Since Evidentia was written from scratch, I had Localization in mind from day one.
For those those don’t know, Localization is “the process of adapting a product that has been previously translated into different languages to a specific country or region” (Wikipedia)
I’ve had a couple of requests to translate Evidentia over the years, and I thought “I can write a program to do this, use Google translate, and get someone to do a sanity check”. So I did. The first part at least. The weekend after RootsTech 2015. Most of the work was done from the airport.
Sonia and I first met at RootsTech 2013, when she introduced herself and asked if there was a Spanish version of Evidentia. Evidentia was 3 months old at that time, so sadly I had to say no, but that conversation stuck. So when I saw Sonia at RootsTech 2015, I told myself it was time to do it. Write the program. Translate Evidentia.
But the conversation with Sonia (thru an interpreter) let me know that there was more to translating a program than, well, translating the program. It seems that software users in Spain are used to using programs written in English. The REAL challenge is providing training materials and user manuals in the users native language. Sonia graciously offered to assist, but it still made me take a more thorough look at the ‘process.
You see, I was thinking about changing the labels on the screens. Piece of cake. But there are help guides, tool tips, sentences that appear in reports, and more. PLUS we have training videos, help guides, and user manuals.
I have been asked over the last 3 years to do versions in Spanish, French, German, and Danish. I want to do it. But the process is, well overwhelming.
So we start like we start anything, one step at a time.
And the best place to start is in a conversation. In any language.