Japanese software globalization (G11n) is a two-step process which includes Japanese software internationalization (I18n) and Japanese software localization (L10n). Software internationalization deals primarily with the backend/functionality of a software application, enabling backend technologies to function or support any language and locale. Localization deals primarily with the front end or linguistic and cosmetic aspects of a software application including locale-specific content, cultural correctness, translations, and software design.
The software internationalization process is the first step in ensuring your software application’s global interoperability. During Japanese software internationalization, any language- or culture-specific assumptions in your software application’s code base (functionality) should be “neutralized”; your application will then be primed for efficient localization into Japanese.
Your localization company should have solid experience in handling Japanese software internationalization issues, including:
- Reviewing and analyzing the source code for the software
- Ensuring the support of Japanese double-byte fonts
- Resolving issues related to Japanese address, time, date, currency, and numerical formats
- Externalizing text strings for ease of Japanese translation, including hard-coded text strings and text within graphics
- Software testing, including bug reporting/fixing
You will need to provide your localization company with the following information, collectively referred to as a “Software Internationalization Kit”. This information allows them to analyze your software and to determine its Japanese internationalization requirements:
- All files in your development environment, specifically Resource files (e.g. RC, RC2, DLG, H, HH, CPP, EXE, DLL, and graphic file formats).
- All Documentation source files (e.g. FrameMaker, Word, etc.).
- All HELP source files (e.g. graphics, RTF, VBS, HTML, CNT/HHX/HHC).
- Reference material (glossaries, past translations, style guide, etc.).
- File names and types, including an explanation of each file’s purpose.
- The name and version of the development, documentation and Help authoring tool(s).
- The location (directories/files) of any hard coded literals which are in the user interface.
- Original files of any third-party applications/components used.
- Detailed build instructions (if applicable).
- Test plan and test scripts (if applicable).
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