2019, Boulder, CO

Lingoport is pleased to announce the release of Globalyzer 6.3. Primary features include adding an easy slider interface to prioritize internationalization (i18n) issues, helping developers focus on fixing i18n problems quickly.

Additionally, more string concatenation was added, as concatenations come in many forms and tend to be one of the most repeated problems even for internationalized applications. The list of release enhancements includes:

  1. Focusing users on Top Scan Results
  2. Concatenation detection for HTML Strings
  3. Security enhancements for password encryption

We focused this release on getting development teams to high priority i18n results even faster. Many detected i18n issues may in fact be false positive detections as they can be conditional depending upon specific coding context. Globalyzer has the capability to detect issues with in a hierarchy of conditions, and we used that to help teams see the most likely i18n issues first and work their way towards less certain detections as they progress. That’s an important distinction for managers wanting deliver global readiness success at scale across their development teams, while also meeting demanding sprint schedules.

Release notes can be found at: https://wiki.lingoport.com/Globalyzer_Release_Notes#Globalyzer_6.3.0_Release_Notes_.28August_2019.29

To learn more about the Lingoport Suite and Globalyzer, please visit https://lingoport.com/products

Want to discuss your internationalization and continuous localization process? Contact Todd Flaska, tflaska(at)lingoport.com.

Visit our blog at https://lingoport.com/blog for industry posts, technical info and more.

What is Pseudo-Localization?

What is Pseudo-Localization?

Pseudo-localization is an effective way to test the localization-readiness of an application. By pseudo-localizing the resource files, an application can be tested for internationalization without waiting for localization.

Creating pseudo-localized resource files help test for:

  1. embedded strings,
  2. text that was externalized but should not be,
  3. text expansion issues,
  4. character-encoding problems,
  5. text concatenation issues, and
  6. UI boundary issues can be identified.

Pseudo-localization is covered by many terms: pseudo-translation, test translation, round-trip test translation, translation simulation, or dummy translation. It basically means simulating translation by automatically replacing text with test characters while preserving non-translatable code and simulating expansion or contraction.

Check out the video (or read through the transcription) below to discover how pseudo-localization can help prevent costly L10n issues and improve the speed and quality of localization.

 

What is Pseudo-Localization? | Video Transcription

Hi, this is Adam Asnes from Lingoport with just a brief technical talk on pseudo-localization. This is a concept that can really help you if you want to enable your QA department to not treat localization as an afterthought, but instead continuously test during the sprint for the localizability of your UI.

Although pseudo-localization is certainly not full coverage, and I don’t recommend it as the only way to approach internationalization, it is a really straightforward, effective way to catch errors at least reasonably early in the development cycle. Globalyzer will find issues as developers are actually coding and show you exactly where those issues are. But pseudo-localization, if that’s all you got, is certainly better than nothing. It is supported by default by our products so that they’re automatic every time somebody updates a file. You don’t even have to think about it. It just happens.

But let me give you the principle here, and then you can decide. First of all, this is an actual screenshot from one of our customers. What you’re seeing is the locale on the browser changed to Esperanto. So for this site, they consistently inject these pseudo-localizations so that their QA department can make sure that languages will be supported without having to wait for the localization to happen.

Image V.0

 

So anybody who is testing their application in U.S. English should be able to read that this says, “Connect Generations.” If they look at the screen and it just says, “Connect Generations” without these pad characters on it, they know they have a problem (See image V.0). In fact, it tells them that they have an embedded string. That string is embedded in the source code, and it’s unavailable to the translators.

Take the open paren and this closed paren for example(see image V.1). If there’s two of them, they know they have a concatenation. That is the string is being built. The problem with strings being built, is that they may not be localizable for the target languages because of several factors including the word order being wrong, plurals being handled differently or incorrectly, adjectives in a different place, etc.

Image V.1

If, say, this came out all as like a bunch of square boxes, then we’d know that they had an encoding or a font issue. And so on down the line. If, for instance, there’s no square bracket at the end, we know that the interface is cutting off that expansion. Then finally, we can see here if it shows up like this (see image V.1), it’s a pass. We see the beginning and the end.

Now with these characters, you’ll notice we’ve added diacritics by default, and we have expanded the string open and close characters and some Unicode characters. This is what helps us to see right away, will the string expand to fit, say, German or another language that typically takes up a little bit more space? Will the fonts support, Chinese or Japanese? So we make this a continuous process. We can do it in Globalyzer, but it happens automatically in our Lingoport Resource Manager. You can see that if you go to lingoport.com/products. You’ll see the whole scope.

With Resource Manager, nobody has to think about this. The minute somebody adds a string to any resource file in the repo, it’s automatically going to get recognized, and the pseudo-localization is created so testers can be continuously testing. Now you can also test for things like date format. You’ll need to build those test cases, and it’s a little more complicated, but it’s all available to you.

The reason why, again, I say this is not the be all-end all, is that it still puts you pretty far away from the coding experience, in terms of finding internationalization. But like any coding quality, you need to test, and this is one of the many ways that you can test. If you’re using Lingoport Resource Manager, you can actually click on a string and track back to exactly where that string is within your code base so there’s no time spent looking for that string by the developers.

Need support with your i18n project? Contact Us.

Using Advanced Branching for Continuous Localization

Software Development Branching

Before writing code, developers will first create a branch, typically from the main repository branch, such as master or develop. A branch works like a copy of the entire repository. This allows a team of developers to work in isolation and write code in an environment under their control. Once the code is written, the branch is merged and becomes part of the main branch.

Translation for Repositories?

Resource files are files to be translated: .properties files, .resx files, .json files are de facto standards. For example, a file ‘messages_en.json’ may contain key/value pairs, where the value is displayed in the UI of an application. When the locale is switched to French, the values from ‘messages_fr.json’ are used to display the French strings for the same keys.

Keeping track of what has been translated, what has been sent to translation, what is being returned from translation, in what order, for what locale, while passing validating checks on the resource files is time consuming and a pain point for most development organization. Lingoport Resource Manager, or LRM, the Lingoport product seamlessly automates the checking,  sending, and receiving of resource files.

LRM needs a branch from which to find the resource files to be translated and to which to push the translated files. A straightforward way to on-board LRM project is to dedicate one branch to translation. LRM can rebase so that the translation branch also gets the commits from master or a deploy branch, keeping it up to date with the overall source code development. This makes for easy LRM project, where files are picked up from the translation branch and pushed back to the translation branch exclusively.

The benefit with this approach is the simplicity of the on-boarding and knowing only that branch will be affected by LRM. The drawback is that localization happens after all the development is done in a branch separate from everything else.

Advanced Branching

Git has made branching a lot easier and flexible. Developers routinely create a branch for a feature or a bug fix. Resource files are part of the artifacts created during development.

For one application, you may have one repository or you may have hundreds of repositories. You may have a couple of resource files to be translated into three locales, or hundreds of files to be translated into tens of locales. Many development organization would like to include the translation of resource files as part of the regular activities of development, inside the feature branches directly as opposed to a specific translation only branch. To do so, we recommend using LingoBot.

Lingoport Advanced Branching

LingoBot is a Chatbot which works within collaborative environments such as Slack or MS Teams. The user issues commands that the Chatbot passes along to LRM. Here is an example of a session of LingoBot in Slack:

Here the user “Andrew Wong” wanted to check the translation status of a branch, F1404-desktop-group-delivery, for a repository called ‘SSTO.webapp’. There may be lots of different branches on this repository. The one that Andrew Wong is interested in is only the “F1404-desktop-group-delivery” branch. That’s were the feature is being developed.

The system gives an overview of the status and a link to go to the Dashboard to see more information.

At some point, when the development team is ready, the files need to be sent for translation. Instead of hand picking the files from the right repository, the right directories, the right branch, verifying the correctness of the files to be sent, how many to send, tracking the files in some XL sheet, sending an email with attached files, having the attached files downloaded on the translation side, checking the files, on-board a new TMS project, it’s simply a command to tell LingoBot to send whatever is needed to be translated:

When the translation is done and send back to the repository automatically by LRM, a Slack notification will let that room know:

Note: It also provide a link to GitHub in this instance to the repository where the files were pushed and another link to the LRM Dashboard.

LingoBot and I18n

Another usage of LingoBot is to ask for the i18n issues for the files which were modified in that branch. A team of developers may modify a few files during a sprint. The overall code base may have a huge amount of files. To make sure the new code does not have more i18n issues, the command is ‘i18n scan’. It will use the Globalyzer configuration for that project to scan only those files which were modified in that branch.

Conclusion

Lingoport provides an elegant solution to complex branching and all the resource files which works from collaborative environments that developers and other team members are already familiar with. They only need to know a few simple commands, and the automation takes over. This fits in with the way software development is done in most modern companies.

An Interview About i18n Gremlins with Adam Asnes

Adam Asnes, LingoportAs part of Lingoport’s webinar, The Most Common i18n Gremlins and How to Squash Them, we interviewed Lingoport’s own CEO, Adam Asnes to get some quick insights into i18n gremlins and how they are impacting the quality of localization.

View i18n Webinar Recording

 

What are i18n gremlins?

Adam Asnes: I18n gremlins are bugs that create localization problems that wouldn’t be tolerated in a product’s native target language (i.e. US-English). They could be as simple as a string that isn’t externalized and will appear in English no matter the target locale, a date/time in the wrong format, a concatenation where the word order, gender or pluralization won’t make sense for translation. These gremlins aren’t cute mistakes and often have a long lifetime until they get fixed.

 

As software development as evolved to become continuous, how has this impacted the frequency of i18n gremlins going undetected and the impact to the localization quality?

Adam Asnes: It is always far easier, faster and less expensive to fix an i18n gremlin during code creation rather than after localization. With continuous development, we have a clear opportunity to measure i18n and give developers feedback during their sprint, just as you might do for other coding quality measurements.

The impact of i18n gremlins is on the frequency and speed of agile development as developers simply may not have time to go back and fix issues if they are discovered after localization. They will be working in a different area of the source code and just seeing the issue after testing usually doesn’t make it obvious where it occurs. This is why i18n Gremlins can hang around for years.

 

What is the biggest consequence developers face when they do not proactively prevent and rectify i18n gremlins?

Adam Asnes: The consequence is that the localization and global sales stakeholders have products where they can’t guarantee the presentation and data quality. You localize in the first place for competitive advantage or at least parity in markets. There is so much invested in global opportunities. The US is 24.4% of the global economy measured in 2017 down from 60% twenty years ago. Why not have a product that reflects that?

 

What i18n issue would you describe as the king of all gremlins?

Adam Asnes: Indifference is the king of all gremlins. When executives remain ignorant, you don’t have global directives. When managers remain indifferent, you have a sloppy attention to i18n. When developers remain indifferent, you have shoddy application of locale.

For a list of i18n Gremlins, see: https://wiki.lingoport.com/Gremlins

 

Ready to learn more? View the recording today!

Date/Time

  • Date: July 30, 2019
  • Time: 9AM Pacific, Noon Eastern, 18:00 CEST
  • Duration: 40 minutes, plus audience Q&A

 

View i18n Webinar Recording

 

Webinar: The Most Common i18n Gremlins and How to Squash Them

As an i18n solutions provider, we see certain internationalization (i18n), localization (L10n), and quality assurance (QA) issues that commonly arise at many of our client organizations when they first come to us for assistance. These issues not only make for poor L10n results or worse, they can even break localized builds and be very costly to fix.

A Proactive Approach to Gremlin Hunting

In Lingoport’s webinar “The Most Common i18n Gremlins and How to Squash Them,” we explore examples of the most common and costly gremlins, how to catch them early (when they are easy to fix), and processes to keep i18n and L10n up with development and QA.

Issues we explore in the webinar include:

  • Concatenations
  • Improper date formatting
  • Character set issues
  • Dealing with messy resource file formats
  • JSON and YAML issues

View i18n Webinar Recording

Date/Time

Date: July 30, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 12pm ET | 18:00 CET
Duration: 45 minutes, plus audience Q&A

Agenda Highlights

  • Identifying common i18n, L10n, and QA issues during global software development
  • Methods for uncovering these issues at their source during development
  • Strategies for fixing issues efficiently, reliably, and in a scalable manner
  • The benefits of continuous QA

View i18n Webinar Recording

 

2019 Continuous Internationalization and Localization Survey Results

The 2019 State of Continuous Internalization and Localization Survey results are in!

Following the eye-opening insights revealed from our 2018 survey, we launched our second annual survey to gain further insight into how software internationalization (i18n) and localization (L10n) practices are shaping up in 2019. We’ll give you a hint, not that well.

While the survey results reveal some minor industry progress, there are still many opportunities for improvement.

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An Interview About Improving L10n Quality in an Agile Environment with Jim Compton

As part of Lingoport and RWS Moravia’s webinar recording, A Proactive Approach to Global Release Quality, we interviewed Jim Compton, Technology Partnerships Manager at RWS to get some quick insights into the state of localization, building quality into each step of the process in alignment with sprints, and other topics he discusses in the webinar.

 

View i18n Webinar Recording

 

Lingoport: Since the start of your career in the mid-90s, what have been the most significant changes to the localization industry over the years?

Jim Compton: Back when I started, the idea of content was pretty different. It was created, first of all, uni-directionally, so it would be created by a single entity and then deployed out into the world. There was a single direction of content creator and content customer. That’s really changed. The people who are consuming content are also creating content now, and I think that’s created altogether more pressure to be agile.

Previously, you might be able to plan with your product, releasing software documentation and help, let’s say as a package. You might say, “Oh, we’re going to release in Q2 of this year, and then we’ll release our localized version sometime after that.” Industry changes have made that a not very competitive or viable way of doing business anymore. You have to be in a state of constantly releasing and iterating.

That, of course, has put pressure on the concept of the localization project, this idea where you can wait for the customer to be done with what they’re building, and then start a localization project with a defined end date. That’s totally been displaced with this model where things are constantly being created and revised and need ongoing localization support.

 

Lingport: For a company new to localization and aligning with sprints … what is the top advice that you would give them?

Jim Compton: Quality is a layer; it’s not a step. If you have mistakes upstream in a process, those mistakes will end up compounding throughout the process, and if you’re waiting until the end of the process to identify them, it becomes exponentially more expensive and time consuming to correct them. In turn, you’re increasing your cycle time past the expectations of an agile production cycle.

So, the idea of trying to prevent the problems upstream, becomes really paramount. There are different ways that you can do this, but the practice of internationalization is really consistent with this idea. Make sure that before you go from a phase of development or authoring the software into the next big step of localization, you proactively take measures to prevent potential upstream errors.

Treating quality like a layer instead of a step means if you think of it like a layer, you actually add quality control in every step of the process.

 

Lingoport: Looking into the crystal ball, what new developments do you see in store for the localization industry in the coming two years?

Jim Compton: I think the big technological shift that I’m seeing right now is a change from the concept of localization to the idea of global content management. Instead of content being created with one market in mind and then adapting it to make it work in other languages, cultures, etc., you create content that is meant to be global from the start.

This, I believe, is fundamentally different than the current localization paradigm. The people who are designing/creating the global product must embrace localization best practices, rather than just viewing it as a next step activity

Another big shift is the definition of what content is. In the past, content was primarily considered something you read, however content now goes far beyond text, and even includes things such as voice data. I think the word content is evolving to mean data, and part of the value of the localization industry won’t be just providing translations but will be to provide global data.

Why is that useful? Data is the thing that can be applied to make intelligent decisions about big picture things like, “Should we double down in this market?” “Is what we’re doing in this market working for us?” “Do we need to do something else?” Having that data available when someone is managing their global content program will help them create content that’s likely to have the highest positive business impact.

 

Ready to learn more? Check out the webinar recording!

Date/Time

  • Date: June 13, 2019
  • Time: 9AM Pacific, Noon Eastern, 18:00 CEST
  • Duration: 40 minutes, plus audience Q&A

 

View i18n Webinar Recording

 

Webinar: A Proactive Approach to Global Release Quality

Check out our webinar recording, “A Proactive Approach to Global Release Quality,” and learn how to increase speed while improving quality through technology, processes, and integrated QA.

 

View i18n Webinar Recording

Bringing Quality and Speed Together

With Continuous I18n and L10n, there’s always pressure to deliver on speed, but it’s of equal importance to deliver exceptional quality. I18n issues, bad file formats, poor translations and a host of human errors consistently break the gains achieved through automation efforts.

Integrating QA to Deliver Superior Speed and Quality

In our June webinar recording, you’ll discover how to not only go faster, but how to deliver higher quality for software translation. We explore the benefits of technology and processes along with how to make QA an effective and continuous part of development, rather than something that happens after a sprint is complete.

We also look at ways to ease push back from developer teams and other stakeholders tasked with delivering new functionality on a tight schedule.

Featured Guest

The webinar recording features special guest, Jim Compton, Technology Program Manager at Moravia’s Language Technology Group. Jim is a localization-industry maven with over twenty-one years of multi-faceted experience. He’s created and implemented solutions to address growing global content needs and has developed a reputation as an innovator and passionate problem-solver.

View i18n Webinar Recording

Date/Time

  • Date: June 13, 2019
  • Time: 9AM Pacific, Noon Eastern, 18:00 CEST
  • Duration: 40 minutes, plus audience Q&A

View i18n Webinar Recording