Challenges of Hiring Translators for Software Translations

29 Sep 2020

Hiring a translator for software translations is not as easy as for a blog post or article. Simply handing over a spreadsheet with a list of Strings and phrases to be translated will likely have poor output.

Providing Context

In order to deliver a high quality translation the translator needs to know where the translated phrase will be placed. Ideally you provide him storyboard with screenshots so that he can get an idea of the context, the phrasing and style of the default language. Sometimes there is duplicate phrases, but one doesn’t mean the other and might have a different translation. The more he sees, the better.


If the translator still doesn’t get the context, then he needs a responsive person to ask about it. Yes, it requires a certain level of personal interaction so that the translator can deliver excellent results. If you don’t respond in time, heshe will forget about what he was asking and just translates how heshe thinks it could be. Good luck with that!

Quality assurance

After the translator got back to you with his translations, you need to check the results. Firstly you will likely do this on the spreadsheet, answer written questions or correct things you notice that might be or are wrong (without actually speaking the language). Secondly, you will have to add the translations into the test version of your software, in order to see the translations in screen. Do they fit the screen? Will a user actually understand them? Either you ask an other translator to check the translations he sees in the screens or ask a team member who is native in the language. To have the quality of software translations assured it takes time, iterations and patience.

Hiring translators for software is not an easy task to do. Also it is very repetitive as it has to be done for multiple locales your software supports. provides you a search of translated phrases that are in use by other software products. It makes the process of translating much easier!