Pseudolocalization Realization for Skype Software

Helen Kask
The aim of the current work is to develop a pseudolocalization application for solving possible issues in user interfaces for Skype clients. Localization is the process of adapting a product to a target market. Localization involves translation as well customization related to different number formats, graphical imagery etc. Localization is carried out at the end of the development process in order to avoid the need to re-localize due to changes in the design or text. Therefore all mistakes found during the localization process come with a high price. Common problems are text expansion in translated texts compared to the original (especially if the source text is in English), hard-coded text, character encoding problems, format issues, unsuitable imagery etc. One of the methods to foresee localization problems is pseudolocalization. Pseudolocalization is a practice of simulating the localization process before the actual translation work by replacing the translatable text with modified text [6]. Different pseudolocalization methods address various localization problems including text expansion, hard coded strings, concatenated strings, encoding problems, etc This work gives a short overview of common localization problems as well as a number of well-known pseudolocalization methods that can be used to prevent those problems. The existing solutions for pseudolocalization were analysed as well. This information can be useful when choosing which solution to use for pseudolocalization or deciding how pseudolocalization can be of help in the development process. The application developed in the practical part of this thesis implements three pseudolocalization methods – machine translation, prefix/suffix and string identifier methods and works with XML file types used internally in Skype. Using these methods helps to prevent localization issues related to text expansion, encoding, hard-coded text and string concatenation as well as helps finding the problematic strings from the language file quicker when using string identifier method. The application is already in use by the Skype localization team. During the development of the pseudolocalization application for Skype, the connection to the Microsoft translator was developed in Java that did not exist before. This can also be used by other users to connect to Microsoft Translator with Java.
Graduation Thesis language
Graduation Thesis type
Bachelor - Computer Science
Krista Liin
Defence year
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