Skip the baggage claim, and go global with user interface translation.
UI translation makes it so that platform navigation is possible. It’s that simple.
You also get greater reach. When you have your UI translated, you can go global without ever getting on a plane.
Despite the complexities of translating our platform’s UI into so many different languages for so many clients across so many different regions, working with RedLine has made it easy for us to get accurate translations in place—even under tight release deadlines.
—Christopher Morse, CXO, Envoy Platform
Benefits to User Interface Translation
The big benefit to user interface translation is the improved user experience. With a translated UI, everyone from customers to employees can navigate in their own language.
But it’s not just about cultural courtesy. UI translation can be a competitive advantage. If you offer your app in Spanish but your competitors don’t, who do you think has a better chance of reaching 430 million Spanish speakers worldwide?
It’s not just about speaking your users’ language—UI translation may also give you an advantage over your competitors.
For a customer-facing platform, then, the benefits are twofold. Most importantly, the end user can access information in her native language, perhaps for the first time. (Think about trying to fill out an online health insurance form in a language that you don’t speak well!)
In addition, the company can see gains in the market. User interface translation is a value-add.
And because your competitors aren’t tapping international markets, that means more customers for you.
Challenges of UI Translation
When you translate from English into a Romance language (French or Spanish, for example), it often takes more words to say the same thing. This is called text expansion.
In some languages, single words may be quite long. For example, the 10-letter German word Bestellung is twice as long as the English word “order.”
As a result, the client has some choices: set limits on the length of strings; let page elements to float, expand, or break; or make typographic changes.
Why Context Matters
Text strings in a UI are usually short, so they often lack context. Consider the following, for example: Export, Copy Notes, and Print Confirmation.
Does the text string Print Confirmation appear on a button? If so, it likely means “[Click here to] print [a] confirmation.”
But what if it appears as a label next to a checkbox? It may mean “[Tick this checkbox to receive an email] confirmation [that your] print [job was successful].”
In the first case, print is a verb, but in the second, it’s a noun.
In English, meaning comes more from word order than from word endings. Not so in many other languages. In Russian, for example, parts of speech are clear because the endings of words change based on part of speech.