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User documentation translation

Translating User Support Content during Software Localization

Translating user support content is an essential but overlooked part of software localization. Since most of this documentation is not immediately visible to the users, it’s not prioritized as much as web copy, UX copy, or even resources like blogs. However, ensuring that the support material is available in the localizing language makes all the difference between a good product and a great product.


What Do Companies Miss out on Translating during Localization?

Software localization is more than just changing the language of all the visible elements. Companies today have come a long way from the days of relying on machine translation to do a hack job.  The design elements, page code, user experience conventions, etc. also have to change according to the preferences of the target audience. Nowadays, developers even ensure that the backend code can be managed and updated by the end-users, familiar with the other language.


While manufacturers of consumer goods never miss out on user manual translation, software localization services often neglect the support content translation. The following kinds of support content are underrated but important to translate:

  • User Guides
  • Product Manuals
  • FAQs
  • Troubleshooting Guides
  • Blogs with resources for users
  • Step-by-step App Content
  • Contact Details (localized as per destination conventions)
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Account Login Support


Why Is User Support Content Translation Important?

Though you are trying to make your website or app as intuitive as possible, the conventions in a new location may make your product complex for new users to grasp. You may have followed ease-of-use principles while designing the product, but the users may still require assistance at various levels. That’s when they need user guides in their own language.

Market & Business Requirements 

If you have low competition in your new market, then you must provide all the possible support, (refer to the list in the previous section). The users would be unfamiliar with your product and need assistance along every stage. If your product is not new, you’ll still need user support documentation to stay on par with your local competition.

Next, you’ll want to widen the reach of your business. Technical manual translation, one of the most common kinds of user support content, helps with this. The more people understand how to use your product, the more likely they are to adopt it and recommend it to their social circle. 72.4% of consumers surveyed by Common Sense Advisory said that they would prefer to buy products with information available in their language.


User Experience Enhancement

While user experience consists of many important factors, utility and marketability are deeply influenced by the availability of quality support content. Products that don’t have a good user support experience don’t succeed.


Reduce Customer Service Hassles

A customer self-support survey found that 79% of customers want access to self-service tools so that they don’t need to contact customer support. During software or app localization, such resources can come from technical documentation translation, manual translation, and financial translation. This also saves you the trouble of maintaining a large contact center to resolve mundane queries.


Legal Requirements

Most countries legally require documentation like safety manuals, terms, and conditions, etc. to be provided with any purchase. With web-based products, legal documentation and supporting content may be a basic requirement. The content may need to be made available in both English and the local languages. It’s not just mere translation but complete localization, with conventions and local laws being explained well.


If any misinformation creeps in or there is a lack of clarity in the documentation causing problems for the users, your business may be in for a lawsuit, a fine or just get shut down. Some countries also require the use of sworn translators if the business deals with legal documents like contracts, audits, certificates, etc.


What to Look for During Translation?

Many businesses, even big ones, hire contract translators or a technical translation company to get the job done. Since financial translation and technical manual translation are a lot more specialized than the literary kind, you need experts. They have to be aware of the nuances, cultural conventions, and localization requirements of the target market.

The final translation has to be accurate and technically sound with all the right jargon. It should also be lucid and easy to comprehend. The style guides relevant to the domain and the localized language should be followed. And finally, it should adhere to any legal requirements.

In conclusion, we recommend ensuring that you don’t miss out on this fundamental aspect of software or app localization. Translating user support content is easy to sideline but providing user manuals in the customers’ language makes a positive impact on the business image.

You can check out ActiveLoc’s certified translation services to help scale up your business reach. We offer support services for over 60 global languages.