Software localization (or localisation) means translation of a software interface and messages to another language plus adaptation of some formats (e.g. measures, dates and currency) plus adaptation to local cultures.

Software localization is a complex process. According to Susan Armstrong, simple translation implies terminology research, editing, proofreading and page layout. Localisation, in addition, tends to involve additional activities, such as: Multilingual project management, Advice on translation strategy, Conversion of file formats in which material is held, Alignment and maintenance of translation memories, Software and online help engineering and testing, Multilingual product support.

Localization technology

Most localization technology used is so-called Computer-assisted translation software. In addition, localization needs specific tools to deal with editing (extracting, managing, merging) language strings in the computer code. Furthermore software localization must integrate various media, the software itself, in-context help, help systems, manuals, tutorials etc.