Best Way To Translate Languages For Java Application

I have a java application that I am altering. This application can be run in a variety of different languages. I have added a dialogue box to this program, however, I am not sure what the best way to translate it. What is the most appropriate way to translate for user applications?

I have the infrastructure to handle different languages. All I need to do is add to each languages property file. I just don't know what is the most efficient way to translate.


It depends on how much effort and money you want to invest. Let's look at effort first: ideally you can prepare a test environment so that translators can see what they have to translate. As you may have to prepare information about how to navigate to your new dialogue, create users, grant access rights etc. this may be a lot of effort. The second best option would be to create a screenshot of your dialogue box and send it to the translators along with your properties file. Before you do that you should add comments to all those strings in your properties file that contain things that the translators may ask you about, like variables, acronyms or proper names. If the translators are doing a good job they will ask you about anything they are uncertain about, so even for only one target language the time for adding these comments is not wasted.

Remove any strings that should not be translated from the properties file: SELECT {0} FROM {1} will not work any more when SELECT and FROM get translated.

To prepare your dialogue for translation you can do a pseudo-localization of your properties file. This way you can find potential encoding issues and any hard-coded strings that may still be there, and you will see if the dialog still looks OK if the strings get longer in the target language.

As far as money is concerned I agree with @Antares42's comment: at this point in time machine translation is not good enough to translate UI strings, so do your users a favour and involve human translators. If you want to use a translation agency or hire freelance translators you can for example check out, if you prefer crowdsourcing you can find lots of suggestions here.

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