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Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at localazy.com

12 Reasons Why Localazy is Better Than Spreadsheets for Localization Projects

For those who love mundane data entry and have no problem waiting years for localization projects to be completed, spreadsheets might be a sensible option. But for those who want the translation of their apps and websites to be completed in a matter of hours (without employees screaming for a break), spreadsheets deserve to be buried in the past. โšฐ๏ธ

The time has come for efficient business processes thanks to the advancements in technology that combine machine learning algorithms and human intelligence to produce materials that are to be envied by the old-fashioned translator. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

We work daily to contribute to the field of digital translations here at Localazy, and every day it gets more and more exciting. Here are 12 reasons why we believe that software localization is the future and that Localazy holds the keys to its door. ๐Ÿ’ช

๐ŸŽฏ 1. New and Updated Strings Are Handled Correctly

Manging source strings with all their versions, attached notes, and further context is harrowing if done with spreadsheets. Localazy gives the users assigned under a Managerial role the option to add and edit strings and additional context and keeps track of the updates and changes for later reference. ๐Ÿ†•๐Ÿ˜€

Some of the main actions users can perform when managing the source language content include:

  • Edit content and form - Each string is accompanied with the respective details about its context, location, use, and previous versions. Perform changes and add notes for reviewers and translators to refer to. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Request updates for translations - Updating the source string may require changes in its translations. Hit a checkbox to notify translators of the needed changes. โ˜‘๏ธ
  • Make Localazy your single source of truth - When running the localazy download command from Localazy CLI, you can choose to download the source language content as well. โฌ‡๏ธ

Explore further details of the process together with visual illustrations here.

๐ŸŽฏ 2. Manage people and not only strings

Working on a translation project requires constant communication back and forth between translators, reviewers, and project owners. Doing this through spreadsheets requires communicating via other additional channels, which can be truly annoying. ๐Ÿ˜“

When working with Localazy, the experience is quite different because all these walls in the communication processes are demolished with a tap. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ’ฅ Also, there's no need to worry about giving the wrong permission to the wrong contributors. When using Localazy, you can assign contributors to different roles with different permission levels.

Preserve quality while giving everyone the chance to contribute. ๐Ÿ˜‡โžก๏ธ In order to assign roles to other users, you have to be a Manager or above. If you have this status, simply hit the "Contributors" tab in the menu and modify the user roles.

Here are some of the different roles you can assign in your translation project in Localazy:

  • โœ… Translator
  • โœ… Trusted Translator
  • โœ… Reviewer
  • โœ… Owner
  • โœ… Manager
  • โ˜‘๏ธ No relation

Managing people is quite straightforward when working with Localazy. Categorizing users by different roles allows you to avoid those contributors who harm the quality of your translations and identify those who deliver the best work. ๐Ÿ†

Since Localazy doesn't allow users to lock phrases or finalize projects without the option to make additional improvements or changes, you can let anyone join the party and still maintain control. ๐Ÿฅณ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ

See a more in-depth article on assigning roles.

๐ŸŽฏ 3. Automated Uploading, Downloading, or Merging

Localazy offers many ways of integrating your project with it. The CLI (Command Line Interface) is the most popular and is available for the majority of platforms such as Linux, macOS, and Windows as a Docker image, or a Java app. โ˜•๏ธ

CLI helps immensely when working with files and automates time-consuming processes that used to take hours and days to be done through spreadsheets. โฑ

Command Interface Line (CLI) ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Wave goodbye to the manual uploading, downloading and merging process. Localazy allows a seamless movement of files in just a few practical steps. โฌ†๏ธ For example, let's take uploading. Here's what happens when uploading:

  1. The system scans the target directory and selects only those files which match patterns. ๐Ÿ‘€
  2. All files are resolved based on all parameters, and those fulfilling the false conditions are skipped. ๐Ÿ™ƒ
  3. Files go through a verification process (concerning file types, features, etc.), and then everything is uploaded into the server in a single batch. ๐Ÿ’ป
  4. After each update, the server processes each file asynchronously and sends notifications on the Localazy platform. ๐Ÿ›Ž

#๏ธโƒฃ Also, you can quickly run commands to remove languages, add or remove translations, update with the latest versions, etc., with the help of release tags.

CI/CD (Continous Integration/Continous Delivery) ๐Ÿ”

The fun is not over yet. We still have many more features that turn localization into a smooth automated process. ๐ŸŒŠ

(Tip: Beware of falling asleep. Start listing some good movies to put in the background. ๐Ÿ˜œ)

  • Use Github Actions to automate localization. Continuous localization requires constant updates on localized content as new features roll out. Localazy integrates with Github Actions to provide full automation of the localization process. Learn how to activate it. โœ…
  • Automated localization with GitLab CI/CD. GitLab CI/CD is wonderful for performing simple automation tasks (e.g., only the upload part) to more sophisticated ones. Get your hands on this 4-minute starter template. โŒš๏ธ๐Ÿ˜
  • Bitrise.io + Localazy = full automation. Created for app developers, Bitrise.io allows users to automate localization and deployment using its workflow editor or YAML. Localazy integrates with Bitrise.io seamlessly. โš’๏ธ๐Ÿค

Loalazy API, Android & Apple SDKs, and CDN

CLI combined with CI/CD is the most popular and universal way of integrating your project, but Localazy also offers:

  • Special SDKs for Android and iOS developers, ensuring seamless integration and data exchange.
  • Public API for creating custom connectors and pulling data from/to any database.
  • CDN for decentralized delivery of translations all over the globe.

But don't worry. You can still upload your spreadsheets directly via the web interface to continue where you left off. ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐ŸŽฏ 4. Context for translators for improved quality

Context is king when it comes to producing quality translations, but can you achieve this high level of translation by using spreadsheets? ๐Ÿค”

Translators and reviewers should be provided with the specific context in order to avoid mistranslating strings. ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ Localazy offers the option to exchange information through comments with the developer for clarifying the exact placement and meaning of a specific phrase. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Also, you can build your own personal glossary for reviewers and translators to refer to when working on the project without risking cluttering your interface with unnecessary information. You can hover on words that belong to specific terminology and are emphasized through highlights and have further information on the context appear. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Localazy pays special attention to providing translators with context through the appropriate tabs like Suggestions, Similar, Versions, and Languages which we'll discuss below.

๐ŸŽฏ 5. Optimized Interface

๐Ÿ“„ Having a cluttered interface made of never-ending columns and rows of data is what translators have struggled with for years when working with spreadsheets. Localazy boosts the productivity of translators with a simplified interface that's pleasing to work with.

We do this by keeping in mind to offer a non-overwhelming set of features. ๐Ÿ˜ŽThey should be more concerned with getting the translations right rather than avoiding misselecting a feature. This ranks Localazy among distinct CAT tools requiring minimal learning to integrate into a translator's workflow.

Translators don't struggle with the configuration of matching penalties, importing DTD, or creating translation memories. Localazy is a simple to use Translation Management System (TMS) where you enter, create a profile, and start working immediately. Localazy comes with several features that boost the translator's productivity and make translations way easier. The translator's interface is easy to navigate, with main tabs being: suggestions, similar, versions, languages, comments, source and target language text fields, and ID.

Image description

  • Source Language and Target Language areas - the left box shows the source phrase and the right one your translation. โฌœ๏ธ
  • Source key ID - down the first field in the left, it's placed the ID/name of the string.
  • Suggestions - this tab shows at least one hit per machine translation engine integrated and hits generated from InTM + ShareTM. ๐Ÿ’ฌ
  • Similar - this tab lists resembling phrases from your translation project. โŒ›๏ธ
  • Versions - multiple previous versions of the translations for the respective string. ๐Ÿ†š
  • Languages - this tab shows translated versions of the phrase in other languages. Super helpful when working with content that appears ambiguous. ๐ŸŽŒ
  • Comments - faced with a confusing term and would like to ask the developers for clarification? Well, go to the website, hit the support button, categorize your issueโ€ฆnot really. Localazy saves you the frustration with semi-automated queries. Add your comment right here. ๐Ÿ’ญ

๐Ÿง We asked a professional translator to use Localazy and tell us about the user experience from his perspective. Read the detailed article here.

๐ŸŽฏ 6. Proactive Review

Have you worked with spreadsheets before? Isn't that black and white interface so bland and uninspiring to go over it more than once? ๐Ÿฅด๏ธ That's why we've made the review process fun and inspiring in Localazy. ๐Ÿฅณ๏ธ

The review process is quite proactive, and it aims to prevent other contributors other than verified translators or project owners to finalize translations and make them visible to the intended audience. ๐Ÿ—ฃ Invite Reviewers who you trust or begin the review process yourself by either opting for the Languages option on the top left, where you can select the language and then start reviewing translations by clicking on the Review translations or hit the blue button which redirects you to reviews in case new translations have been added. ๐Ÿ”ตโœ…

Our proactive tool for reviewing translations allows reviewers to reject or accept translations, make edits on the spot or evaluate their quality.

Other features include:

  • Having access to the original context as the translator for a fair evaluation. โ˜‘๏ธ
  • Commenting with notes to the translator directly on the phrase. โ˜‘๏ธ
  • Having access to backward machine translations in other languages to verify ambiguous phrases and have more detailed insights into them, etc. โ˜‘๏ธ

Go ahead and try that with spreadsheets! It will be an actual mess. Instead, use Localazy and benefit from the seamless review process.

Find out more about the review process in Localazy here. ๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

๐ŸŽฏ 7. File Format Conversions

When working on translation projects, it's necessary to have files in appropriate formats first. Yes, definitely!... that's the case for spreadsheets. If you're using Localazy, its integrations allow you to slide like a rockstar into the platform without changing your look. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽธ

Meaning, manually converting files from one format to the other is a thing of the past. The Format Conversions feature facilitates sharing content between different platforms or interfaces such as back-end and front-end.

Enabling this feature gives you the superpower to convert files into the desired formats by using the Localazy CLI tool. All you should do is add the conversion section into the localazy.json configuration file of your CLI integration. Including this in your code applies conversions when localazy download is called. ๐Ÿค™ All automatically. ๐Ÿ˜

How does it work? Here's a brief overview of the process step-by-step:

  1. Files are downloaded from the servers where we stored them and taken through the conversion rules. โœ…
  2. The system skips rules with false conditions. โœ…
  3. For valid rules, the system demands the converted file from the server and stores it in the designated location. โœ…

Does it sound a bit complicated? Well, it is not, but for a more detailed description of the process and visual illustrations, read a dedicated article here.

๐ŸŽฏ 8. Plural Support

Working with plurals through spreadsheets can genuinely give you headaches due to differences that occur in plurals in different languages. ๐Ÿคฏ Since they are managed differently from language to language, it leads to a difference in outputs.

Localazy supports around 200 types of plurals acknowledged by the updated version of the CLDR definition file (See yourself). Depending on the specific rules that exist for each language, Localazy is changing the translator's interface for each respective language for a simplified translation process. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Currently, the plural types that you can work with include: zero, one, two, few, many, other. ๐Ÿค“ There are three main features you can activate in Localazy while uploading files to help you in translating plurals:

  1. Suffixed with CamelCase - It names variables using camelCase (e.g., userOne, userOther). Activate it by inserting plural_postfix_cc in the upload section.
  2. Suffixed with brackets - It adds square brackets to signify the different plurals (e.g., user[one], user[other]). Activate it by inserting plural_postfix_br as part of the upload section.
  3. Using ICU - Activate the feature by inserting plural_icu into the upload section.

Interested in seeing more examples? Read the full article on plurals.

๐ŸŽฏ 9. Shift Through the History of Versions

Keeping track of translation versions through spreadsheets becomes exhausting and confusing. Only the final versions would occupy a great deal of space. Let alone keeping all the possible and previous translations for reference! ๐Ÿ˜ต

Using Localazy, all the previous versions are laid beautifully for you to see and consider. When translating strings, you can see all the possible versions provided by the translator, and you can decide to either reject or accept them. โ˜‘๏ธโŒ This way, you have the option of reconsidering previous translations in a second moment as well as sending these translations for improvement or completely banning them.

โœ… When approving a translation, by hitting 'Approve,' you can fully mark it as done or label it as done and categorize it as in need of improvement.

โŒ When rejecting a translation by hitting 'Reject,' you can completely reject the translated version, ban it along with the translator, or skip it if you're unsure. What matters is that you're given the option to move through translations elegantly and select or make changes accordingly. ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŽฏ 10. Automatic Emails to Translators, Reviewers, etc.

Another challenge in the translation and localization process is communicating with translators, reviewers, and other project participants. ๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ“ƒ

The static interface of spreadsheets lacks practicality and asks for other means of communication to communicate back and forth on translations. ๐Ÿ˜ต Through Localazy, you're not only translating content but also doing so while having fun because the process is time-saving, and to find the discussed versions of a translation, you don't have to scroll back in Slack chats or dead spreadsheets. ๐Ÿ˜ช

๐Ÿ“ง You can send automatic emails to reviewers and translators at the hit of a button with semi-automated queries or add notes in each translated string.

๐ŸŽฏ 11. Translation Memory and Glossary

Ah, terminology! The main reason why we're hiring translators and not using a simple tool like Google Translate for the majority of our translation projects stands in the specific terminology that needs human logic to be done right. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿง 

That's where the Glossary and a Translation Memory enter the play to assist translators and reviewers in referring to concepts with the correct terms. ๐Ÿ—ƒ Having a Glossary assists several translators and contributors working on the same project in using consistent terminology across different sections of the app. This produces high-quality translations, but it also decreases the time contributors or translators would spend learning new terms or concepts.

Here is s a short tutorial for using Localazy's Glossary. ย ๐Ÿ“‘ On the other hand, Translation Memory (TM) reduces the costs of translating the same strings twice. At Localazy, we have two main forms of this memory: InTM and ShareTM.

  • ShareTM - it suggests already-translated versions from other apps on the platform for free. โœ…
  • InTM - is quite similar to ShareTM, but it offers translations from your past translations and your other projects on the platform. โœ…

๐ŸŽฏ 12. Unmatched Localization Services

As app developers and owners, we're constantly searching for ways to market our apps into foreign markets with ease, and localization is essential to do so. We care less about the tools we will accomplish the process with as long as it's done effectively. ๐Ÿ˜

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However, translators have long dreaded spreadsheets for their lack of productivity and interactivity. Considering the depths of localization, translators are in need of a platform that allows them to work seamlessly into projects and communicate easily with reviewers or project owners.

At Localazy, among other tools, we proudly emphasize Continous Localization as one of the services that make our platform unique. Free your hands from the process of translating or reviewing translations and hire our Continuous Localization Team (CLT). ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป

โฐ Spend more time perfecting your product and outsource the localization process partly or completely with the help of professional translators and reviewers.

โœ”๏ธ Conclusion

Are you ready to enter a world where localization can be easy and even fun? Go ahead, upload your spreadsheets to Localazy or integrate your project tightly to benefit from the automation Localazy offers and forget about the hassle altogether.

Sign up now to see why Localazy is at least twelve times better than the old-fashioned way!

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