Use of pseudo-translation in software localization

Pseudo translation is a feature that automatically generates translations that emulates the target language. Pseudo translations are not real strings and most often they are complete gibberish. However pseudo translations use the same characters as the real translations and they also emulate the average length of the translations in the specific language. This will help you to test how your user interface works on target language before you actually do any translations. Pseudo translations can also be used to visually find hard coded strings.

You can turn pseudo translations via:

  • “Column” menu -> “Fill Pseudo Translation” . This command fills all not translated cells in currently edited language column.
  • “Fill Pseudo Translation” item in sheet’s context menu of selected cells. This command fills only selected cells in currently edited language column.

When you click on “Fill Pseudo Translation”, Sisulizer displays dialog where you can choose pseudo-translation type and adjust settings for this selected type.

You can select following pseudo-translation types:

  • Emulation – original strings are modified to simulate the language. This type checks if the user interface works with the script of the language. For example if the selected language is using a latin script “Hello World” becomes to “Héllö Wörld”.
  • Replace – all characters of original strings are replaced with a replace character. This type helps to find hard coded strings. For example “Hello World” becomes to “………..”.
  • Reduce – the length of the original string is reduced to one character. This character is either one specific character (e.g. ‘.’) or the first character of the string. This type tests how the user interface works for minimum length strings. For example “Hello World” becomes to “H”.

When you click “OK” button in this dialog, Sisulizer fills translation column cells with pseudo-translations and sheet can look like on below screenshot.

All pseudo-translation strings in translation cells are in green color and get “Complete” status. You can’t change translation status for pseudo-translation items, but you can edit cells filled by pseudo-translation feature. In this case, edited item will behave as normal translation item, that is, you can change translation status, font’s color is changed to standard black color, “Remove Pseudo Translation” command doesn’t remove edited string.

As I mentioned above, pseudo-translation feature can help you to test how your user interface works on target language and allows you find hard coded strings. When you would like test behavior of your localized application, simple, use build feature in “Project” menu and next run your application. Below is example screenshot from our sample application.

When you are ready, and you want to start the “real” localization of your application, you should remove pseudo-translation from your Sisulizer project. This is possible via:

  • “Column” menu ->  “Remove Pseudo Translation”. This command removes all pseudo-translation entries from selected column. When column doesn’t contain  pseudo-translation entries, this menu item is unavailable (grayed color).
  • “Remove Pseudo Translation” item in sheet’s context menu of selected cells. This command removes pseudo-translation entries only from selected cells in currently edited language column. When selected cells don’t contain  pseudo-translation entries, this menu item is invisible.

Janusz Grzybek

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