What is pseudolocalization?
Let’s get the definitions out of the way. Normally, when you localize your app you are replacing your source text with a foreign language. For example, your English-language app transforms into a lovely bit of software for a Japanese audience. Pseudolocalization is just like that, but instead of Japanese, we’ll replace your English strings with à ƒàķé Éñĝļîšĥĥ ļîķé ţĥîš.
Why do I need pseudolocalization for my app?
Why would you want to use ƒàķé Éñĝļîšĥĥ in your app? Well, pseudolocalization is a fast QA method to make sure you’ve found all your hard-coded strings before you send it off to be translated. By doing a test run with ƒàķé Éñĝļîšĥĥ you can quickly check each screen of your app and make sure everything looks localized. If not, you’ll know exactly which strings you forgot to localize and you can go back to your code and add it in.
Pseudolocalization is also a useful way to make sure you’ve left enough room in your GUI for other languages. A common rule of thumb is that non-English languages are 30% longer. That means the Buy button your created — just 3 letters long — probably won’t be big enough for Spanish (Comprar) or Greek (Αγοράστε), and you’ll end up with something like: Com… and Αγο…
Pseudolocalization can help you spot the missing strings and those cramped spaces so that your translations will look as good as they read.
Pssst… Pseudolocalization is free!
Here’s something you probably never knew. We translators want your localized app to succeed as much as you do, and we’re willing to go the extra mile to make sure it does. Pseudolocalization helps us as much as it helps you. It means that you’ll send us all your strings in one neat package right from the start. And, if we’re lucky, you may even have adjusted your app’s GUI a bit to add in some extra space. (Extra padding looks very nice in English too by the way!)
For those reasons, and because we’re nice people, pseudolocalization is an absolutely free service. Just send us your Localizable.strings or strings.xml or any other format you’ve got, and we’ll send you back the pseudo-localized version the same day.
Not sure how to export your Mac/iOS strings into a Localizable.strings file? Check out our iPhone localization tutorial.