The module could either be used for individual training or as part of an existing training programme. All activities within the modules are only ideas and cannot be regarded as an entire course or constitute the main part of a training course.

Author: Barbara Heinisch

Provider: Centre for Translation Studies, University of Vienna, Austria

Subject area: specialised translation

Title of the resource: eTransFair e-module on Localisation

Licence: CC BY 4.0

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Download the entire module Localization e-Module

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In this module you learn about localisation. The module consists of 5 units and each unit deals with a different aspect of the topic (see table below). At the beginning of each unit you find the learning outcome to be reached after completing the learning activities. You also find information on the learning context, e.g. competences required for the specific content provided in the unit, technical and other requirements and your workload given in minutes. For your orientation an overview of the activities and their main characteristics (title, description, rationale etc.) are also provided. Afterwards you find the activities in a worksheet. At the end a reference for further reading is given.

The module could either be used for individual training or as part of an existing training programme.

All activities within the modules are only inputs and cannot be regarded as an entire course or constitute the main part of a training course.

Please feel free to add your own examples (own activities, best practices, used methods, assessment techniques etc.) to the list of units because not all aspects of localisation could be considered in this module.

Please note that some reading material used for individual activities within this module is part of the eCoLoTrain project. For accessing this material free of charge, you need to register with Translation Commons first.

Here you find the module’s structure in form of units and their content you will deal with.

Module “Localisation”

Unit 1

Introduction to localisation (GILT)

Unit 2

Fields of localisation (examples: website localisation, software localisation, videogame localisation)

Unit 3

Localisation tools and file formats

Unit 4

Localisation industry, processes and stakeholder

Unit 5

Working on a localisation project


Table of contents. 2


1.      Activity: Introduction to the GILT process. 4

2.      Activity: Difference between localisation and translation. 8

3.      Activity: Aspects to be considered in localisation. 9

4.      Activity: Intra-lingual localisation. 14


1.      Activity: Fields of localisation – overview.. 21

2.      Activity: Challenges in localising products. 22

3.      Activity: Website localisation – basics. 24

4.      Activity: Website localisation issues. 26

5.      Activity: Comparing website localisations. 30

6.      Activity: Software localisation. 31

7.      Activity: Software localisation testing. 36

8.      Activity: (Technical) documentation localisation. 36

9.      Activity: Videogame localisation. 38

10.         Activity: Comparing fields of localisation. 39


1.      Activity: File formats in localisation. 43

2.      Activity: Introduction to localisation tools. 47

3.      Activity: Difference between CAT tools and localisation tools. 50

4.      Activity: Overview of localisation tools on the market. 51


1.      Activity: Localisation industry – facts and figures. 53

2.      Activity: Introduction to stakeholders in localisation. 55

3.      Activity: Introduction to localisation processes. 56


1.      Activity: Check-list for localisation projects. 60

2.      Activity: Working on a localisation project. 60

3.      Activity: Reflecting on the localisation project. 63


Learning outcome

After completing this unit, you will be able to compare the cultural conventions of the source language and the target language.

You will be able to compare the linguistic and (inter-)textual rules/conventions and other characteristics of the source language and the target language and adapt a product for a locale (i.e. localization).

Learning context


Understanding the general concepts of (specialised) translation, genres, text types and theories of translation.

Learning Environment

Computer, Internet and Beamer


140 min

Overview of learning activities




Type of activity


Estimated timeframe

1. Introduction to the GILT process

Presentation of the GILT process, definitions of G11N, I18N, L10N, T9N and related concepts

Activating knowledge, developing critical attitude towards definitions of GILT, integration of knowledge in translation theories

Presentation by trainer

Not assessed

30 min

2. Difference between translation and localisation

Discussion of the difference between localisation and translation and the implications for localisers/translators

Developing a critical stance towards definitions and finding a suitable definition

Research and group discussion of the difference between localisation and translation

Summative assessment

40 min

3. Aspects to be considered in localisation

Reading about aspects that require special attention during localisation

Raising awareness for practical localisation problems

Reading and note taking

Not assessed

30 min

4. Intralingual localisation

Exercise on adapting a text to another locale

Developing the ability to localise

Individual exercise

Peer assessment

40 min


1.Activity: Introduction to the GILT process

The trainer presents the GILT process and its importance as a field of activity for professional translators:

  • Globalisation (G11N)
  • Internationalisation (I18N)
  • Localisation (L10N)
  • Translation (T9N)

The abbreviations G11N, etc. are numeronyms, where 11 stands for the number of letters between the first “g” and the last “n”.

  • Globalisation: “all of the business decisions and activities required to make an organization truly international in scope and outlook. Globalization is the transformation of business and processes to support customers around the world, in whatever language, country, or culture they require.” (LISA 2007:1). It refers to business issues which help to market a product globally. Global marketing means that products have to be adapted to regional markets. A prerequisite is to assess the legal, economic and technical conditions on regional markets. Here internationalisation and localisation play a role.
  • Internationalisation: “Internationalization is the process of enabling a product at a technical level for localization. … [A]n internationalized product does not require remedial engineering or redesign at the time of localization. Instead, it has been designed and built to be easily adapted for a specific market after the engineering phase. Internationalization primarily consists of abstracting the functionality of a product away from any particular culture, language or market so that support for specific markets and languages can be integrated easily.” (LISA 2007:17). It means that internationalisation refers to the process of designing a product in a way which makes it adaptable to languages and regions without the need for re-design. The creation of this adaptable product may include ergonomic, legal, cultural, linguistic or physiological issues. A product should have a language- and culture-independent core (process of generalising a product) and language- and culture-bound product variables (a product which can handle different local conventions). Internationalisation is the major step determining a product’s localisability, i.e. a product’s easy adaptation to another market and the success of localisation. This may include considering text expansion, different character sets, date formats and keyboard shortcuts. If internalisation is not considered and if developers do not think about localisation in the internationalisation phase, the more effort is needed and the higher the costs when localising a product. Programmers and designers should be made aware that they should consider adapting products to regional differences, languages and technical requirements in advance.
  • Localisation: “the process of modifying products or services to account for differences in distinct markets.” (LISA 2007:11). Often, localisation is defined as the cultural, linguistic and technical adaption of a product to the target market, i.e. locale. Therefore, localisation has to consider needs and expectations in the target market and may lead to the removal of unnecessary or inappropriate elements or to the addition of locale-specific components. Cultural adaptation requires product modifications to reflect locale-specific situations and expectations.

Technical adaptation refers to meeting the regulations and norms in the target market and adapting the product specifications accordingly. Linguistic adaptation is translation in this respect. In some markets and for some products, it is necessary that all components of a product are localised before they can be launched. This may involve adapting examples, e.g. business card templates, technical components such as voltage or connections as well as legal adaptations, such tax law for financial software or medical devices.

Localisation dates back to the 1990s when software developers intended to market their products in non-English speaking countries. If companies wish to sell their products on international markets, they have to adapt their product to the local requirements. Users prefer to use products on their language and offering a product in the local language may be sold better in a certain country.

Localisation and internationalisation are important steps in the product development process. They analyse global and local product requirements which have an impact on the design, implementation and testing phases. They are subordinate processes of globalisation and they have to be specified, designed, implemented and tested.

  • Translation: Translation is the process of conveying the meaning of a source text into a target language. In the GILT process it focuses on written or displayed text or spoken words.

Background information for trainers:

In addition, the trainer defines key terms in the field of GILT together with the trainees. These may include:

  • Locale: understood as a combination of country and a certain language-speaking region, e.g. French spoken in France vs French spoken in Canada vs French spoken in Switzerland. For example, French in France can be identified with fr_FR, French in Switzerland with fr_FR. For English, this might look like en_GB (British English), en-US (American English), etc. A locale may not only entail different linguistic features such as spelling or character sets but also social and cultural conventions and circumstances as well as legal and technical conditions, such as keyboard layouts and date formats. Therefore, a product needs to be adapted to these conditions.
  • Localisation kit (LocKit): A localisation kit is an information and file package for localisers. It includes:
    • the files to be localised
    • contextual information, e.g. screenshots, descriptive texts or navigational instructions. So, localisers can understand where a text is used in a product.
    • localisation brief, e.g. timeline, project scope
    • product description: name, use, website
    • team members and points of contact, e.g. whom to contact in case of queries
    • information on the workflow, e.g. instructions on file names,
    • reference material, e.g. terminological databases, glossaries, style guides, previous versions, translation memories or editors.
  • Localisation degree/extent of localisation: meaning the extent to which a product is adapted to the target locale, i.e. extent of localisation. The extent of localisation usually depends on the size of the target market as well as time, budget and resources. Other factors which need to be analysed include the nature and scope of a product, the size of the target audience, the length of the product life cycle and update frequencies, competitor behaviour, market acceptance as well as national or international legislation. These factors determine the decision whether a product or its parts are localised. Not every product is localised the same way and not all product files require localisation to a large extent. Sometimes only parts of the entire product need to be localised. If a user has to interact with a product or parts of a product, this product or these parts will be localised to a greater extent. For example, in website localisation, only one short paragraph on the homepage may be localised or the entire website.
  • SimShip: Simultaneous shipment is the release of localised versions of product at the same time, or within a short period of time of the original release. This means that localisers have to work under time pressure. Furthermore, the source material may be updated and changed several times during the localisation process.
  • Localisation maturity: Not each company commissioning localisation to a localisation vendor has the same localisation maturity. This scale ranges from -3 to 5. Organisations which rank -3 to -1 try to avoid localisation, whereas those “negligent” at 0 do not see the need to formally manage language services. Organisations on 1 are “reactive” and multilingual but without formal processes, staff or technology. On 2 they are “repeatable” and have first formalised processes and a person responsible for localisation, 3 are “managed” and have processes, suppliers and specialised tools, 4 is “optimised”, i.e. centralised localisation function supported by translation management systems and 5 means “transparent” and that localisation is treated as a business process to be improved and managed. Global customers and their requirements are integrated into operational and strategic planning. These nine levels of the localisation maturity model are based on Common Sense Advisory, Inc. (see references).


In the localisation industry, translators are usually paid by word.

It is also a good idea to address the following aspects when introducing the GILT process:


  • The term localisation is often used in the technical field. For a differentiation between localisation and translation, see the next activity.
  • People prefer to use products in their mother tongue or favourite language.
  • Localisation should be considered throughout the entire product life cycle, starting already from the product development phase.


Background information for trainer:

Further information on the GILT process is available in eCoLoTrain. Please note: For accessing this material free of charge, you need to register with Translation Commons first.



LISA. 2007. The Globalization Industry Primer: An introduction to preparing your business and products for success in international markets. Accessed October 13, 2018. http://info.dynamiclanguage.com/lisa-localization-primer.

ECoLoTrain. 2018. “ECoLoTrain - Software L10N Module.” Accessed October 12, 2018. https://ecolo.translationcommons.org/index.php?title=ECoLoTrain_-_Software_L10N_Module.

Drewer, Petra, and Wolfgang Ziegler. 2014. Technische Dokumentation: Eine Einführung in die übersetzungsgerechte Texterstellung und in das Content-Management. 2., überarb. und akt. Aufl. Würzburg: Vogel.

2.Activity: Difference between localisation and translation

Instruction for trainees:

Please research the terms “localisation“ and “translation“ either in the academic literature or in both the academic literature and other sources such as newspapers, blog entries, web information from LSPs (language service providers), etc. Please note definitions and the most important aspects that differentiate translation from localisation as well as their similarities. Please create a line of thought and arguments why translation is localisation, or why translation is not localisation.

Then form groups of 4-5 people (online in a Moodle discussion forum or in person during class). You present the definitions you found or prepared to each other. Only after everyone has presented their definitions and insights, the others should provide feedback and (counter-)arguments for the definitions presented by the others.

Afterwards each group tries to find the common features of the definitions. They present their insight into the differences between and similarities of localisation and translation to the class. Either you present it as a group in front of the entire class or you write a short summary in the Moodle discussion forum.

Finally, the trainer provides a summary of the similarities and differences and presents his/her (personal) definition of localisation that will be used throughout the course.

After having gained different insights, please be aware that there is no such thing as only one definition for localisation. Different translation theories consider localisation as part of translation. However, in the localisation industry, localisation and translation are considered different activities. To sum up, there are multiple definitions used by different authors and stakeholders.

Background information for trainer:

Trainees need to be introduced to peer feedback: Trainees should be made aware of the process of giving valuable feedback and how to give feedback. Everyone should have the chance to present his/her definition before other people make comments on the definitions given.

When starting the discussion, it should be clear to the trainees that everyone is allowed to present his/her definition or arguments without being interrupted by others.

This activity should make them aware of the difficulties of establishing clear boundaries of meaning between the terms localisation and translation.

Based on experience, trainees have difficulties in understanding the difference between localisation and translation. The aim should be to introduce the GILT process as a process from the perspective of product development and design. However, there are different translation theories, e.g. Skopos theory or functional translation theories that are based on the idea that translation always has to consider the target audience and its purpose/function. According to these theories, translators already adapt their translation to the intended purpose of the target text, i.e. they localise. Thus, localisation may also be regarded as a type of multimedia translation or even audio-visual translation.

Localisation is often regarded as a term coined by software developers. In comparison to translation, it has a focus on technical constraints and non-textual issues.

Localisers work on different elements. Therefore, this activity opens the discussion about the definition of text: Is text only words in writing, or does text also include images, diagrams, videos, etc.?

In addition, it is useful to give trainees (again) an overview of translation theories, e.g. pure translation studies vs descriptive or applied translation studies. This overview helps integrate the GILT process or localisation in the context of different translation theories.

Although there might not be one common definition of localisation, it is a good idea to present one definition of localisation that you use throughout your course. This helps trainees to understand to which concept you refer.

Reference to terminology module: A good lesson beyond localisation might be to see whether the trainees’ definitions meet terminology requirements, i.e. whether they searched for, prepared or used definitions that meet the standards for good definitions in terminology studies. Trainees can discuss why various definitions are “good” or “bad” according to terminological requirements.

3.Activity: Aspects to be considered in localisation

Instruction for trainees:

Please read the information on the elements that should be considered in localisation provided on ECoLoTrain – “L10N II - Translation and Localisation Essentials”. Please note: For accessing this material free of charge, you need to register with Translation Commons first.

Take notes and list the most important aspects or elements that translators/localisers should consider when localising products. Form groups (on Moodle or in class) of 3-4 people, compare your lists and find examples in the products you use, e.g. “an example for date formatting: the first day of the week in the calendar on my computer is Monday because it is in German, whereas Sunday is the first day of the week in the Greek one”.

Background information for trainer:

There are some general elements that require special attention in localisation. These include:

Symbols: Symbols as signs representing an idea or object. In localisation, they are used to represent abstract ideas and/or linguistic elements. These examples are taken from universal spheres of life. Since symbols can hardly be changed in the localisation phase or only with some effort, engineers should select those symbols that are not bound to a certain culture or language in the internalisation phase. Examples include symbols in programs, on keys or buttons (on machines or devices). An unsuccessful example of symbol internalisation is the table (furniture) symbol for tables in a spreadsheet because this is language-specific.

Character sets: Nowadays, Unicode, as a computer industry standard for consistent encoding and representation of text, supports most of the world’s writing systems and character sets, e.g. Latin, Greek, Arabic or Mandarin.

Text directionality or reading direction: The support of different text directionalities, e.g. from left-to-right or from right-to-left should be already considered in the internationalisation phase.

Colours: Colours may have different meanings in cultures. Certain colours may evoke undesired associations. For example, white is associated with purity and virtue in Europe, whereas it is associated with death and sorrow in China. Therefore, colours should be adapted to the target locale. In website design, e.g. for governmental institutions, the colours of the country flag may be used. In addition to different meanings of colours in different cultures, associations may also differ between gender, age, social groups, etc.

Fonts and typography: Certain fonts are used more frequently in some locales compared to others. Typefaces with serifs (serif typefaces such as “Times New Roman”) and sans-serif typefaces (such as “Gothic”) may be preferred in some cultures. Moreover, the character set should match the fonts to display the information correctly. However, their use also depends on the medium. For example, sans-serif typefaces are easier to read on screens, whereas serif typefaces are often preferred in printed material. Typographic elements may also include capitalisation, emphasis, enumerations or lists, quotation marks or apostrophes. If capital letters are used to emphasise certain words or headings, other ways of emphasis may be chosen in other locales. This emphasis may include capitalisation, font size or weight of font, e.g. bold or underline as well as the use of quotation marks. The latter is used if, e.g., a technical documentation refers to the name of a menu item in the software user interface and capitalisation cannot be used due to linguistic reasons. Enumerations or lists may require the use of bullet characters, such as bullets or hyphen bullets according to the preferences in the target locale. Quotation marks or apostrophes may also differ.

Language and style: Language use and style differ not only between text types but also between languages of the same text type, if applicable. Cultural conventions determine the structure of sentences and the style in localisation. For example, in US-American user manuals, the reader is addressed personally, simple verbs are used, and text is repeated. In German user manuals, the reader is often not addressed personally, passive voice is used very often, repetitions are avoided, and domain-specific verbs are used. This means, that the cultural conventions subject to the text type and corporate style guides should be considered when localising products.

Language and style also include

  • the logical order of information, e.g. from general to the specific information or vice versa
  • Alphanumeric sorting, e.g. accented characters.
  • Orthography, e.g. symbols for numbers (decimal and thousand separators, e.g. decimal point or comma)

Examples: Software may include example files and templates. These need to be adapted as well. For example, when localising a business card application, the templates need to be adapted too, e.g. the design of the card, placeholder names (e.g. John Doe), locations and addresses.

Screenshots: If, e.g., a user manual contains screenshots of the user interface, this screenshot should be replaced with the screenshot of the target-version user interface.

Keyboard shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts also need to be adapted to the target locale, either because the keys are different, e.g. umlaut keys on German keyboards; “z” and “y” are inverted, or a key is called differently, e.g. Ctrl (Control) in English vs Strg (Steuerung) in German.

Space requirements and character limits: When translating texts from one language into another, there might be either text expansion or text contraction. For example, many texts in European languages are longer than an English source text. This is not only important for the graphic design of, e.g., a brochure or paper documentation but also for localisation. In software localisation, user interface elements, such as buttons need to be adapted to the size or length of the target text.

Terminology: Depending on the localisation type, consistency of terminology across all product components, e.g. software user interface and documentation, is necessary. However, a term may refer to different concepts in another context (e.g. if it is displayed in a menu, a dialog window or an error message). When creating a terminological database (for a localisation project), it is a good idea to include the product, (the product version because terms may change from one product version to the other), the company and/or industry, the locale and, if applicable, also the type of the localisable element (e.g. menu, dialog box, system message). Ideally, source-locale and target-locale terminology is specified before the localisation. The proportion of specialised terminology used in a product depends on the specialisation degree of the product. Moreover, aspects such as language planning, e.g. avoiding Anglicisms, should be considered in terminology work. In addition, terminology in localisation depends on the corporate language (corporate terminology), laws and regulations related to the product and the product environment, e.g. the operating system on which an application runs.

Cultural references and cultural conventions: For example, if a text refers to the size of a football field, it may be adapted to a target-specific sports field or any other object of a similar size. Cultural references may include:

  • Text type conventions: Genres and text types may have to be adapted to the target text type conventions. If a text type does not exist in the target locale, it may be replaced with another text type according to locale-specific requirements.
  • Legal documents: For example, licence agreements may vary between locales. Or some text types used in a technical documentation may not exist in another locale.
  • Realia, i.e. culture-specific objects and concepts for which no equivalent can be found in the target culture, e.g. people, organisations, habits, customs, functions as well as historical, geographical or political peculiarities.
  • Proper names, e.g. famous places, persons, names of holidays.
  • Photos: Images that depict culture-specific objects or situations may need to be changed. These may include references to appearance, clothes, cities, buildings, landscape, objects (e.g. whether a car has the steering wheel on the left or right side, the car’s licence plates, etc.).
  • Figures and graphics: There may be different conventions for structure, layout and presentation of information, including figures in the target market. For example, comic-like presentations are used in Japanese user manuals, whereas technical images and drawings are used in US-American and European ones.
  • Images: Sometimes clients think that pictures enable communication without the use of language. However, images are hardly neutral and culture-independent. Scenes have to be adapted to the cultural conventions and previous knowledge of users. For example, in some countries people wear outdoor shoes in the house. Therefore, an image depicting a foot starting a vacuum cleaner should wear either indoor or outdoor shoes.
  • Icons
  • Body language: Body language may differ between locales. Therefore, it should be checked whether the body language of persons in a video or in a picture is appropriate for the target market.
  • Flags: Products may display country-specific flags which may need to be replaced or removed in the target locale.
  • Sounds: Sounds may evoke different associations in different locales. Therefore, it should be checked whether they are appropriate for the target market. Moreover, auditive information may need to be adapted as well, e.g. people speaking in a certain language in a video.

Addresses, postal codes and telephone numbers: If placeholder addresses, postal codes or telephone numbers are used, e.g. for business card templates, they should be replaced with typical addresses in the target locale. Moreover, the correct number of digits in the postal codes and telephone numbers should be used in the target locale. If the text refers to a specific address, e.g. the headquarters of a company, it may be replaced with the local branch office’s address, e.g. on a website.

Formats: Formats may refer to date formats, currency formats, paper formats, units of measurement, etc. The use of formats depends on the translation brief, i.e. whether the original formats should be kept or whether it should be converted (roughly or exactly) into the target format.

  • Currency: Before converting the original currency into the local currency, e.g. pounds into euros, it is a good idea to discuss the prices in the target locale with the client.
  • Dates and time: The display of dates can vary between locales, e.g. 1/10/11 or 10/1/11 or 10 Jan. 2011.
  • Calendar week: If a calendar is displayed, e.g. in an e-mail program, it should start with the locale-specific start of the week, e.g. Monday or Sunday.
  • Default and standard settings, e.g. paper size or power plugs.
  • Units of measurement, for distances, filling quantities or weights, e.g. miles or kilometres, inches or centimetre, pounds or kilogram.
  • Space and time references, e.g. seasons, time zones that may be different from the source locale.

The aspects to be considered in localisation can be summarised as follows:

  • Language-related and textual aspects such as intertextuality, register or text type conventions
  • Visual and auditive aspects such as icons, pictures or sounds
  • Technical aspects such as date and time formatting
  • Cognitive aspects such as website navigation, mental models or way of interaction

Another categorisation is:

  • Linguistic issues
  • Physical issues, e.g. in many countries, automobiles have steering wheels on the left side of the vehicle, but this may be different in other countries. Another example are keyboard layouts that may vary.
  • Business and cultural issues, e.g. telephone number formats, accounting conventions, colours and graphics to meet local conventions and expectations, such as local payment preferences.
  • Technical issues, e.g. text directionality, separators used in numbers, input of text in the local language

The better a product is adapted to the locale, the better a product is evaluated by users.


ECoLoTrain. 2018. “ECoLoTrain - Software L10N Module.” Accessed October 12, 2018. https://ecolo.translationcommons.org/index.php?title=ECoLoTrain_-_Software_L10N_Module.

Information in German is available in book chapter 3.6 in: Drewer, Petra; Ziegler, Wolfgang (2014): Technische Dokumentation. Eine Einführung in die übersetzungsgerechte Texterstellung und in das Content-Management. 2., überarb. und akt. Aufl. Würzburg: Vogel.

4.Activity: Intra-lingual localisation

Instruction for trainees: A British online car magazine published an article on the New 2019 Porsche Macan. What would you change to adapt this article to a US-American audience? (Please visit the website to see the pictures).

British text

American text

New 2019 Porsche Macan lands in Paris

Published: 01 October 2018

Curtis Moldrich

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More info on Porsche Macan

► New 2019 Porsche Macan
► Huge 11-inch touchscreen
► More like 911 inside and out 

Porsche has brought its latest Macan mini-SUV to the Paris motor show, and it promises a marked improvement design, comfort, connectivity and handling.

Featuring a tweaked, cleaner design and uprated chassis, the new Macan comes after 350,000 orders of the SUV since its release in 2014 – it’s a hugely important model car for the sports car brand.

Our full guide to the Paris motor show

This isn't the Porsche Macan's world debut; it was shown at the 2018 Shanghai auto show, tellingly just hours after the unveiling of another new Volkswagen Group SUV - the new Audi Q3.

So what’s new on the 2019 Porsche Macan?

As you’d expect from Stuttgart, the design of the facelifted Porsche Macan represents a ‘light tidy-up’ more than a sweeping redesign.

The overall look of the car is pretty similar, though Porsche says it’s carried over elements of the 911 and 918 design to make the Macan look a little sportier. We'd say it's a pretty modest refresh.

With that in mind, you’ll find LED headlights as standard, and at the rear the new model retains the three-dimensional LED light strip that’s becoming a hallmark of the current Macan. As expected, all lights use the four-point design we’re seeing sweep through the company’s road and race cars.

The specs of the basic Macan is as follows, in this post-diesel age:

Macan engine 2.0-litre turbo four, 242bhp and 273lb ft
Transmission Seven-speed PDK twin-clutch, AWD 
0-62mph 6.7 seconds
Top speed 139mph 
Average fuel consumption 34.9mpg
CO2 185g/km 

By changing the placement of the air intakes, Porsche has made the front of the Macan look wider than before, helping to give it a squatter, sportier look.

It’ll come in four new colours, too: Miami Blue, Mamba Green Metallic, Dolomite Silver Metallic and Crayon. Suitably silly paint names? Check...

Finally, 20- and 21-inch wheels are now on offer, to lend that gangster swagger.

And inside the cabin of the facelifted Porsche Macan?

The interior of the Macan sees a similar amount of change, with new styling updates designed to bring the car slightly closer to Porsche’s halo 911 sports car range.

An optional GT sports steering wheel is the most obvious nod to Stuttgart’s most iconic sports car, while an integrated Sports Response Button mirrors the one you’d find on a the latest Cayenne SUV.

Porsche has hiked up the levels of comfort, so this time you’ll find a heated windscreen and air-improving ioniser on the options list. A traffic jam adaptive cruise system has finally arrived in the Macan too, though it’s only functional at speeds up to 37.2mph (60kph).

That screen!

The most striking thing in the new Macan interior – besides the swarm of switches by the gear selector, which we’ll get to later – is a new full-HD infotainment system. Measuring a massive 11 inches corner-to-corner, the new screen features the same tile-based user interface as the Panamera and Macan. Such is the size of the new screen that Porsche has redesigned air vents around it, so they’re now below it.

Just like the current model, the new Macan will ship with a Connect Plus module, allowing for a more connected driving experience. That means you can expect voice control, and real-time traffic information powered by BMW, Daimler and VW Group’s Here maps service.

As you can see from the pictures, there's also a tonne of switches, which is a change from the smudgy glass surfaces we're now seeing dominate most VAG cars' dashboards... 

What’ll the new Macan be like to drive?

Porsche says the new Macan has an optimised chassis, so it should feature an even more engaging ride than the current model. As with the current car, the new 2019 Macan will feature mixed tyres to bolster its handling, and a new all-wheel drive system should increase the levels of grip - especially mid-corner.

Price and engine news? 

Porsche has confirmed UK prices will start at £46,344.00, a scant £400 more than the last Macan. All models sold in Great Britain will now get LED headlights and the new PCM with online navigation and Connect Plus. 

Source: https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-news/first-official-pictures/porsche/macan/

Background information for trainer:

The aim of this exercise is to raise awareness for the definition of localisation. Localisation is the adaptation of a product to a target locale. This adaptation is not limited to texts in another language, but also concerns intralingual differences. Although English is used in both countries the United States of Amerika and the United Kingdom, there might be differences in spelling, word use (lexis), grammar, pronunciation, punctuation, idioms and cultural differences. So, trainees should learn that localisation is not limited to interlingual localisation but can also occur within the same language. In intralingual localisation, locale differences become apparent.

Further information on the differences between American English and British English are available on Wikipedia: Comparison of American and British English

You may ask your trainees the following questions to make them aware of the differences in this article:

  • When and where did the Porsche Macan land in the US? Did this car land in the US at all?
  • Would the sharing buttons be the same on the US website? Are other social media and communication channels preferred in the US?
  • What is a famous motor show in the US, where the car could be presented?
  • Which car features would US-Americans prefer?
  • Would US-Americans know that Porsche cars are produced in Stuttgart? Would they know where Stuttgart is?
  • What is the difference between the car terminology used in GB and the US?
  • Are the companies in the US as concerned about the environment as Europe? E.g. CO2 emission. What would be their concerns?
  • What the “specs” be the same? Would the list be different? Would the units of measurement be different?
  • Are the car’s colours also available in the US? Do US-Americans have another colour preference?
  • Would US-Americans understand the references to other cars? Are the cars mentioned in the article also on purchase in the US?
  • How much is the car in US dollars?
  • Would US-Americans be interested in the same topics? Would the article be different? Would you need to re-write the article?
  • Would the pictures be the same? Would you need to change the picture because the steering wheel is on the other side, the car is not available in the colour, or the licence plate is a European one?

Links to other resources and further information:

List of references for Unit 1

Dunne, Keiran J., ed. 2011. Translation and localization project management: The art of the possible. American Translators Association scholarly monograph series 16. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins. http://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC08789399.

Esselink, Bert. “Localization Engineering: The Dream Job?” Revista tradumàtica: traducció i tecnologies de la informació i la comunicació, 2013, Issue 11, pp.383-388.

———. 2000. A practical guide to localization. Rev. ed. The language international world directory 4. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins.

Jiménez-Crespo, Miguel A. 2013. Translation and web localization. 1. publ. London [u.a.]: Routledge. http://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC11024380.

Reinke, Uwe. “Auswahl von Texten für die Ausbildung im Bereich eContent-Lokalisierung: Softwarelokalisierungsprogramme.” https://ecolo.translationcommons.org/images/2/29/Selecting_text_for_l10n_de.pdf.

Yuste Rodrigo, Elia, ed. 2008. Topics in language resources for translation and localisation. Benjamins translation library 79. Amsterdam: Benjamins. http://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC06972951.

ECoLoTrain. 2018. “ECoLoTrain - Software L10N Module.” Accessed October 12, 2018. https://ecolo.translationcommons.org/index.php?title=ECoLoTrain_-_Software_L10N_Module.

Drewer, Petra, and Wolfgang Ziegler. 2014. Technische Dokumentation: Eine Einführung in die übersetzungsgerechte Texterstellung und in das Content-Management. 2., überarb. und akt. Aufl. Würzburg: Vogel.

Learning outcome

After completing this unit, you will be able to define and apply translation strategies and techniques appropriately using appropriate meta-language.

You will be able to compare the linguistic and (inter-)textual conventions and other characteristics of the source language and the target language, and adapt a product for a locale (i.e. localization).

You will be able to compare the cultural conventions of the source language and the target language.

You will be able to understand linguistic and (inter-)textual conventions in domain(s).

You will be able to manage (inter-)cultural principles and conventions in text/translation.

You will be able to compare the cultural conventions of the source language and the target language.

You will be able to identify and solve translation problems.



Learning context


Understanding the general concepts of translation and project management. Knowledge of the GILT process and translation theories as well as aspects to be considered in localisation.

Learning Environment

Computer and Beamer


380 min



Overview of learning activities




Type of activity


Estimated timeframe

1. Fields of localisation - overview

Activating the knowledge of products that may be localised

Critical reflection on every-day use of localised products

Discussion among trainees

Not assessed

30 min.

2. Challenges in localising products

Brainstorming on the challenges of localisation

Applying knowledge of text types, text conventions and localisation aspects

Filling in a table and answering questions

Not assessed

40 min.

3. Website localisation – basics

Finding definitions of key website terminology

Understanding key terminology used in website design and localisation

Research and filling in a table

Peer assessment

40 min.

4. Website localisation issues

Presentation of things to be considered in website localisation

Understanding website localisation

Presentation by trainer

Not assessed

30 min.

5. Comparing website localisations

Through the comparison of localised websites knowledge of aspects that should be considered during localisation is applied

Raising awareness of different localisation strategies and reflection on localisation decisions

Selection of a website and written summary of the comparison of two localised web versions and argumentation

Peer assessment

40 min.

6. Software localisation

Presentation of and introduction to software localisation

Gaining knowledge of software and software localisation

Reading and summarising

Not assessed

40 min.

7. Software localisation testing

Testing one part of a localised software for bugs

Trainees should be able to test software for localisation bugs

Finding bugs in a dialogue window

Self assessment

10 min.

8. Technical documentation localisation

Introduction to the localisation of documentation

Gaining an overview of documentation localisation

Research on text types in documentation

Not assessed

40 min.

5. Videogame localisation

Introduction to videogame localisation basics

Gaining an overview of videogame localisation

Reading chapters in a book, summarising them and presenting the summary

Peer assessment

90 min.

6. Comparing fields of localisation

Summary of and reflection on the fields of localisation

Activating knowledge of different fields of localisation and aspects to be considered in localisation, understanding the differences between the fields of localisation

Filling in a table

Not assessed

50 min.




1.Activity: Fields of localisation – overview

Instruction for trainees:

After having heard about the GILT process and having found the differences and similarities between localisation and translation, think about products that may require localisation or which are already localised, and you use in your everyday life. Make a list of these products. Add at least 7 products and examples to this list.

Localised products:

  • Operating systems (computers, smartphones), e.g. …
  • Software and apps, e.g. …
  • Ticket machines, e.g. …
  • ATMs
  • Printers with display
  • Keys on a keyboard
  • Remote control (TV)
  • Social media, e.g.

After having listed 7 localisable and localised products, form groups of 3-4 people and cluster these products into broader categories (based on commonalities).

Background information for trainer:  

Localisation occurs in a plethora of fields. However, the term localisation is mainly used for technical products. Therefore, localisable products may be categorised into web content (website localisation), software and apps (software localisation) or videogames (videogame localisation). It may also include the localisation of machines or (small) devices, various applications or technical documentation. As mentioned before, localisation can also be understood as audio-visual translation or multimedia translation. Different products impose different constraints on the localiser based on the medium, e.g. length (e.g. displays on machines), technology or subject matter.

Localisation may be necessary throughout the product lifecycle:

  • Development and testing phase
  • Acquisition phase (product-related advertisements and sales)
  • Introduction (staff training and installation of the product)
  • Use and maintenance phase (technical documentation)
  • Disposal phase (dismantling, scrapping or deinstallation)

For further information on (technical) documentation, see Activity “(Technical) documentation localisation”.

2.Activity: Challenges in localising products

Instruction for trainees:

When you think of a product, e.g. a website, a software, an app or a videogame that should be localised:

  • What text genres (text types) are related to this product? Select at least two text genres per product and elaborate on the following questions:
  • What media are related to these products and text genres (text types)?
  • What are the characteristics of the products and of these different text types?
  • What is the consequence for localisation? What are the challenges in localisation based on the nature of (the texts in) these products?

You can work in groups of 3-4 people and compare your results.







Text genres (text types)

information on the company, information on its products, technical documentation (incl. user manuals in PDF files, searchable knowledge bases, video tutorials),

company blog, advertisement, integrated social media feed (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Legal disclaimer







Written text



Images (embellishment or functional images)




Audio files

Social media feed






The informative and appellative functions of the texts prevail.

Each text type has to meet other text conventions, e.g. a blog has to be more personal whereas the presentation of the company has to sound more objective, user manuals should be instructive




Implications for localisation (consequences and challenges)

The colours of the website may need to be adapted to the target locale (if the corporate design allows this) as well as the website navigation, the selection of information, images (e.g. shooting new pictures with people from the locale, in local scenery)…





Background information for trainer:

In this activity, trainees should address, among others, text genre (text types), technical aspects and general aspects that should be considered when localising products.

3.Activity: Website localisation – basics

Instruction for trainees:

Find out what the following terms mean. Provide a definition or explanation and think about how these aspects affect localisation. Fill in the table below. In the last column you may add your remarks.

You may form groups of 4-5 people and compare your results.

Term or aspect


Impact on localisation






Web page








Responsive design








Static website




Dynamic website




















Web accessibility









Background information for trainer:

Definitions of these terms are available on Wikipedia.

If necessary, you may introduce trainees to HTML, e.g. what tags are, which tags exist, and which tags are relevant in the localisation process.

A website is the entire web presence of a company, project, organisation, etc. having a common domain name and consisting of several web pages. Each web page has an individual web address (an URL displayed in the browser’s address bar). The homepage is the first, and very often, the main page for users. It is crucial since it is displayed when users navigate to the website via a search engine. Responsive web design (RWD) means that the web content is adapted to the layout, e.g. size of the user’s screen. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is a markup language that became a standard for creating web pages and web applications. Predefined tags are used for the description of structural elements in web pages such as headers, tables, graphics, hyperlinks, etc. You can access the HTML file in a browser if you press Ctrl+U on the keyboard for a specific web page. It consists of a head and a body, whereas the text in the head is not visible to the users since it contains metadata. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) help separate the content and its presentation, including colours, fonts and layout. The programming language JavaScript specifies their behaviour.

Web content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress help manage digital content on a central platform, including content creation and modification. Web managers or persons responsible for translation and localisation within an organisation, may send localisers only new content to be localised. This means that localisers may have to consider previous product versions as well. The content which should be localised may either be delivered as export from the CMS in a variety of formats or localisers may work directly in the client’s CMS.

A static web page is delivered to the user in the same way as stored. It is stored as simple file which is served by a web server. When entering the URL in a web browser, the browser is making a request to the server which sends back a response. They are communicating via HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). Localisers may download a static website, prepare an analysis for making a quotation based on the plain text and localise the web page using a CAT tool.

Dynamic websites mean that the web browser (also called client) sends an HTTP request to the web server, but the application server may recover data from a database before constructing the HTTP response. An example are e-commerce sites, e.g. stating the prices and availability of products or buying online flight tickets and downloading them. Dynamic websites are constructed for every request. Localisers cannot download a dynamic website and count words as a basis for quotation because they cannot access all the data in the database. They can just save a single web page and not the entire content. Therefore, there are different ways to localise dynamic websites:

  • On-site: Localisers may go to the customer’s premises and translate directly in e.g. a SQL database. This means translating tables and strings in columns. This is rather unusual since localisers do not have any CAT tools or resources, such as terminological databases. For this, localisers may charge an hourly fee.
  • Exchange formats (e.g. .csv, .txt or .xliff): The client may extract the database in another format and re-import the translated version. Localisers do not have any contextual information and do not see the text on the interface.
  • Online or cloud-based CMS: Localisers may log in the client’s CMS and translate online or in the cloud. Localisers can preview the content, but they cannot use CAT tools, since they write the text directly in the CMS.
  • CMS plug-in: The texts are extracted from a CMS, converted in plain text, which can be translated with a CAT tool and re-converted.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is important for localisers because it sets the standards for the World Wide Web. The W3 Consortium has issued Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/). Different legal regulations concerning web accessibility may apply. This also influences localisation decisions. 


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is addressed in the next activity.

4.Activity: Website localisation issues

Trainers can give a lecture on website localisation issues. This can be combined with the Activity “Aspects to be considered in localisation”.


Issues in website localisation include:

  • Web design: For further information on teaching web design see the references below. They provide an insight into planning a web site, architecture and designing a web site (site mapping, graphic design, look and feel, colour and typography), servers, security, privacy and copyright, web graphics, multimedia, programming for interactivity, testing and evaluating a website.
  • Text types and functions: Websites consist of different text types, e.g. marketing texts, product information, blog entries, news or support information. Thus, they are often a combination of appellative, informative or expressive functions. They are characterised by different text conventions.
  • Usability: The degree to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve certain objectives with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a certain context of use is called usability. In short, if users can use a product without frustration and according to their expectations, this product has high usability. In localisation, when localisers adapt a website to a target locale, they may keep usability aspects in mind. For further information, see the references.
  • Accessibility: The W3 Consortium has issued Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/). The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 give recommendations for increasing the accessibility of websites. These guidelines help improve the accessibility for „people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these“ (WCAG 2.0). There are different web accessibility evaluation tools available. They help test (some of) the criteria specified in the WCAG 2.0, e.g. WAVE (web accessibility evaluation tool): http://wave.webaim.org/ or Nu Html checker: http://validator.w3.org/. Web accessibility aims at providing all people equal access to information and functionalities. Different countries have the legal requirement that websites, e.g. of public organisations need to provide accessible information. This includes making functionalities available from keyboard, providing text alternatives for non-text content, separating foreground from background or making text readable and understandable. Localisers should keep this in mind, when re-designing websites in the target locale. Different legal regulations concerning web accessibility may apply and this also influences localisation decisions. 
  • Marketing: For further information on web marketing see the references.
  • Readable and appealing texts: Reading a text on screen is different to reading a text on paper. Therefore, less is more. This means that sentences should not exceed 25 words, a web page should not exceed 350 words (otherwise readers are more likely to leave the web page). The principle KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) helps to reduce the text to the core message and main content. In addition, key information should be more prominent. Lists and font weight, e.g. bold letters, help to differentiate important from less important information. Colours can be used to highlight crucial information. Subheadings help structuring the information into smaller chunks. Important words should come first. For localisers, this means that readability may be more important than being faithful to the original. However, this should be discussed with the client.
  • Content management systems: For further information on CMS see the references.
  • Cultural dimensions: Despite provoking criticism, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are often used in web design and may have implications for localisation too. For further information on the cultural dimensions (power distance index, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, uncertainty avoidance index, long-term orientation versus short-term normative orientation and indulgence versus constraint) see the references.
  • Local standards: A website should be adapted to the standards in the relevant countries, for example currency support, local payment methods, address and shipment details, local tax regulations, etc.
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO): SEO refers to the process of increasing the worldwide visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results. The aim of using SEO techniques is to position a website well when users search for a special term with a search engine, thus obtaining good indexing by search engines. Good indexing means that a website or web page ranks high on (preferably the first) search-engine results page (SERP). If a user sends a request to a search engine, it presents the results as a series of snippets on the SERP. These snippets are clickable links that may include preview text. Web crawlers index web pages according to metadata and text on the page.

We can differentiate on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation:

  • On-page optimisation addresses the website structure and content:
    • Content is king: Relevant, compelling and useful content is fundamental to SEO. In addition, if other web pages link to yours, it increases the web page’s reputation.
    • Word choice/terminology: Keywords should be used naturally and authentically. Content creators should not consider a word’s frequency in a text. The different vocabularies of users (see also “target audience and communicative situation”) should be accommodated using alternative words, i.e. synonyms. Whereas consistent terminology is key in other products, alternative terms may help reach the target audience in web localisation.
    • Semantic indexing: Search engines do not only consider keywords when indexing a page and calculating its relevance but also its overall topic.
    • Short and meaningful URLs based on natural keywords should be also considered.
    • Non-HTML content such as video content should be described with the alt attribute to provide information to enable indexing.
    • Title and metadata description tags: Meta description tags are used to generate snippets and the title tag should reflect the topic of the page. Page content should be visible in the first line of the snippet.
    • Custom 404 pages: If a search engine cannot find a web page, it returns a 404-error message. If this message is customised, users are more likely to stay on the website.
  • Off-page optimisation refers to the structure of the website, i.e. its navigation. This may include breadcrumb navigation and sitemaps. For indexing purposes, links should be in text (not images). Backlinks influence a page’s reputation and may secure a higher SERP ranking. When linking to external pages, they should be trustworthy to avoid penalties in the search engine’s index. Breadcrumbs show the user’s trail of navigation through a website. If available in the body of a web page, they may be included in a SERP. Sitemaps depict the structure of a website and facilitate site navigation. It should be available as plaintext for the users and as XML version containing information on every web page. A page’s priority indicated in the sitemap is used for indexing sites.

SEO-friendly URLs are another field relevant to localisation.

  • Target audience and communicative situation: Websites are targeted at certain user groups, e.g. business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-government. This means that a website addresses either experts or non-experts. In the latter case, this may lead to an asymmetric communication situation because e.g. a company addresses clients from outside the company or the industry who do not have the same background, expertise or information. In both cases, the website should use the language the target audience is familiar with, including terminology (see also SEO).


  • Localisable content: As mentioned in the previous activity, a website consists of a head and a body. The head contains metadata, including title, description and keywords. Localisers may start localising the body first and the head last since they have a better understanding of the web page after working on the body content. The following section addresses the metadata in the head. It should be kept in mind that the same string may be displayed several times in different contexts:
    • Title of a website:
      • When saving a website, its title is used as a file name.
      • The title is displayed on a SERP.
      • The title is also important for the bookmark.
      • The title appears on the heading of each page.
      • The title appears on the title page.
      • Therefore, it is a good idea to use the name of the organisation as the first word in the title.
    • Description:
      • The description should consider the purpose, target reader and aim of the website.
      • The description is not read by humans, but by search engines.
      • The description may be important for SEO.
      • In localisation, if a client’s website does not have a description, the localiser may propose a description.
    • Keywords:
      • To be ranked high on a SERP, keywords, including alternative terms, are important.
    • Web pages URL:      
      • Word length (if you open a tab in a new browser)
      • Word order
      • Accented characters
    • Logo of the website: When finding a position for the logo, the text directionality and user expectations should be considered.
    • Comments: The web developer(s) may have inserted comments in the head which may also require localisation.
    • Images (see Activity “Aspects to be considered in localisation”).
    • Forms: see information on addresses, telephone numbers, etc. in the Activity “Aspects to be considered in localisation”.
    • Navigation, logical order, items: Depending on the expectations of the users in the target market, navigation may be changed to the target-locale conventions. This may also require changing the logical order of information, e.g. whether users expect to find the general information before the detailed information or vice versa.

This section addresses how to optimise content pages when localising:

As mentioned before, word choice and terminology, i.e. keywords, play an important role. Therefore, a web page’s content should include text that a user might type into a search engine. In a B2B communication situation, the terminology relevant to the business can be used. Variation is not necessary. However, in B2C communication variation is crucial. This includes terms and their variations, e.g. synonyms, terms used by competitors, paraphrases or layman words to make content findable on the web. Moreover, different language varieties, e.g. Spanish used in Spain or South and Latin America, may require different terminology as well. In addition, when selecting keywords in the target language, undesired connotations should be avoided. Therefore, localisers may create a list of terms for which users may search. This list may encompass own ideas, SERP, forum discussions, trends and keyword tools such as mergewords.com or kwfinder.com. Localisers may also analyse the websites of competitors. Alternating keywords also helps to avoid sanctions by search engines if a word is used too often on a page.

Having this knowledge of web design and SEO makes localisers more effective.


Barrett, Edward. 2001. The MIT guide to teaching web site design: The MIT guide to teaching Web site design. With the assistance of D. A. Levinson and S. Lisanti. Digital communication.

Sandrini, Peter. 2016. “Localization and Translation.” Accessed May 25, 2016. http://homepage.uibk.ac.at/~c61302/publik/localiz.pdf.

Yalçın, Nursel, and Utku Köse. 2010. “What is search engine optimization: SEO?” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 9:487–93. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.12.185.

Gudivada, Venkat N., Dhana Rao, and Jordan Paris. “Understanding Search-Engine Optimization.” Computer, Oct. 2015, Vol.48(10), pp.43-52, 43.

Egri, Gokhan, and Coskun Bayrak. 2014. “The Role of Search Engine Optimization on Keeping the User on the Site.” Procedia Computer Science 36:335–42. doi:10.1016/j.procs.2014.09.102.

Ledford, Jerri L. 2009. Search engine optimization bible. 2nd ed. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=e000xat&AN=280604.

Jones, Kristopher B. 2008. Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing. Visual read less, learn more. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/academiccompletetitles/home.action.

Jiménez-Crespo, Miguel A. 2013. Translation and web localization. 1. publ. London [u.a.]: Routledge. http://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC11024380.

Hofstede, Geert. 1997. Culture's consequences. Abridged ed., 14. [print.]. Cross-cultural research and methodology series 5. Newbury Park, Calif. [u.a.]: Sage Publ. https://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC02014868.

Europäische Kommission, Generaldirektion Ü. 2011. Web translation as a genre. Saarbrücken: Dictus Publ. https://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC08587464.

European Commission. 2009. Web translation as a genre. Studies on translation and multilingualism 03/2009. [Brussels]: [European Commission].

Nielsen, Jakob. 2010. Usability engineering. [Nachdr.]. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Morgan Kaufmann.

Rubin, Jeffrey, and Dana Chisnell. 2008. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. 2nd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Pub.

5.Activity: Comparing website localisations

Instruction for trainees:

Select a website, e.g. of a company, a service provider or NGO that is available in at least two languages or locales. Compare the two versions of the website including text, images, colours, navigation, images, logical order of information, features and functions.

Create a report that addresses the following questions:

  • Which website have you analysed? State the owner of the website and the URL. Describe the content of the website in 3-5 sentences.
  • Mention the locales for which you have analysed the website.
  • What has been changed and what has not been changed in the two web versions? Describe the changes and make screenshots of the most salient changes.
  • State reasons for the changes that have been or have not been made. State at least six (non-)changes that have been made and state the reasons for that. Please keep the challenges in localisation, the different aspects that should be considered when localising a product as well as the language pair (locales) in mind.


Background information for trainer:

When comparing websites in their working languages trainees should become aware of different localisation strategies. They should reflect on these strategies and find explanations for localisation decisions. In addition, by focussing on the adaptations done (or not done) for a certain locale, their knowledge of aspects to be considered during localisation is applied.

You may also talk with the trainees in class about these changes. You can show examples from companies that have various localised versions of their websites, e.g. Amazon or Ikea. You can also show examples collected by your trainees. You may emphasise different localisation grades, localisation strategies as well as locale differences. Furthermore, the locale(s) for which a website is adapted, and the localisation degree show the importance of this market for the company or organisation.

Reference to terminology module: Website localisation also provides a good opportunity to introduce search engine optimisation (SEO) and the importance of localising search terms in the target locale.

Reference to ICT module: Websites are often based on content management systems (CMS). You may elaborate on the importance of CMS in companies and localisation.

6.Activity: Software localisation

The trainer either presents or the trainees read the chapter on software localisation in eCoLoTrain. (Please note: For accessing this material free of charge, you need to register with Translation Commons first.)

Instruction for trainees: Read the chapter on software localisation in eCoLoTrain (Please note: For accessing this material free of charge, you need to register with Translation Commons first.). Sum up:

  • What are the elements of a software that might be localised? What are the localisable elements?
  • What is special about software localisation?

Background information for trainer:

The elements of a software that may need to be localised include the graphical user interface (GUI), the (online) help and other technical documentation. However, the field of (technical documentation) for a certain product might be rather broad, e.g. user manuals, quick start guide, read me, etc.

The graphical user interface itself consists of different elements, including menus, dialog windows and string tables as well as graphical elements and accelerator keys. Software UI localisation is characterised by strings.

In addition, a short introduction to elements of a software helps trainees to learn the correct terminology as well as the characteristics and functions of each element.

  • A menu is a set of options from which users can select on the screen. Accelerator keys may enable quick access to these menus (without using the mouse but pressing the related keys on the keyboard). A keyboard shortcut is a series of one or several keys to invoke an operation in a software or operating system triggered by a user, e.g. Ctrl+C (to copy selected items on the screen) and Ctrl+V (to paste the items at another place). The keys which users need to press to activate the function may be indicated by an underlined letter or written next to the menu item. The keys on the keyboard may also require localisation, e.g. “Ctrl” in English and “Strg” in German. The environment, e.g. the operating system, in which these accelerators are used, should be considered in localisation. For example, there should be uniform hotkeys for opening, printing, copying and pasting content across applications. Hotkeys should not contain accented characters since they cannot be found on all keyboards. These shortcuts may be preceded by an “&”, e.g. "&Open..."  An ellipsis (the three dots at the end of the menu designation) indicates that a dialog window will open. A command is not executed directly but the user has to make a decision first.

Figure 1: User interface of the Notepad++ application. You can see the menu bar, including File, Edit, Search, etc.

Figure 2: User interface of Notepad++ application. You can see menu options in the File menu. You can see the accelarator keys for menu options, e.g. Ctrl+N for New. You can also see the ellipsis, e.g. Open...

  • A dialog window or dialog box is a small window giving information to the users and prompting them for a response. It requires user interaction and a decision by the user. For example, an alert dialog box may display a message which would allow a decision between the buttons “OK” and “Cancel”. When you close a document, a dialog box may ask if you would like to save the changes. You can either click “Yes” or “Cancel”. Another example for a dialog window is the printing dialog box. There, you may find different tabs to choose the paper size, duplex print, number of copies, black-and-white or colour, etc. Dialog windows may consist of a title, tabs, buttons, options, checkboxes, filters and static text).

Figure 3: User interface of SDL Passolo application. You can sse the dialog window entitled Generating target.

  • Finally, string tables include strings, i.e. a sequence of characters. They may encompass tooltips, error messages, options in list field, questions or status messages that might be compiled dynamically. These are usually the most difficult strings to localise because you hardly have any context. Although localisation tools have a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) view for menus and dialog windows, they do not provide additional context for string tables to the localiser. The string ID might be a point of reference when localising.
  • Moreover, there might be graphical elements to be localised, such as screenshots or icons. Icons are pictograms displayed on a screen. They support users navigating a computer system. It serves as a hyperlink or shortcut to access a program or data.
  • Sample files may also require localisation.
  • Version information: Information on the product version may include the file name, the name of the application, copyright, version number and company name.
  • Comments: Some software resource files may contain strings with comments added by the compiler or the programmer. These comments may address the localisers. These comments are not displayed in the application and are usually not translated. However, other files such as sample files or non-compiled configuration files may contain translatable comments.

Figure 4: User interface of SDL Passolo. You can see the software components on the left side, i.e. Menu, Dialog, String Table and Version. You can also see the strings and the WYSIWYG view for these strings. In this case, you can see the File menu.

In addition to the GUI, online help also requires localisation. It assists the users in using the product. Since online help is very repetitive and often written according to style guides or even in controlled language, it may be a machine translation output (in combination with post-editing). Elements of the online help include, among others, a table of content, a search keyword index, the search index and different hyperlinks. These are often HTML files.

Other technical documentation that might not be directly integrated into the software, but are related to it may be user manuals, quick start guides or video tutorials explaining how to use a software. Hard-copy documentation for applications may have the form of installation guides or guides for getting started.

In addition, there might be sample files within the software.

Packaging, e.g. the product box and labels as well as marketing material may also require localisation.

Characteristics of software localisation are, among others, use of variables and dynamic concatenation of strings.

Dynamic concatenation means that a computer programming operation joins together strings (at runtime). Strings, i.e. sequence of characters, are isolated for the purpose of re-use and are replaced with dynamical parts. When translating these strings into other languages, problems may occur related to syntax, gender, case and style. Translators need to know which strings will be joined together in order to provide grammatically and syntactically correct translations.

Variables are usually substituted by placeholders such as “%”. This variable is replaced with a string, a word or a value at runtime. For example, “Copying %d folder%s” is replaced with “Copying 6 folders”. “The document %s contains %d words” is replaced with “The document eTransFair contains 790 words”. Variables can be storage media, numbers, dates, user name or backup routines. Therefore, localisers need to know where and in which combinations a certain message is displayed. Variables are difficult to localise because they may require language-specific adaptation of gender, articles, inflected endings and syntax.

The ideal sequence of localisation is to start localising the software (GUI) and continue with the help and additional documentation since the technical documentation explains how to use the software and refers to the UI. The text in the documentation referring to the user interface should have the wording and terminology found in the user interface to avoid misunderstandings.

To sum up, challenges in software localisation may encompass:

  • Lack of stylistic and terminological consistency
  • Ambiguity (translation without context)
  • Abbreviations (which may be ambiguous and lead to misinterpretations)
  • Length restrictions (to avoid truncation of text, target text may need to be shortened or UI elements resized)
  • Text embedded in program code
  • Variables (finding variables, change of order, language-related grammar, etc.)
  • Accelerator keys: Hotkeys, control keys
  • Concatenated strings (dynamic concatenation leads to missing contextual information)
  • Format of dates, postal codes, decimal punctuation, currencies, etc.
  • Measurements and norms
  • Symbols (should be related to the content rather than a certain language)
  • Sorting (e.g. German umlauts in alphabetical lists which can be put in different places in this list)
  • Locale-specific emphasis in texts (capital letters or quotation marks, e.g. File menu (in English), Menü “Datei” (in German))
  • Legal requirements in the target locale, e.g. safety standards, social security contributions, VAT, financial statements or taxation.

The interoperability of a software with different operating systems and other software might be addressed by the trainer as well, e.g. not every software can be used with every operating system.

The main challenge in software localisation is the missing context of the available strings. Sources of reference may be glossaries, terminological databases, previous versions of the software in the target locale, the original software version, help files or online help, reference information with descriptions and explanations or brochures.

Reference to e-module on terminology: Consistency (of terminology) across all elements of a software is crucial.


Reineke, Detlef, and Klaus-Dirk Schmitz, eds. 2005. Einführung in die Softwarelokalisierung. Tübingen: Narr.

Sandrini, Peter. “Localization and Translation.” Accessed May 25, 2016. http://homepage.uibk.ac.at/~c61302/publik/localiz.pdf.

Schmitz, Klaus-Dirk, 1951-, ed. 2000. Softwarelokalisierung. Stauffenburg-Handbücher. Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verl.

SDL. 2018. “A Guide to Software Localization.” Accessed October 11, 2018.

Borrás Giner, Silvia. 2006. La situación de la localización de software en España. MG Monografias.

Costales, Alberto F. 2009. “The role of Computer-Assisted Translation in the field of software localisation.”

Esselink, Bert. 1998. A practical guide to software localization. The language international world directory 3. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins.

———. 2000. A practical guide to localization. Rev. ed. The language international world directory 4. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins.

ECoLoTrain. 2018. “ECoLoTrain - Software L10N Module.” Accessed October 12, 2018. https://ecolo.translationcommons.org/index.php?title=ECoLoTrain_-_Software_L10N_Module.

Instruction for trainees:

Go to the website of Theverybeststuff.de (http://www.theverybestofstuff.de/loctest/loctest1.html) to test the localisation of a dialogue box. Can you spot all the bugs?

Background information for trainers:

Although software localisation testing is often done by automated testing, it might be a good idea to introduce trainees to potential bugs.

There are nine bugs in the localisation testing example:

  • The frame is not properly aligned and too small.
  • Text is truncated.
  • The text is not fully visible and is cut off, a so-called “truncation”.
  • The hotkey on “g” is hardly visible and should be set to another letter.
  • “Password” is not translated.
  • This is a spelling error. “Anmelden” would be correct.
  • “Benutzername” is not properly aligned.
  • This is a duplicate hotkey. The hotkey “V” was used in “Verbindung” as well as in “Verschlüsseltes”.
  • The hotkey is on “ä”, an extended character that cannot be accessed e.g. with a US keyboard.

8.Activity: (Technical) documentation localisation

Instruction for trainees:

In technical documentation we differentiate between internal documentation and external documentation. Internal documentation refers to all written material

In technical documentation, we can distinguish between:

  • Internal technical documentation: documents, files and material, often in written format, that are produced for internal use. These materials remain within the company and are not targeted at customers. They are prepared by employees in different product phases. Examples include quality management handbooks, documents from the development stage.
  • External technical documentation: documents, files and material, often in written format, that are produced for external use. These materials are targeted at customers and are often written by technical writers. Examples are user manuals, quick reference guides or product brochures.

Form groups of 3-4 people. Do research on different text types encountered in documentation. List their characteristics and implications for localisation.

Text type


Implications for localisation

Quick-reference guide



Installation guide



Read me



Online help



Information brochure




Background information for trainers:

Make trainees aware of the product lifecycle and that documentation and its translation/localisation may be necessary for all steps in the product lifecycle, ranging from the initial idea to disposal.

It is a good idea to emphasise that the quality of the source material is important in technical documentation. Easily readable texts, target-group-oriented writing and translation-related writing are crucial for the translation of technical documentation. If translators do not understand the source text, it is very likely that the users will not understand it either. In addition, if a text should be translated in e.g. 20 languages, this might be the source of misinterpretation. When translated incorrectly, this might pose a risk to the users.

Moreover, it is a good idea to mention style guides, authoring memory systems (AMS), controlled language checkers (CLC) to the trainees.

Often, manufacturers are legally required to provide documentation.


Rivera, T., A. Tate, and S. Will. “Deadly Sins of Technical Documentation.” IEEE SoutheastCon, 2004 2004, pp.297-301.

Große, Cornelia S., Lisa Jungmann, and Rolf Drechsler. “Benefits of illustrations and videos for technical documentations.” Computers in Human Behavior, April 2015, Vol.45, pp.109-120, 109.

Drewer, Petra, and Wolfgang Ziegler. 2014. Technische Dokumentation: Eine Einführung in die übersetzungsgerechte Texterstellung und in das Content-Management. 2., überarb. und akt. Aufl. Würzburg: Vogel.

Alred, Gerald J., Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu. 2003. Handbook of technical writing. 7. ed. New York, NY: St. Martin's Pr.

Ferlein, Jörg, and Nicole Hartge. 2008. Technische Dokumentation für internationale Märkte: Haftungsrechtliche Grundlagen - Sprache - Gestaltung - Redaktion und Übersetzung. Kontakt & Studium 679. Renningen: Expert-Verl.

9.Activity: Videogame localisation

Instruction for trainees: Videogame localisation may be considered a special type of software localisation. Divide your class into 4 groups, subdivide the work of reading and summarising the chapters 1, 3, 4 and 5 in the book: O'Hagan, Minako, and Carmen Mangiron. 2013. Game localization: Translating for the global digital entertainment industry. Benjamins translation library 106 : EST subseries. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins.

Present your summary in 5 minutes to the other groups.

Background information for trainer:

The history of mass market videogames goes back to the 1970s and 1980s. The globalisation of the game industry requires localisation services. The videogame industry is important due to its size.

Videogames are a mass phenomenon enjoyed by people of all gender and age, and not only teenage boys. Some games may be adapted to films, literature, etc. or vice versa.

There are different genres, including entertaining, engaging and educational games. They may range from shooting games, (social) building games such as Civilization or Sims that allow gamers to create and build things and interact with others in a complex system to massively multiplayer online games, such as World of Warcraft, where gamers can craft and explore worlds, collaborate and fight with others and skill up. Puzzle games such as Angry Birds or Portal require gamers to find out how things work or find a solution.

Games can be played on consoles, such as Play Station, XBox or Nintendo Wii, downloaded and loaded on a PC, or they can be pure online games.

Game localisation does not only require the translation of text but also the adaptation of non-textual content and multimodal media. This includes in-game texts such as menus, help messages, tutorials, system messages, narrative and descriptive passages, dialogues, subtitles, etc. Other localisable elements are art assets such as textual graphics, maps, signs, notices; or printed materials such as instructions or packaging. In addition, cultural references, characters, ways of talking, jokes, etc. may also require adaptation to the target locale.

The video game localisation process starts with game development and internationalisation. Internationalisation is required to make a game localisable, e.g. to allow enough space for the text in other languages, changing fonts, using a variable with fonts, use a font that supports all characters, support of international currencies, date and time formats, etc.

A localisation kit provides information for localisers. In the translation stage, the steps include translate, edit, proofread, dubbing (voice-over). The texts are integrated back to the game. The subsequent testing phase is followed by launching the game on the market and its distribution.

Since videogames do not follow a strict storyline, but depend on the gamer’s decisions, there is non-linear fragmented text. Therefore, software is characterised by the use of variables, e.g. names of locations, characters or items, the number of players or completed tasks, etc. These can be “%” or “&” or other characters.

There are multiple text types such as dialogues, poetry, stories, GUI, marketing texts or legal texts (e.g. terms and conditions) in videogames.

Challenges of videogame localisation include: cultural issues since not all things are acceptable in different cultures. For example, videogames can be more violent in the US compared to European countries. Cultural elements to be considered in videogames include violence, sexual depiction, taboos, politically sensitive elements, swear words, etc.

Framework conditions that should be considered include censorship and age rating systems in the target locale.

Translation strategies should bear in mind that fidelity to the original text is not the main aspect in video game localisation. The game experience, the gameplay has priority. This might sometimes require transcreation to create the same experience in the target locale, e.g. the re-naming of characters, coining new terminology, contextualisation by addition, re-creation of wordplays and humour and the deliberate use of regional expressions, slang, etc.


Chandler, Heather M. 2005. The game localization handbook. Game development series. Hingham, Mass. Charles River Media. https://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC04917654.

Fernández Costales, A. “Video game localisation : Adapting superheroes to different cultures.” Quaderns, 2014, Issue 21, pp.225-239, 225.

Fernández Costales, Alberto. “Exploring Translation Strategies in Video Game Localisation.” MonTI: Monografías de traducción e interpretación, 2012, Issue 4, pp.385-408, 385.

O’Hagan, Minako. 2016. “Game Localisation as Emotion Engineering: Methodological Exploration.” Conflict and Communication: A Changing Asia in a Globalizing World - Language and Cultural Perspectives, pp.123-144, 123–43.

O'Hagan, Minako, and Carmen Mangiron. 2013. Game localization: Translating for the global digital entertainment industry. Benjamins translation library 106 : EST subseries. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins. http://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC10780262.

10.Activity: Comparing fields of localisation

Instruction for trainees: What is the difference between website localisation, software localisation, videogame localisation and the localisation of documentation? List three differences. (You may consider the devices on which these products are used, the localisation constraints, the content, the target audience, etc.).


Website localisation

Software localisation

Videogame localisation












Localisation constraints










Target audience















Background information for trainers:

Differences between the localisation types include, but are not limited to:

  • Devices: Websites are accessed from both PCs and mobile devices of varying screen size. This means that websites should be responsive to the screen of the device (responsive design). Software is primarily used on both PCs and laptops. However, apps are predominantly used on mobile devices. For videogames not only different consoles exist, but they can also be played in the PC. However, whether a game is developed for a certain device depends on the expected market. Documentation may available online or as printed material.
  • Source and target languages: In website localisation, the source language may be any language, including minority languages, whereas in software localisation and videogame localisation the predominant source language is English. In videogame development, English is often used as a pivot language, whereas the original language may be, e.g., an Asian language. Moreover, the languages in which websites, software or videogames are translated/localised vary according to the targeted markets and usually do not address minority languages. In many countries, documentation has to delivered in the country’s official language(s).
  • Localisation constraints:
    • Use of terminology: In website localisation, aspects of SEO (see above) apply. This means that the terminology for which users search have to be considered as well. Terminological variation and terminology to differentiate an organisation from a competitor may be important. In software localisation, videogame localisation and documentation, however, terminological consistency is far more important. In software localisation, the same term has to be used not only within the software but also related documentation, e.g. help systems or knowledge bases. Only this way, users can efficiently use a system.
    • Code: CAT tools or localisation tools can be used to separate the code from the localisable segments. This avoids accidental editing of the source code.
  • Content: A website and videogame should be appealing to the target locale audience. This might require cultural adaptations. Software, on the other hand, does usually not have to create a narrative and should be more functional. Documentation has to enable users to use the product. It should contain information on the product and its use in a easily understandable way.
  • Target audience: see Activity “Website localisation issues”.
  • Technology: The file formats differ between product types. Websites are in HTML format (and CSS, JavaScript, etc.). These file formats can be read by humans. They can be translated in a text editor or with a CAT tool. Software may consist of executable file formats (such as .exe). These binary files cannot be read by humans. They can only be run by machines. Here, the source code is translated into an object code by a compiler (to create an executable program). This process is called compilation. To localise these binary files, localisation tools separate the source code from the localisable strings. In videogame localisation, the localisers may only receive tables with text to be translated. Technical documentation can also take different file formats but can usually translated with CAT tools.
  • Localisation degree: The extent of localisation may differ between products. In website localisation, the content may differ between the different language versions. There might be one common content in every locale complemented by content produced in a country. In software localisation, one product may be transferred into many languages without any major changes. Often, the entire documentation delivered with a product, has to be fully localised. An exception, among others, is knowledge bases.
  • Complexity: Localising a software or videogame is a more complex process than localising a website. As mentioned before, you may need localisation tools (and not only text editors) to work on the source files. For localising software, you may need more sophisticated tools. Documentation is part of a product. Content management systems may forward the content to be translated to translators.
  • Workflows: The workflows for developing and localising these products are different. In website localisation, changes and updates may happen any time and are more frequent, whereas in software or videogame production, localisation may occur once followed by patches and smaller releases in between. The translation workflow may be automated in both cases, e.g. by forwarding changed content automatically to an LSP or translator and re-inserting the reviewed and approved translation in the content management system.

To sum up, localisation is characterised by a plethora of different text types and related conventions as well as file formats. The different types of localisation are also characterised by production and product cycles. They have in common that they are digital texts read on screens, more or less interactive and they require the cooperation of translators, engineers and developers to create the final product. However, they differ in the programming or mark-up language, the storage of the textual segments and different genres and text types.





Learning outcome

After completing this unit, you will know how to differentiate between and select suitable technology according to the text/translation/localisation request.


Learning context


Understanding the general concepts of localisation, CAT tools, file formats in translation and project management.

Learning Environment

Computer, Internet and beamer, localisation tool


170 Min


Overview of learning activities




Type of activity


Estimated timeframe

1. File formats in localisation

Creating a list of file formats that localisers may either localise or use

Trainees know file types common in localisation

Conducting research on different file types found in translation

Peer assessment

40 min.

2. Introduction to localisation tools

Trainer presents, or trainees read basic information on localisation tools

Trainees know the principles and main features of localisation tools

Presentation by the trainer

Not assessed

50 min.

3. Difference between CAT tools and localisation tools

Creating a table of differences and similarities between CAT tools and localisation tools

Trainees are able to explain the difference between CAT tools and localisation tools and are able to make decisions based on this knowledge

Listing and discussing the differences between CAT and localisation tools

Peer assessment

40 min.

4. Overview of localisation tools on the market

Creating a table of localisation tools available on the market

Trainees are able to choose a localisation tool based on different criteria

Conducting research, listing and discussing localisation tools

Peer assessment

40 min.

1.Activity: File formats in localisation

Instructions for trainees:

Files which have to be localised can have different file formats. They are imported as source files into CAT tools or localisation tools. These tools help to separate a file’s translatable/localisable text from the non-translatable/non-localisable text.

Read the text on file formats in localisation on eCoLoTrain (Please note: For accessing this material free of charge, you need to register with Translation Commons first). It shows that according to the components that should be localised, e.g. user interface, websites, documentation or online help, localisers encounter different file formats.

Compile a list of the most common file formats after conducting additional research (academic literature, reports, blog entries, etc.) or having a look at various products themselves. List those applications and products in which these file formats may appear. Decide which tool you would use to localise a certain file. Give reasons for your decision.

Add at least 5 additional file formats to this list and fill in the columns with the required information.

Compare your results with another trainee (in class or in a discussion forum on Moodle).


File format


Applications and products






Graphic design software used for creating brochures or user manuals

CAT tool

Text and formatting information can be easily separated with CAT tools

Sometimes you need to work with the exchange format .idml when translating; however, images or diagrams in the .indd need to be translated or localised separately


Hypertext Markup Language


CAT tool or web-based localisation tool

CAT tools can work with html

You have to choose the correct file type definition for the html file


























After discussing your findings with a fellow trainee, please read the following:

We can differentiate between the file formats of the products that may be localised, and the file formats created when localising. The first encompasses file formats such as .html, .xml, .exe or .dll, whereas the latter comprises localisation-specific file formats, such as .xliff or translation/localisation or termbase exchange formats such as .tmx (translation memory exchange) or .tbx (termbase exchange).

In addition, there is a difference between source code files and binary files. Source code files can be read by humans, i.e. you can open them in a text editor and read the programming code (e.g. .xml), whereas binary files are only machine-readable, i.e. they consist of zeros and ones (e.g. exe). Source code files are usually compiled into binary files so that the program can run. Both file types contain localisable content. When translating source code files (without tools), localisers may have to find the localisable text elements, translate without preview and hardly any context information. This means that they risk accidentally overwriting the program information. When translating binary files with localisation tools, localisers have a WYSIWYG feature to see the position of the string in the user interface.

When using CAT tools or localisation tools, filters or parsers help extract localisable text and protect the code from manipulation.

Formats of files to be localised can be subdivided into:

  • Program files: e.g. .exe
  • Graphic files: e.g. jpg
  • Online help: e.g. rtf
  • Printed documentation: e.g. .indd, .pdf
  • Web pages: e.g. html.
  • XML: allows to export technical documentation in various formats.

The format of files created during localisation is very often an XLIFF file: XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format) is a standardised file format in the localisation process. It is based on XML. These are bilingual or multilingual files which can be opened in any CAT tool. In the localisation industry, it specifies elements and attributes to store content extracted from original file formats and its corresponding translation. Localisers thus no longer need engineering skills to work with the source files.


Background information for trainer:

Although some CAT tools can already handle file types that can be found in videogame localisation and other fields of localisation, localisation tools are rather focussing on software localisation and on handling binary file types, such as .exe files.

Reference to other e-modules: Some of these file formats are already covered by the ICT module. However, it is a good revision for the trainees.


Elsner, Frank. 2004. “Einführung in XML.” Accessed May 06, 2016. http://www.home.uni-osnabrueck.de/elsner/Skripte/xml.pdf.

Sachse, Florian. “Lokalisierungsformate.” http://www.zaac.de/pdf/fs_LocFormate_old.pdf.

ECoLoTrain. 2018. “ECoLoTrain - Software L10N Module.” Accessed October 12, 2018. https://ecolo.translationcommons.org/index.php?title=ECoLoTrain_-_Software_L10N_Module.

Drewer, Petra, and Wolfgang Ziegler. 2014. Technische Dokumentation: Eine Einführung in die übersetzungsgerechte Texterstellung und in das Content-Management. 2., überarb. und akt. Aufl. Würzburg: Vogel.

2.Activity: Introduction to localisation tools

Instruction for trainees:

After having learned about information and communication technology and computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools for translators, you will now learn more about localisation tools. Although the majority of CAT tools can also handle file formats found in localisation, e.g. .html for websites or .xml, there are specialised localisation tools that are primarily aiming at software localisation and handling binary file formats such as .exe or .dll. Thus, localisation tools separate the translatable from the non-translatable text. So, localisers cannot edit the program code.

When selecting a CAT tool or localisation tool, the following issues should be considered. The tool should support the format of the file to be localised. An exchange format may be required to work on the project file(s) in the localisation tool. It is a good idea to check the segmentation rules and the generation of the target file before actually starting to localise. Internal and external matches as well as full and fuzzy matches may affect the time and cost estimation. The use of corpora or alignments may help to re-use already existing translations. Other resources, such as terminological databases or translation memories may be embedded in the project localisation file. They may also be accessible via a connection to the client’s server. A machine translation (MT) engine might be connected to the project. Often, companies require localisers to work with their selected or proprietary systems and with their translation memories. In this case, localisers cannot save their work on their personal computers.


Features provided by CAT tools or localisation tools include:

  • Separation of program code from the translatable content to avoid modification of the program code.
  • Contextual information through the WYSIWYG view, i.e. localisers see where a string appears in the software. For example, they can see whether and where a text is used in a menu or a dialog box.
  • Localisers can resize user interface elements such as buttons to fit the text length.
  • Quality check, e.g. wrong punctuation or blank spaces, missing or inconsistent translations, missing, duplicate or inadmissible hotkeys or shortcuts, truncation or overlaps in UI elements, wrong size of images and inconsistent or missing variables as well as spell and grammar checking.
  • Pseudo localisation and generation of target files helps to detect certain internationalisation issues before localisation starts.
  • Creating a localisation kit and assigning it to a project manager, including updating the localisation kit.
  • Statistics and reports, e.g. on word count. (In addition, dedicated word counting tools may be used.)
  • Creating translation bundles to be assigned to individual translators and re-importing the translated ones.
  • Re-use of existing translations and access to resources such as terminological databases or translation memories.
  • Pretranslation (using the existing resources)
  • Preview (WYSIWYG)
  • Resizing of graphic user interface elements
  • Autopropagation (the confirmed translation from one segment is applied to other segments (in the same document) that have similar source content.
  • Integration of machine translation systems, e.g. adaptive MT.
  • Link to a project management system to automatically create quotations or invoices.

Figure 5: Different windows in the localisation tool SDL Passolo.


The user interface of a localisation software may be subdivided into:

  • Navigation window: project title, source files and resources.
  • Text list window: Localisable text in the form of texts lists or WYSIWYG, including source text, target text, IDs, comments, etc.
  • Translation editor: Resources such as glossaries and search.
  • Message window: Providing information on operation results, e.g. quality check or export.

If no localisation tool is used in a localisation project or if translatable text needs to be marked in a source file, text editors may help localisers. Localisers can edit the plain text. Since program code and translatable text can be found within the same file, background knowledge of programming is an advantage. Here word counting tools support localisers in counting words or characters for different files formats. Moreover, reference material such as manuals, operating systems in the target language, running software in the source language and previous versions of an application help to contextualise the content in the source files.

In both cases, graphics software may be needed to localise graphic images.


Background information for trainer:

For further information on project management tools, terminology management tools and CAT tools, see the other eTransFair e-modules.

You should also show a localisation tools and its main functionalities in class. For testing a localisation tool and explaining the different elements of a localisation tool, see further information on the web page of the relevant tools (see Activity “Overview of localisation tools on the market”).



Costales, Alberto F. 2009. “The role of Computer-Assisted Translation in the field of software localisation.” https://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC07364922.

ECoLoTrain. 2018. “ECoLoTrain - Software L10N Module.” Accessed October 12, 2018. https://ecolo.translationcommons.org/index.php?title=ECoLoTrain_-_Software_L10N_Module.

Daelemans, Walter, ed. 2009. Evaluation of translation technology. Linguistica Antverpiensia : New series - Themes in translation studies 8. Antwerp: Artesis Univ. College Antwerp, Dept. of Translators & Interpreters. http://media.obvsg.at/AC08063477-1003.

3.Activity: Difference between CAT tools and localisation tools

Instruction for trainees:

Discuss in a group of 3 people the difference between CAT tools and localisation tools. For which localisation assignments would you choose which tool? What are the differences and similarities as well as advantages and disadvantages of these tools? List at least 3 additional aspects and discuss your list with the lists of at least 2 fellow trainees (in class or in the Moodle discussion forum).


CAT tool

Localisation tool

Preview of target













Background information for trainer:

The features rather found in localisation tools than in CAT tools are, e.g. preview (WYSIWYG) of the target, resizing of dialog windows, pseudo-translations and leveraging. Another advantage is automatic hotkey generation.

Both tools offer analysis, editing views and quality checks and can handle various file formats. Therefore, the difference between CAT tools and localisation tools is rather subtle. In general, the term CAT tool is rather used for more text-based formats, e.g. website translation, (printed) documentation, whereas the term localisation tool is rather used for software localisation or videogame localisation.

4.Activity: Overview of localisation tools on the market

Instruction for trainees:

You should be already familiar with CAT tools, their purpose and functionalities.

Do research on the localisation tools that are available on the market and compare them. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different systems?

Discuss your list with at least 2 fellow trainees (in class or in the Moodle discussion forum).

Name of the localisation tool

File formats



Interoperability with other tools, e.g. terminology management systems


SDL Passolo

Binary files, e.g. exe, dll

Software localisation

Various Parsers, e.g. Android, Excel, Java

SDL Trados Studio

SDL Passolo Professional for project managers (creating projects, integrating termbases and translation memories, creating translation bundles), SDL Team Edition for bundle distribution and SDL Freelance for freelance translators (you can only edit the bundle sent to you)

Alchemy Catalyst







Background information for trainer:

There are different localisation tools available on the market. Trainees should get an overview of different tools. The difference between CAT and localisation tools becomes blurred since both systems can handle different file formats.


Reference to other modules: This module is related to the ICT module.



Learning outcome

After completing this unit, you will know how the industry’s and other external factors impact the project management approach.

Learning context


Understanding the general concepts of localisation, project management, quality management and translation processes.

Learning Environment

Computer, Internet, maybe a blackboard or flipchart paper


120 Min

Overview of learning activities




Type of activity


Estimated timeframe

1. Localisation industry – facts and figures

Trainees conduct research on the localisation industry and answer predefined questions

Trainees are aware of the status quo and key players, tools and standards in the localisation industry

Research and discussion among trainees

Not assessed

40 min.

2. Introduction to stakeholders in localisation

Trainees translate their knowledge of stakeholders in the translation process into the localisation process and specify the stakeholders

Trainees are aware of the stakeholders and team members in a localisation process

Research and discussion among trainees

Not assessed

40 min.

3. Introduction to localisation processes

Trainees translate their knowledge of translation processes into localisation processes

Trainees know the steps in a translation process

Research and discussion among trainees

Not assessed

40 min.

 1.Activity: Localisation industry – facts and figures

Instruction for trainees:

Exporting products to and investment in foreign markets drive localisation. According to Common Sense Advisory, a website in 14 languages reaches 90% of the online reachable business world. 75% of the consumers are more willing to purchase a product if the information on the product is available in their language. This information comprises brand and branding, communication, post-sales, documentation, service material, catalogues, software and web.

Have a look at the website of Common Sense Advisory (CSA). It provides information on the translation market all over the world. Form groups of 4 people and conduct research on the website and use additional sources if necessary to answer the following questions:

  • What are the top 3 online languages in the past year?
  • What is the (expected) size of the language services market? E.g. in US dollar.
  • Where is the largest localisation market in the world? E.g. which continent, region or country?
  • What is the average company size of language service providers in the world or in your country?
  • What are the 3 largest language service providers in the world?
  • What are the tools used in the language industry? Do not only consider translation tools but also project and quality management, review, query management and terminology management.
  • What standards are applicable in the localisation industry?

After having found answers to these questions, share your findings with your group members. What are the implications for you? E.g. would you like to start a company on your own? Would you prefer to work as a freelance translator? Which of your working languages may be in demand? Which standards would you have to consider in your professional life?


Background information for trainers:

Common Sense Advisory publishes annual reports on the translation market. However, they cannot be accessed freely.

Another option, though not providing the latest data, is GALA (the Globalization and Localization Association) which provides a short summary of the localisation industry facts and data.

According to Common Sense Advisory, Inc. Europe was the largest market for language services in 2017. The global budget was US$ 43.08 billion in 2017. More than 90% of the revenue distribution originated in language services, about 3% in language technology and about 4% in non-language-related offerings. The majority of language service providers had 2-5 employees in 2017. Among the largest language service providers were Lionbridge, SDL or TransPerfect.

The languages which open access to 90% of the world’s online commerce were spearheaded by English both in regard to share of online GDP (more than a third) and share of online audience (about 20%) followed by simplified Chinese (9%) and Spanish (8% respectively) in 2016.



DePalma, Donald A. 2006. “Localization Maturity Model.” Accessed October 12, 2018. http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/Default.aspx?Contenttype=ArticleDetAD&tabID=63&Aid=370&moduleId=391.

Common Sense Advisory, Inc. 2012. “The Top 100 Language Service Providers.” Accessed October 12, 2018. http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/Portals/0/downloads/120531_QT_Top_100_LSPs.pdf.

Common Sense Advisory. 2018. “Insights for Global Market Leaders.” Accessed October 12, 2018. http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/.

GALA. 2018. “Globalization and Localization Organization.” Accessed October 12, 2018. https://www.gala-global.org/.

———. “Language Industry - Facts and Data.” https://www.gala-global.org/industry/industry-facts-and-data.

2.Activity: Introduction to stakeholders in localisation

Instruction for trainees:

Form a group of 5 members and discuss: Who might be relevant stakeholders in localisation?

  • Think about the product life cycle, e.g. for a software and list the main stakeholders and their responsibilities. Fill in the table below.
  • Conduct research on associations or organisations addressing localisation on a national or international level. Create a list.





Vendor manager, e.g. at a software development company

Building up and managing business relationships with language service or localisation providers




Background information for trainer:

There are different stakeholders ranging from a company that develops a certain product, a branch office or distributor in the product’s target country or market, language service providers or localisation companies and external translators or localisers, e.g. freelance translators. Within the first three organisations there might be vendor managers, project or localisation managers, documentation or marketing departments, quality assurance departments and in-country (language) reviewers who may be involved in the localisation process.

Language service providers or localisation companies can have different forms. Within a localisation company, there may be account managers, project managers, senior translators, revisers, quality assurance experts, localisation engineers, testing engineers and DTP experts (see module on entrepreneurship).

Key players in the language/localisation industry are, among others:

Reference to other modules: This module is related to the module on entrepreneurship and project management.

Instruction for trainees:

Form a group of 4 people and answer the following question: What are the steps in the localisation process – based on your knowledge of project and quality management as well as entrepreneurship and professional competences?

Background information for trainers:

A sample process may look like:

A company develops a software and orders a localisation from an LSP. Ideally, localisers are already part of the software engineering process. During the software development stage, the software should be internationalised (see Unit 1). Developers may run an internationalisation test, e.g. pseudo localisation. It reports whether different languages and regional settings, such as date and time are supported. It may also test whether strings are too long, if concatenation works, characters are displayed correctly, and variables are understandable.

The localisation kit is prepared. It should include the source files of the software and related documentation as well as instructions, explanations and descriptions for the localisers. Examples are instructions on the compilation of the software, resizing of user interface elements, previous translations, tools and resources to be used, e.g. CAT tools, glossaries or translation memories.

The localisation kit is sent to a project manager at an LSP. The project manager is responsible for the budget depending on the volume and resource costs, time management, project preparation and implementation (see module on project management) and coordination. Their tasks may comprise to set up a project team, divide responsibilities, define the requirements and select tools. They set up the project in a localisation tool, import the source files, analyse the files, prepare or integrate translation memories, terminological resources or reference material, such as style guides. They may create translation bundles for different languages or divide the strings to be localised among the team. They are responsible for communication with the client, including time and budget negotiations as well as communication within the team and query management related to the questions of the translators during translation. Ideally, a terminologist prepares the project-specific terminology before localisers receive their assignments.

Localisers, e.g. freelance translators, start localising the user interface and technical documentation with a localisation or CAT tool. They may adapt images with a DTP software or create new sample files in the original file format. During localisation, engineers may update the software and localisers have to update the files accordingly. Questions raised by the translators or issues, e.g. bugs detected during localisation may be forwarded by the project manager to the client. Bugs can be collected in a central bug reporting system. Examples for bugs are functionality problems, internationalisation problems, e.g. unsupported keyboards or wrong default settings as well as lack of support of hardware in the target market. Moreover, localisers may encounter bugs. Bugs should be reproducible. Bug reports should contain the frequency of the problem, the product, version and platform (version), software build number, name of the file which caused the problem, place of the problem, details about the PC. Engineers may later add the workaround, the solution for the client and the bug status.

The project manager informs all translators (in all target languages) about the client’s response and solutions. The localisation process has several feedback loops and is linked to other activities, such as developing documentation. Another translator usually revises the translations before sending them to the project manager. Revisers, often in-house linguists, take care of linguistic and technical issues, e.g. consistent terminology and correct language use.

The project manager gathers the translated bundles and may perform a quality check on the completed files, e.g. using QA tools. This check may encompass terminological consistency, grammar, orthography, missing or superfluous blank spaces, missing translations, whether the target text is too long, duplicate, missing or inconsistent hot keys, inconsistent variables or resizing issues, such as overlaps of control elements.

Once the software has been localised, a reviewer, i.e. an in-country specialist has to approve it before it can be released.

The project manager forwards the completed files to software engineers or test engineers who compile the files into a running application and test its functionalities. Screenshots for technical documentation may also be made in this stage. The test priorities depend on the preferences of the target users. The test may have three different focuses (and can partly be done by automatic means): First, a linguistic test concentrates on the language used in the localised product. Translators or localisation engineers may use test scripts to look for missing target text, full display of messages without truncation, correct display of all characters, correct hotkeys, missing localisation of icons, graphics or sound as well as meaningful translation in the context, no truncated text, correct sorting and correct placeholders, are all concatenated strings display correctly. Second, a cosmetic test checks the visual aspects of a localised software, considering the size of dialog boxes and their content which should display all text and fit on the screen. Engineers may search for missing menu items, options or commands. Third, a functionality test checks whether the software runs smoothly and whether users can finish all required tasks with the application. Bugs are usually entered in a central database. Test scripts allow for a systematic test of all functions and explain how to reproduce likely situations. This test may check whether the default settings, e.g. for paper size, number formatting, are correct or whether the localised version uses the regional settings from the control panel. Moreover, it tests whether the application runs on a localised operating system and whether language- specific add-ons, such as grammar checkers run smoothly. In addition, functionality tests may also include compatibility tests and configuration testing to ensure the proper operation of the application under different software and hardware environments, including language versions of the operating system, progress execution against all processors, drivers. If a software has passed this test, the project manager may deliver a gold master (the final version of the product ready for production and distribution).

Desktop publishing may encompass adapting images, graphics or screenshots which need to be embedded in the technical documentation. If translators translated documentation (with CAT tools), desktop publishers may check the final layout and typography such as font type, font weight or punctuation. Other things to be checked are page numbering, notes or language settings.

Reference to other modules: This module is related to the modules on entrepreneurship, project management, quality management, revision and review and terminology.



Learning outcome

You will be able to use translation and communication technology effectively.

You will be aware of the importance of quality management in the processes involved in translation projects.

S/he is familiar with the general concepts of quality management (assurance, assessment, control and improvement) used in the translation industry.

S/he is aware of the importance of quality management in the processes involved in translation projects.

S/he demonstrates a critical mind needed to evaluate the reliability of terminology/documentary sources.

S/he is able to manage terminology (in databases) and customise it for specific translation projects.

S/he is able to apply appropriate strategies while creating and translating terminology.

S/he knows how to differentiate between and select suitable technology according to the text/translation request.

S/he is able to use translation and communication technology effectively.

S/he understands linguistic and (inter-)textual conventions in domain(s).

S/he is able to translate in domain(s).

S/he is able to edit and/or create a target text in domain(s).

S/he is able to apply the above concepts adequately in revision and review (process).

S/he is able to manage (inter-)cultural principles and conventions in text/translation.

S/he is able to compare the cultural conventions of the source language and the target language.

S/he is able to apply these rules/conventions adequately in the source language and the target language.

S/he is able to compare the linguistic and (inter-)textual rules/conventions and other characteristics of the source language and the target language, and adapt a product for a locale (i.e. localization).

S/he is able to understand source texts and create a translation appropriate to the client's request and skopos.

S/he is able to identify and solve translation problems.

S/he is able to define and apply translation strategies and techniques appropriately using appropriate meta-language.

Learning context


Understanding the general concepts of localisation, CAT tools, file formats in translation, project management, quality management and entrepreneurship.

Learning Environment

Computer, Internet, localisation software


1,860 min



Overview of learning activities




Type of activity


Estimated timeframe

1. Check-list for localisation projects

Trainees sum up the information acquired in the previous units and are prepared for the localisation project.

Trainees show their knowledge gained in the previous activities.


Not assessed

40 min.

2. Working on a localisation project

Trainees get a semi-real localisation assignment. They work in groups to carry out the project.

Trainees use the knowledge gained in this module and other modules to work on a semi-real localisation project. Their programme-related, transferable and soft skills are extended in this project-based group work.

Project work

Summative assessment

1,800 min.

3. Reflection on the localisation project

Trainees reflect on the project work.

Trainees improve their reflection skill and can draw from lessons learned.

Writing a short report

Not assessed

20 min.

1.Activity: Check-list for localisation projects

Instruction for trainees:

Based on the knowledge of localisation gained in the previous units, create a check-list of aspects to be considered in localisation. Do not only list key words but write sentences or questions, e.g. “Navigation bar on website is adapted to the locale” or “Does the client provide a localisation kit?”. Please list at least 15 aspects that must be considered in localisation.

Background information for trainers:

Trainees can use this list when working on the localisation project in this unit.

2.Activity: Working on a localisation project

This assignment is a simulated localisation job. You work on this project together with 4-5 colleagues. Please select a tool (see module ICT), deliver a cost estimation and invoice (including reduced rates for matches) (see module entrepreneurship), decide on different roles according to the ISO standard on translation services and set up a project and quality management process (see modules on project management and quality management).

Here is the assignment:

The software developer Supersoftware plans to launch a new release of its product Notepad++. You get the following e-mail from Supersoftware:


Dear localisation team,

We need a new localisation of the Notepad++ software from English into different locales.

We can provide you with the following localisation kit:

  • Source file: Notepad++.exe downloadable from the Notepad++ website: https://notepad-plus-plus.org (please download the latest version of the software). Previous versions are also available from this website. Please note that the software is developed for Windows operating systems only. If you install it on a Windows PC, you have to select en-US as the source language.
  • Further information on Notepad++ is available on the website or the wiki: http://docs.notepad-plus-plus.org/index.php/Main_Page
  • Locales: de-AT, es-ES, hu-HU
  • Requested date of delivery: DD Month YYYY, HH:MM (to be filled in by trainer)
  • Target files: The target file needs to have the same file format as the source file. The file name has to contain the locale name, e.g. “Notepad++_de-DE.exe”. Upload the target files to Moodle, in the folder “Folder name”.
  • Translation memory: None. If you wish to use the previous localisations, you have to align them.
  • The localised version has to adhere to the style guide and the preferred terminology (see below).
  • Style guide: Please use the Microsoft Style Guide for the relevant locale: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/language/StyleGuides
  • Terminological database: Please use the Microsoft terminological database for the relevant locale: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/language/Terminology
  • If you update the terminological database, e.g. add entries or information in the already existing entries, you will receive extra payment.
  • Contact person for localisation issues: Please use the Moodle forum “Localisation project” to post all your questions regarding the localisation assignment. This ensures that everybody has the same information.
  • Client contact details: Lin Qin, Supersoftware, Technical Communication, 200 York Way, London N7 9
  • Invoicing address: Financial department, Supersoftware, No: 5999339, 7-9 Brandon Rd, London N7 9AA, UID: GB12345667
  • Preferred localisation tools: SDL Passolo or Alchemy Catalyst. If you are not familiar with these tools, please see online tutorials.
  • Software testing: We have automatic software testing tools, but we would prefer to have a final version of the software. So please test linguistic aspects and technical aspects, e.g. terminological consistency, no overlapping items, no duplicate shortcuts, no missing access keys.

Could you please send us a quotation considering duplicate strings in the source file and the update of the terminological database?

Kind regards

Qin Lin

Instructions provided by the trainer:

Working on localisation project – Description

For this localisation assignment, you select a group on Moodle. In this group, you localise the software mentioned above and take the major steps in a localisation project, including the preparation of a cost estimation and invoice. All necessary information on the localisation assignment, the source file, style guide, terminology and localisation software are available on Moodle in the “Localisation kit”.

The objective of working on the localisation project is to complete a simulated localisation assignment and applying and extending the knowledge, abilities and competences in a hands-on project. Working in a group on this project should also help acquiring transferable competences and soft skills.

You have to finish the following tasks:

  • Select a group and locale on Moodle.
  • Project management: You prepare a project handbook and project documentation, e.g. steps, problems and solutions (see modules on project and quality management)
  • Localisation: Have a look at the “e-mail from the client” and the localisation kit. Select a localisation tool. If you are not familiar with the localisation tool, have a look at the video tutorials available online. You create a terminological database (for the content of the database, see localisation kit) with a terminology management system of your choice. Please note that the terminology management system should be interoperable with the localisation tool of your choice.

You have to submit the following files on Moodle:

  • A quotation (see module on entrepreneurship)
  • The localised file
  • The file created by the localisation software used
  • The terminological database (in the original file format and as TBX file)
  • An invoice
  • A project handbook incl. documentation
  • A file specifying the tasks and roles of each group member

If you have any questions about the localisation project, please use the discussion forum on Moodle. The trainer as well as fellow trainees can help you solve the problem.

Background information for the trainer:

Your institution should have installed a localisation tool on the computers or should provide licences to trainees.

Discuss the assignment with your trainees in class, e.g. ask them which questions they should ask the client. Examples may be: Why does the client require a new localisation? What is wrong with the previous one? Which additional information do you need to prepare a quotation? Which unit, e.g. words, characters, hours, for which outputs, e.g. localisation, software testing, terminology work, would you choose for the price estimation?

It is a good idea to advise them to start early because there may always be technical problems.

It is important that you introduce the localisation tool to the trainees beforehand, i.e. What is SDL Passolo? How does it work? If you have a localisation tool installed on your institution’s computers, trainees could work in your institution’s computer labs. If you do not have a localisation tool installed, have a look at the software manufacturer’s website, whether there are trial versions available or educational licences available.

Make the trainees aware of the fact that Notepad++ only works with Windows operating systems. After downloading Notepad++ from the website, they need to install it on the computer to get the EXE file. This means that trainees need to have administrator rights on the PC in question.

This project should activate the trainee’s knowledge of all modules.

Trainees should be able to include onboarding processes, e.g. the quality expected for which content types, quality and project management, revision and review, query management, preparation and follow-up, including the compilation of a team, selection of a tool, communication with the client, price estimation, invoicing DTP or testing, the use of translation memories, terminological database, style guides and reference material, setting up processes from kick-off to post-mortem.

Trainees should follow all steps of a localisation project, including localisation brief, feasibility study and quotation, ordering process, preparation of files and team, translation, revision, QA check, review, DTP, testing and invoicing.

Help trainees to find their way into the project. You either introduce them to the project work during class or ask them to read the project description on the Moodle platform prior to class and answer their questions in person.

If you wish to make the assignment more complicated and realistic, you might designate a client who commissions the order and answers the questions of the localisation groups.

3.Activity: Reflecting on the localisation project

This activity is linked to the localisation project. It aims at a critical reflection of the localisation assignment.

Instruction for trainees:

While working on the project and after having finished the project and submitted all the necessary files, please reflect on the project and group work. Please write a project reflection (about one A4 page) and answer, among others, the following questions:

  • What went well?
  • What were the main challenges? How did you tackle these?
  • What did you learn from this localisation assignment?
  • What would you recommend other trainees?
  • What would you have needed to make this task easier?

You may address the following topics: Teamwork and communication within the group, working with a localisation tool, characteristics of the software to be localised, terminology work, project, quality and process management, communication with the client (if applicable), estimating time and costs and preparing the relevant documents, etc.

You have to submit:

  • Two project status reports (to be submitted after the first third of the project period and the second third of the project period). This has to be done by the whole group. Only one status report per group is required.
  • An individual project reflection: Here you describe the lessons learned from the project and group work. This has to be done by each trainee individually.

Background information for trainer:

This assignment helps trainees reflect on the project and the assignment. Especially, the lessons learned should help them in professional life. You may also use the individual project reflection to see if there were free riders in a group and problems within a group. Moreover, you can also encourage trainees to provide recommendations for future localisation assignments.


[1] The module could either be used for individual training or as part of an existing training programme. All activities within the modules are only ideas and cannot be regarded as an entire course or constitute the main part of a training course.