Top 10 Free Localization Resources


A professionally set-up site or app that’s ready for international audiences can be quite an investment. Whether you’re a global champion or just starting out with a completely innovative concept, planning a translation budget can be really exhausting! Even Text United, a language service provider, had to spend some time thinking about costs of execution in preparation to translate our website and software into German.

What was the result of our preparation for German’s market invasion? We learnt that the resources you use for localization must be multifunctional, flexible,  light, yet powerful. And it’s even better when they’re free!

Taught by experience, we prepared a list of freely available localization resources from the biggest global brands. We share it with you, so you don’t have to bleed money just to go global.

#1. Google Localization Guide

Google Global Advertiser’s localization guide thoroughly explains how to how to work with translation companies. Additionally,  a short glossary of terms used in the localization domain is included. It’s rather ‘essential material’ and detailed resources are not available.

#2. Facebook Translation App Guide

Facebook Translation App Guide requires a login and helps mainly those, who (logically…) have their app for translation. It describes the tokens, voting with the app, attributes and inline translations. The cool part is that it contains advice on linguistic aspects of app translation, so prepare to be taught how to translate with the concept of gender in mind (on Facebook, you can skip the gender info).  Additionally, it includes style guides and glossaries for most languages. If you are a volunteer translator, you can be a part of Translator Community .

#3. Twitter Glossary

Twitter modestly provides a glossary for the language you translate into. Glossary is available in the Help section of Twitter Translation, although you need to sign up to translate and then agree on company’s terms.

#4. Apple’s i18n Guide

Apple’s internationalization (i18n) guide is made by and for developers and it’s obvious from the first glance. It includes lists of  programming resources for OSX as well as iOS developers, login – required guide to downloadable glossaries and obviously, a bunch of useful guidelines for app localization.

#5. EU Specialized Glossaries

The EU’s 263 specialized glossaries  has it all: from trade unions, through automotive, to nanotech specialties. Not all of them are in the EU’s official languages, but trust me – this database has everything to choose from.

#6. Microsoft Language Portal

With this little gem, you can search the desired word in over 100 languages and then, have your term base for offline access (yaaass!). It also offers localization style guides, a localized error message lookup tool for Microsoft products, a reference library for building global-ready apps, and many more.

#7. Mozilla L10N Style Guide

We are really touched by Mozilla’s extensive style guide effort to make everyone aware that localization is the whole extensive cultural process and translation is just a small part of it.  Mozilla’s  style guide is in fact, a series of questions to translators about formality and tone, style and consistency, handling cultural references and idioms up to numerals and currency! It’s divided into two main parts: the first contains rules that are language-specific and must be defined by each Mozilla l10n community (covering language-specific style, terminology, and units); the second contains general rules that Mozilla has defined for translators of all languages that can help you translate well. We are impressed.


#8. TED Subtitling Resources

TED is a real gem for those who are in the subtitles translation sector. Translators can use these resources to learn about the Amara platform, subtitling best practices and much, much more. Their first rule – collaboration!  It must be working as TED Talks have been subtitled by volunteer translators in over 100 languages.

#9.  Website Translation Extension by Text United

 Text United‘s Google Chrome extension lets you change your browser to a website language editor in seconds, but most importantly, it allows to translate texts directly within the actual website. We have launched our final version in Chrome Extension Store – it’s completely free! By using the extension you’re basically telling Chrome to read all available content on the website, map it into Text United’s translation engine and become readily available for translation.

The extension allows you to run translation software directly on top of your web pages, translate and publish them without changing how your website works.

In short, you can:

• Use a machine translation and later update these automatic translations by yourself or with the help of colleagues

• Order professional translation service, all directly from the extension!

#10.  ‘How To Budget Website And Software Translation’ Free Template

Yes, you can plan all of the above, much more and count the costs automatically with our free L1oN budget template.

Let’s start!

Written By:

Gosia loves copywriting and product translation. Additionally, she's a content marketing and lolcats junkie.

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