SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

Localizing Installers for Multilingual Software

[fa icon="calendar"] September 9, 2013 / by the SimulTrans Team

Software that is localized for multiple target markets can often have an overlooked component – localization of the installer for each target market.  

All major installer applications utilized today provide functionality for localization.

Some tools used to build installers provide translated versions of their default strings, often including as many as 20,000 words of text per language. By relying on default strings when possible and limiting translations to only customized text, companies can save thousands of dollars in localization costs.

Below are some key points to remember when localizing installers for multi-lingual software applications:

Before localization begins on a selected piece of software, it is crucial to plan for localization of the installer itself. It is important to know if the installer exists, either in an English version, or if any previously localized versions are available. If no installer "text" exists, SimulTrans can work with you and suggest ways to write your English "text" to ensure it is easily localized.

When localizing an installer for an application, the full installer source must be provided, as well as information regarding what installer application and version number. Other materials that would be helpful in localizing an installer include the actual application files that are built into the installer. This enables testing to take place with the greatest accuracy. If the application files cannot be provided during the installer localization, "placeholder" files can be used to during testing as well, but should be rechecked with the actual application files before final delivery takes place.

One major hurdle in installer localization can be seen in code changes to the installer script. For example, if the "readme.txt" file has been translated, it is important to make sure the installer is referencing the translated file name within the code. If your project requires a multilingual installer, extra scripting may be required, and depending on the size of the application, this may need to be modified to ensure that it fits on the required media.

Installer localization is a key component of software localization as a whole, and your localization provider can help you create the best solution for your product. When in doubt, always provide more information to your localization provider than less. This additional information enables the best understanding of your project, and results in the greatest level of success for any project.

Topics: Localization Technology

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.