Localización e internacionalización de softwarepuntos de encuentro entre el localizador y el programador

  1. García Nevares, Luis Alberto
Supervised by:
  1. Jesús Torres del Rey Director
  2. Adrián Fuentes-Luque Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de Salamanca

Fecha de defensa: 04 November 2016

  1. Patricia Ordóñez Chair
  2. Manuel de la Cruz Recio Secretary
  3. Manuel Mata Pastor Committee member

Type: Thesis


Abstract The localization process has always been regarded as a black box that functions on its own, with a team of project managers and translators who never get involved in software development methodologies or technologies. This is mainly due to the way in which the software localization industry has developed. In many cases, and for many of the main software publishers and platform developers, localization is a peripheral process that is only invoked when text strings need translation. Including localization late in the development process not only brings enormous problems when translating strings, on many occasions it becomes impossible to launch the product in other markets which have the need to accommodate languages and cultures that do not fit within the features that were developed and included in the software. This dissertation begins by making a historical account of the development of computers and describes how the three main programming platforms—namely mainframes, minicomputers, and personal computers—came into being. We shall see that, as hardware developed and new features were added, a variety of programming languages and strategies for developing software emerged. As features, application, and use of hardware further expanded, the need for organizing strategies and processes for creating programs became the basis for formulating and establishing software development strategies and methodologies. Along with these developments, the introduction of personal computers eventually promoted the need for creating products that serve not only markets in the United States, but other markets that communicate in different languages and exhibit particular needs of their own. Thus, the localization industry was born. It is at this point that translation and computers begin to come together and interact. Up until now, research regarding software localization has had programmers as a starting point. These programmers have researched what multilingual programs are and what needs to be done to create them. Our proposal comes from the other “side,” from the localizer’s point of view; a localizer that approaches programming as an expert in languages and intercultural mediation. This expert knows the problems within localization’s black box, but is also prepared to participate in the processes that take place before translation, the processes that take place in order to create new software. These “internationalizers,” as we refer to them, have all the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them to become part of a software development team from the beginning all the way through to the final stages. Their knowledge and presence will help integrate into this process the necessary requirements that will allow for smooth software localization, when the decision is made to launch the application into other markets that have diverse linguistic, legal, and cultural needs. In this century, mainly guided by communication, it is unthinkable to develop software that only attends to the needs of a single market. The internationalizer can help the software development team to accomplish this. Keywords: Localization, internationalization, software development, programming, information systems, translation.