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

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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

New Lingoport Suite Release: InContext Translation & QA

Boulder, CO May 21, 2019 – Lingoport releases InContext Translation & QA along with it’s new Lingoport Suite releases. A picture helps a translator use the right words.

InContext Translation presents translators with contextual views of software so that their efforts are visually supported. Software application translation is particularly challenging as the translator is presented with individual words and short messages that traditionally lack context. As many words often lack direct correlations between languages, this presents challenges. For example, the word claim can be a noun or a verb, with ambiguous meanings without context. InContext Translation solves this problem efficiently, without forcing software developers to make changes to their code or existing processes. With the speed and frequency of agile development updates, it’s very important that localization can keep up, while retaining high quality standards and minimal need for corrections.

InContext Translation top benefits:

  • Saves time, reduces the burden of linguistic review
  • Works for complex web applications
  • No need to change developer frameworks or use proprietary libraries
  • Works with many leading translation systems

“InContext Translation has been among the top product development requests for many years. It’s a difficult problem to solve for complex applications which may use multiple programming languages and technologies,” explained Adam Asnes, Lingoport’s CEO. “We felt we were in a unique position to solve this, given our continuous internationalization and localization software connects to software repositories and can map out where messages occur in source code.”

Lingoport’s InContext Translation release coincides with updates of other Lingoport Suite products, including Globalyzer 6.2.1 and Lingoport Resource Manager 5.0. InContext Translation also joins InContext QA software released previously.

Learn more: <https://lingoport.com/products

Wiki: https://wiki.lingoport.com

 

About Lingoport:

Lingoport provides software and professional services that enable globally focused companies to create and maintain software that works elegantly in every language and locale.

The Lingoport Suite includes Globalyzer, Resource Manager, and InContext Translation & QA. Working together, these products continuously monitor, fix, collaborate and manage both internationalization and localization in each software sprint and release.

https://lingoport.com

 

Contact: Cindy Haag, chaag@lingoport.com

Lingoport, Inc.

3180 Sterling Cir #201

Boulder, CO 80301 USA

An Interview About Continuous Localization with Vistatec’s CSO, Unn Villius

Unn VilliusAs part of Lingoport and Vistatec’s webinar, A 360 Degree View of Continuous Localization, we interviewed Unn Villius, CSO of Vistatec, to get some quick insights into the state of agile localization as well as other related topics discussed during the webinar on May 16th, 2019.

 

View i18n Webinar Recording

 

Lingoport: Since setting up US operations at Vistatec in 1998, what have been the most significant changes to the localization industry over the years?

 

Unn Villius: In the early days of localization, it was really something that Microsoft, Lotus, IBM and other big tech companies did.

They were big monolithic projects with a start and an end date. Things were sold on CDs in boxes with big printed manuals, and that was really the core of what we were doing, a lot of software. Software localization has always been challenging, and still is, but what we’re seeing today is a completely different landscape.

The idea of a project is not all that common anymore. For mature companies, localization is now just an ongoing and continuous process, consisting of small and quick turnaround jobs. Additionally, a lot of the content now goes well beyond the software product. We’re talking about marketing, PR, SEO with the global aspects of multilingual search engine optimization, E-Commerce, promotional social media, and more. So it’s a very very different landscape.

 

Lingport: What are a few things developers do wrong that make it difficult for localization teams to keep up with development?

 

Unn Villius: 1. Developers are not necessarily familiar with how other languages work so they will not take things into account. In English a singular word can be a verb or a noun, and unless you have context you will not know how it should be used. In other languages the verb version and the noun version would be two completely different words. For example, if I say “field”, that can mean “fielding” a question but it can also mean a physical “field” and those would not be the same words in French or German or Swedish or any other language.

2. Developers often don’t understand that a word needs context to be interpreted correctly. For example, in order to save time developers often start a sentence by saying something like “you need to…” but then they cut off the sentence and proceed with writing a bunch of things that people need to do. Unfortunately, chopping up a sentence like that will cause all sorts of problems in a localized language because depending on what the continuation of the sentence is, you will need to express them differently.

3. Lastly developers typically do not plan for allowing languages to expand. German, Spanish, Finnish, and other languages tend to be longer than English. Therefore, if you don’t provide enough real estate for language expansion, you are going to end up with very chopped up translations. This becomes especially problematic on mobile devices where real estate is very limited.

 

Lingoport: Are there any example companies you feel have mastered keeping both localization and development in sync?

 

Unn Villius: Microsoft has always been the trailblazer and other big players, such as Google, embraced the fact that they are global companies with global content, and that’s really where the change needs to come from. That’s where the climate is set so to speak, emphasizing the importance of global content to drive revenue, and if it comes from the top, it makes all the difference in the world.

Go-Pro is another great example. If you go back and look at their news, I think it was about a year ago, they evangelized, the C-suite bought into it, and they actually saw some amazing growth in Japan and some other markets. I’m not entirely up to date, but I do remember one press release where approx. 65% of their growth came from overseas markets. You can see the importance of being able to communicate.

 

Check out the webinar recording to learn how to achieve visibility between development and localization for faster, more accurate localization in alignment with your sprints.

Date/Time

  • Date: May 16, 2019
  • Time: 9AM Pacific, Noon Eastern, 18:00 CEST
  • Duration: 45 minutes, plus audience Q&A

 

View i18n Webinar Recording

Webinar: A 360 Degree View of Continuous Localization

Check out our webinar recording, “A 360 Degree View of Continuous Localization,” and learn how to achieve visibility between development and localization for faster, more accurate localization in alignment with your sprints.

It Takes Tech, Process and People

 

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Visibility’s Impact on Global Agility

When each contributor on your global team has visibility into project status and relevant metrics, your organization can be more globally nimble. During the webinar, hear success stories of effective coordination among software localization teams and developers and uncover the underlying drivers of such success.

Featured Guest

The webinar features special guest, Unn Villius, CSO at the localization and global content firm Vistatec. Unn brings 30 years of industry experience, having served roles ranging from Swedish localizer to engineering manager. Vistatec counts some of the largest organizations in the world among its clients.

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Date/Time

  • Date: May 16, 2019
  • Time: 9AM Pacific, Noon Eastern, 18:00 CEST
  • Duration: 45 minutes, plus audience Q&A

Who Should Attend

  • Development
  • Localization
  • QA
  • Vendor Partners
  • In-country Stakeholders

View i18n Webinar Recording

Detect Software Issues Early Using Pseudo-localization

You’re releasing software in multiple languages for 6 markets. You get back your localized files and get ready for release. But now, at this late stage, you’ve discovered issues. Some of your interface is still in English. Perhaps dates are still showing up in a US-centric format? Perhaps the translations aren’t displaying properly because there isn’t enough space in the UI? Or, you’ve got square boxes and garbage characters that should be displaying in Japanese.

While you could find many of these issues during software development using Globalyzer (when it’s easy, fast and cheap to fix), it is still wise to have a global testing plan that includes pseudo-localization. You can test for localization support, and as a result, not have surprises after translation.

What is Pseudo-Localization?

Pseudo-localization is a technique that helps software development teams detect potential issues around user facing strings early on. Pseudo-localization transforms resource files written by developers and shows the transformed strings when a specific locale, the pseudo-locale, is passed to the application.

String Externalization

When developers write code for a global market, the strings need to be moved from the code into resource files. This process is called string externalization. If the strings are not externalized, they cannot be translated and a user looking at the application will always see the strings in the same way, with the locale set to German, French, or Japanese. Strings which are not externalized are called hard-coded strings.

For example, in some code using .ejs, if the string Family Tree is hard coded, setting the locale to French will still have “Family Tree” showing in the UI:

<span class=“visible-phone”>Family Tree</span>

Pseudo-Localization

If instead the string is externalized, it can be translated and setting the locale to French will show another string:

The .ejs file snippet:

<span class=“visible-phone”><%- i18n(‘FamilyTree’) %></span>

The corresponding .json resource file snippet in English:

FamilyTree: “Family Tree”,

The corresponding .json resource file snippet in French:

FamilyTree: “Arbre Familial”,

The UI set to French:

Pseudo-localization

Pseudo-Localization

When strings have been externalized into a resource file, they can be transformed for testing purposes independently of translation and that transformation can be shown in the UI using a pseudo-locale.

French is a typical ‘real’ locale: French users will most likely want to see the application in their language. The same is true for most regions, like Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, etc.

A pseudo-locale is a locale that is not a going to have many, if any, users. A typical pseudo-locale is Esperanto. Very few if any users will want to see an application in Esperanto so it makes it a good candidate for a pseudo-locale.

Using the previous ‘Family Tree’ example, here is a possible corresponding snippet in Esperanto:

FamilyTree: “[Ƒåɱîļý Ţŕéé—- П國カ]”,

When viewing the application in Esperanto, the banner will now look like:

Pseudo-localization

Why Pseudo-Localize?

The benefits of pseudo-localization are many, including:

  1. If the strings are displayed in pseudo-localized form, they have been externalized and can be translated.
  2. If the strings do not have any mojibake (corrupt characters), the user interface displays Unicode characters correctly.
  3. If QA can see the start and end character (here “[“ and “]”), the layout takes care of strings which will be longer when translated, say, in German.
  4. Pseudo-localization may also help identify concatenation issues, for instance when in what should be the same resource, the end and start characters appear multiple times.

When to Pseudo-Localize?

Pseudo-localization should be part of localization (L10n) automation. For instance, Lingoport Resource Manager, or LRM, automatically pseudo-localizes all resource files as they are modified or based on a frequency, such as twice a day.

This means that ‘someone’ does not have to think about it, ‘someone’ who may have other things to do such as coding an application.

Both Lingoport’s Globalyzer and Resource Manager support pseudo-localization. The former, helping developers unit test their work, the latter, on a continuous basis so that QA can always use pseudo-localization in their test criteria. It should be noted that pseudo-localization is a testing procedure, while using Globalyzer, particularly when it’s implemented within an IDE, helps avoid internationalization (i18n) issues as software is developed (and when it’s most efficient to fix). This includes i18n bugs beyond string-related issues. Even so, we always recommend implementing pseudo-localization as part of your software development practice.

Webinar: The New Game Changer for Agile Localization – InContext

Check out the recording of our webinar, “The New Game Changer for Agile Localization – InContext,” and learn how to gain speed and accuracy using an innovative approach to context for software localization through Lingoport InContext.

View i18n Webinar Recording

The Most Requested Feature is Now Here

A critical software challenge is that translators get lists of words in files, but must make assumptions of the context for their translation work. Glossaries and translation memory help, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

Context increases accuracy, lowers the QA burden and increases agility.

In this webinar, we demonstrate how we bring visual context from the source code to the translator’s TMS view, then deliver translations back to the code. This adds speed and accuracy, without impacting development efforts.

This is one of the most requested features from our software customers over the years, and we’re thrilled to deliver it to you now with InContext.

A Repo-aware Tracking System with Visual Context

InContext

In this webinar, learn how you can automate in-context translation updates, with a repo-aware system tracking localization changes and providing visual rendering of new strings to the translator.

We present this webinar in tandem with special guest Larry Furr, VP of Product at Lingotek, developers of a leading cloud-based translation management system. In the webinar, we feature how context is moved into a TMS environment including the translator workbench.

Solving the Speed Issue of Software Localization

The key issue that holds back localization from keeping up with development is speed. The leading benefit of continuous localization is moving projects faster, in alignment with agile development. But we still have to translate, and despite all our translator tools, when it comes to complex software, the context of the translation has been a problem.

In continuous localization, U/I strings are sent in small batches, leaving the translator little context for a word or message. The translator might receive 16 words in one file, 32 in another, 6 in yet another, and so on. With words having so much nuance per language, you can understand that this is a tough challenge and a solution creates opportunity for improved global user experiences plus cost, time and hassle savings.

But there is no magic in software and that’s why this challenge remained for so many years. We’ve come up with an elegant solution, and we’ll show you how it works.

Like people say, a picture tells a thousand words.

Webinar Date/Time

  • Date: April 18, 2019
  • Time: 9am Pacific Time | 12pm Eastern Time | 18:00 CEST
  • Duration: 45 minutes, plus audience Q&A

Who Should Attend

  • Localization Managers
  • Product Managers
  • Globalization Leads
  • Localization Team Members

 

View i18n Webinar Recording