A Czech development studio has created an app for working time tracking. We localized it into English, French, Arabic, Chinese and other languages.

Development studio with a smart app

Specter Interactive is a development studio from South Moravia, where 10+ specialists create mobile applications for Android and iOS. Most of their jobs are custom projects, but they also have their own product called Working Timer. It easily tracks time spent on a project and also creates work reports. The basic version the app is free, in the extended version users pay 50 CZK per month. It is mainly used by freelancers as an alternative to Toggle, Clockify and similar tracking services.

What the developers needed help with

The client developed the app in Czech, but from the beginning they wanted to offer it to foreign users via Google Play and the App Store. That’s why they needed Working Timer to work flawlessly in different languages, specifically in:

  • English,
  • Arabic,
  • Chinese (traditional),
  • Chinese (simplified),
  • French,
  • Italian,
  • Dutch,
  • Polish,
  • Russian
  • and Spanish.

The Working Timer ranks as a smaller application. It contains approximately 5,000 words for translation. For the most part, these are AI terms (e.g. short terms like state, for which the linguist needs to know the context), another part of the content consists of technical terms (monthly working time pool, overtime carry-over, etc.).

The key is a skilled linguist and proper data preparation

At the beginning of the project, the client sent us a sample of data from the application. The texts to be translated (strings from the application code) were in the classic .xliff format. We selected three experienced external linguists for each language from our database and sent them a sample to translate. The client had the outputs checked and chose the translators that suited him best.

We then helped the client with the complete export of the data for localization. We have prepared a script to check the files to navigate through the code, and we have recommended minor modifications, e.g. add notes directly to the code so that linguists know that these are AI terms.

Thanks to careful preparation, the linguists received a complete translation package from us, which included:

  • texts for translation,
  • glossary of terms,
  • DNT terms (Do Not Translate terms, which include e.g. product names)
  • and translation memory (the linguist translates the word once, then it is loaded automatically).

We prepared the files for localization for all languages at the same time, saving the client time and money.

Thanks to translation tools, the translation is faster, consistent and the client doesn't pay for the work done by the algorithms. Therefore, it is much fairer to price the localization by word count rather than by standard page. The client pays only once for the translation of a specific word.

Michaela Fioleková, projektová manažerka
Localizing 5,000 words into English takes a few days

A skilled linguist working with a translation tool (CAT: Computer Assisted Translation) and a properly prepared data package can handle an average of 2,500 words per day. The localization into English was therefore ready within a week, including a revision by another linguist.

The combination of multiple languages, as in the case of Working Timer, required more intense project management, especially the coordination of the translators’ workflow. Despite this, we had all 10 languages completed within a month of the initial enquiry. We sent the texts to the client and their developers uploaded them to the mobile app.

Working Timer works in Arabic, among other languages. It is a language that is written and read unconventionally from right to left. When localizing a mobile application, it is therefore necessary to carefully check that the translation does not overflow or isn't too short for the application layout.

Michaela Fioleková, projektová manažerka
Checking finished translations with screenshots

The linguist can test the translated texts directly in the application or with screenshots. The client chose the second option: he created screenshots, sent them to us for review, the linguists checked everything, suggested the final touches and the translation was ready.

Final word from the client

I see personal communication as a great benefit of working with Loqipa. We are a smaller company and we were worried that we would be just a number to the big localization or translation companies. That's why we opted for a smaller contractor who would talk to us, advise us and take the project seriously. And we were right to choose Loqipa.

Milan Horký, CEO & Founder