SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

Localization of Supply Chain Logistics Software

[fa icon="calendar"] November 21, 2021 / by the SimulTrans Team

Translation of Supply Chain Logistics Software

A Supply Chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, and information involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Often the software application plays a central role in the Supply Chain, coordinating the people, the activities, and the delivery of goods to customers. Correctly translating your supply chain logistics and transport software can save your company tons of money! 

SimulTrans has three tips to avoid pitfalls and ensure a successful international release.

1. Translate Terminology Correctly

Terminology can be tricky, particularly when taken out of context in software strings. For instance, an EOI, which typically refers to an Expression Of Interest, which involves a summary of the requirements being distributed to potential suppliers of goods and/or services, could be mistranslated as Effect of Interest or even Exchange of Information, making your customer experience a frustrating one.

To ensure terminology is accurate in the translation, try to develop a glossary of key terms with their definitions and have this glossary translated first.

For instance, your application may provide an Active Inventory, so this would be a good term to add to your glossary and add the definition.

Term: Active Inventory

Description: Any item or element of inventory which has been used or sold within a given period.

When translating software strings that are out of context, translators can make incorrect assumptions about meaning. For example, a string might include “CIP," causing a translator to translate it as Continual Improvement Process (CIP), which is more of a business term than a supply chain term. CIP in this context means Carriage and Insurance Paid, which means that the title and risk pass to buyer when delivered to carrier by seller who pays transportation and insurance cost to destination—used for any mode of transportation.

To avoid these incorrect assumptions, it is helpful to provide translators with access to the running application or screen captures showing strings in context. After translation, linguistic testing can reveal strings that were mistranslated.

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2. Test Localized Application

After translation, it is essential to undertake thorough localization testing to run and examine the application in each target language. This testing should be completed by people who have a thorough understanding of the application in addition to being native speakers of their respective target languages.

However, some screens are difficult to reach for testers, requiring specific settings to be selected, data to be entered, or error conditions to be forced. Sending your localization provider detailed instructions in test scripts will help ensure testers find and fix everything.

3. Protect Software

It is particularly critical to ensure the security of your Supply Chain Application while being localized. You need to guarantee that no malware is inserted into the localized files and maintain the confidentiality of your application architecture. Your localization provider should have tools to parse the files you provide for translation in order to give the translators access to the text to be translated online or in the segmented files while protecting the remainder of the code and mark-up. Translators should not receive raw files to translate.

Also, it is helpful to ensure that translators have signed strict non-disclosure agreements. By emphasizing the importance of confidentiality, you and your localization partner communicate to translators the need to refrain from discussing or sharing their work on your application.

These are just a few of the best practices to follow when localizing your Supply Chain Software Application!

If you have an upcoming logistics and transport translation project we can offer you a free quote and more advice.

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Topics: Translation Services, Software Localization

the SimulTrans Team

Written by the SimulTrans Team

SimulTrans provides software, document, and website localization services, translating text into over 100 languages. Established in 1984, SimulTrans has enabled thousands of businesses to provide high-quality content to their international customers. Management ownership allows an exclusive focus on customers and quality, as exemplified by ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certifications. In addition to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, SimulTrans has offices in Boston, Dublin, London, Paris, Bonn, and Tokyo.