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Software localisation

One area of translation that has grown rapidly in recent decades is the translation and adaptation (localisation) of software. English is undoubtedly the key language in the IT world, and the vast majority of software has an API (Application Program Interface) that it uses to communicate with the user. Increasingly, it is necessary to translate these APIs into Spanish so they can be used by the Spanish-speaking market.

At Punto y Coma we are aware of the need for appropriate localisation to ensure software usability and accessibility. It is therefore necessary to take into account the following points:

  • Use of standard language of the most widespread operating systems (Windows, Linux, Unix and Mac platforms)
  • Uniformity of terminology throughout the application's hierarchical structures.
  • Use of clear and direct language in application commands and messages.
  • Respecting the structure of the code and help labels in the software to avoid possible incompatibilities and to simplify the programmers' work.

These factors mean that, beyond mere familiarity with computer programming languages, the translator or translators responsible need to have basic programming skills enabling them to distinguish clearly the content of the code. Alert messages, for example, are usually embedded in the code and inexpert translators could overlook them or inadvertently modify the code syntax, thus preventing the application from running correctly.

In particular, Punto y Coma can offer a localisation service for applications based on Macromedia Flash, a widely used format in web and online advertising applications. This type of localisation requires an in-depth knowledge of the underlying technology and close coordination between the work of the programmers and translators.