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Localization of an existing ASP Application

Posted on 2003-10-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-07
Hi All

I have this English Web application written using ASP and VB,

We use JS, VBS, HTML, VB and SQL database to display everything in the GUI, even Error messages.

I don't want to blame anybody, but when i was requested to move the application into French, I expected the structure to be more comfortable to do that, but Nope,
it was never brought to mind that this application may some day be localized.

I am not the one who is going to translate the application,  but i am the one who will extract every single litter written in English to the one who is going to translate, and then return them back.


Now, I need advices.

1- Should I rebuild the system (6-8 Months)
2- Should I do the translation the manuall way (1-2 Months "with bugs properly").
3- Should I use a translating link that translates on the spot, or write one that does so.
4- Any new advices?

Thanks

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Question by:Inteqam
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7 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:evrcool
ID: 9775945
We have gone through the very same issue. We tried just taking out the words and putting them into a resource file that was loaded in COM in the Application event. Because of the site structure, it slowed down the page from loading in under a second to over 5 seconds on average. What we did as a temp fix is hire a French person, in our case a French Candadian. Out sourced to have the entire app translated and setup on it's own site. The "on-staff" French person would then translate any updates that we had. So in essense, the dev team supported one app, and the "French guy" made sure the updates were in the other. This meant the French site lagged a little in release, but it was alright. With that in place, we have started a complete re-write (due to more reasons than just translation) in ASP.NET and C#. Doing that one bit, gave us the time we needed to do the re-write... and do it right though. The translation cost about $3K, they didn't do a good job with some of the words though, it is just a sweat shop for services like that it seems.
We thought about using a translation link, however, those don't translate too well. At best it comes out in "broken" French, at worse, it comes out offending someone. To test, do a search in google for something in French, then translate it at any translation site on the web.
Anyways, there is what I have been through and am happy the way we went.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Inteqam
ID: 9777566
thank you evrcool for you reply,
the problem with this is that the application changes nearly everyday, which means that pages are to be changed also and re-translated, is that what you did ?

i mean, when a change happens to a page, what did you do?
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Inteqam
ID: 11409181
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:evrcool
ID: 11414732
Sorry, for some reason I didn't get your reply on 11/19. Anyways, yes, that is what we did when we first started translation. Our app is continually being updated. We have about 20 developers on staff, so we have lots of changes and yes, the French guy did all the updates on the UI as he got to them. Like I said, for the ease of migration, the time lag was a good compromise for us. Now, with everything in one application, they may just see the English version of it for a few days, before it gets translated. But at least with the .NET, everything is in one application, so for the funcationality, there is no lag.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Inteqam
ID: 11423273
mmmmmm...

but we will have a problem when we may need to translate it to another new language, we'll have to re-invent the wheel
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LVL 3

Accepted Solution

by:
evrcool earned 375 total points
ID: 11455898
Yes, if you only do it the way we did initially. But if you go with our final way, all it is then, is taking a database, exporting it, having it translated, and then re-importing. That is why we went with the direct translation of the screens first, so that we could have time to re-write the app, plus, it was an immediate pay-off, but in the mean time, we were in the background re-writting, so that we wouldn't have to re-invent the wheel every time we wanted to go to a new language.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Inteqam
ID: 11462748
you helped, thank you
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