In today’s interview, we welcome Matěj Bačo, the lead dev at Code Ink, a small software studio located in Slovakia. Matěj talks about the challenges surrounding localization, finding the right approach with his team, and why they grew to love Localazy.
Hi Matěj, can you quickly introduce yourself and the business you do?
Hi, I am a developer for a small software studio called Code Ink in Slovakia. I have been working here for a few years now, and I love the friendly community. At Code Ink, we help HR specialists run online pre-selection of candidates to check (mostly) their language and communication skills. This process is almost completely automated and can reduce the costs of a full interview, can help find talents 24/7, and last but not least, helps lower the fluctuation in the company.
Who are your users?
Our users are HR specialists trying to achieve as automatic pre-selection as possible by checking the candidate’s language, which they don’t even have to understand. Also, the rest of our users are candidates themselves who are interviewed in a specific language.
How is Localazy used in your product?
We were looking for a good localization solution for years, and we were never delighted with the solutions we tried. Some were pricey; some were not comfortable for developers; some were even too complex for clients/translators.
Finally, we created a solution that works across our stack. First of all, we have localization on the frontend in Angular using the default i18n library and few CLI scripts to convert localization files to meet Localazy standards (using ARB/JSON format). Secondly, we use a custom i18n library on the backend with a Babel extractor that feels almost identical to the one in Angular to developers (also, using ARB/JSON format). All of this is possible thanks to Localazy and their easy-to-use and customizable CLI solution to upload and download translation files.
Maybe you’d want to share your perspective on software localization?
We believe localization is necessary for 90 % of the projects. People always love to work in an environment that is familiar to them. Not all people speak English, so not all of your potential users will understand English.
By adding localization into your project, you don’t only attract the interest of more potential users, but you can also address anyone in their native language worldwide. Localization will help you grow your business over the border of your country and accelerate your startup faster.
In the end, do you know about some huge website that only supports the English language?
Why did your team decide to use Localazy for app localization?
The main reason that led us to try Localazy was its pricing. Localazy was the first localization system that offered a lifetime price instead of monthly payments. You might ask, why is that important?
As a small software company, we usually don’t work on more than 2 or 3 projects at once. That means we would probably be able to go with a cheap solution of any localization system for around 10 euro a month. Instead, we can pay €250 in a one-time payment to get a total of 6000 phrases in Localazy which should be more than enough for three actively developed projects.
So, instead of having a solution for two years (with monthly payments), we have access to Localazy forever, which results in significant money-saver over the years. Keep in mind that you can backup and remove phrases for projects you are finished with, so you can start working on new projects. Localazy lets you re-import phrases whenever the development of the project needs to continue.
Describe the process of introducing Localazy to your product. Did you face any challenges or issues? How have you overcome them?
We didn’t struggle with integrating Localazy into our projects because it came with a great CLI tool that helps you upload and download localization files easily.
But, some problems started when we started translating bigger, actively developed projects.
At first, there was a considerable problem when Localazy started creating duplicates with every upload we made. With the Localazy helpdesk team, we found out this was due to an automatic ID system (based on file name and code line) in our Angular project. This problem got solved by assigning every translation an ID.
Second, deprecated translations were not removed from Localazy, which means, our translators had to translate phrases that were no longer used in the application. Once again, thanks to the Localazy helpdesk, we solved this problem by changing the configuration in localazy.json (config file).
Last, the option to translate source language (English in most cases) was missing, and we had to believe in the Localazy developers team to implement this in the future. Which they eventually did!
What are the most significant outcomes and benefits of bringing Localazy to your product?
We are pleased as we finally created a localization solution we are satisfied with. Both our developers and translators enjoy working with Localazy. In conclusion, Localazy helps us save money and creates an environment that we won’t have to replace in a few years when our software studio continues to grow.
What are some of your favourite Localazy features, and why?
- Localazy CLI
Our developers had multiple positive comments about the Localazy CLI system that helps upload and download translations. This feature not only allows test languages in development but also automates pushing translations into production.
- Localazy web application
Our translators were happy about the look and feel of the Localazy application as it is similar to the Google Translate interface, which all of us already know well. We also find machine translation way more accurate than any other localization software - not sure how Localazy achieved this. Additionally, the Localazy translator interface includes translations of the phrase in other (already translated) languages. Thus, we can assign a person speaking Hungarian and Slovak languages to translate the application, even if our application source is English.
- Localazy ShareTM
We saw a similar feature in other localization software, but it is so nice to have this feature in Localazy. It simply helps you translate commonly used phrases automatically from other (not only yours) projects. Basic phrases - like “E-mail address” or “Phone number” can be translated to almost any language within one click using ShareTM.
Would you like to share any statistics? Number of team members working on the product, number of lines of code, number of languages available, number of contributors to localization, etc.?
As mentioned earlier, we are a small software company, so we can’t show huge numbers. Anyway, our company consists of 5 members that can create an all-in-one solution for our clients, bringing their idea from their heads into the online space. We usually work on more significant projects that take many months to finish. With that said, our average backend project has approx. 10 000 lines of code and contains at least 1000 phrases that need to be translated. Frontend projects are usually way bigger, but most of the code is generated automatically using Angular CLI. Anyway, on the frontend, we typically have 2000-3000 phrases per project. We don’t try to translate our projects into all languages possible as the translation would not be too accurate, and with every new language, new problems may come up. These problems are summed up in a Youtube video by Computerphile pretty well. We only translate our application for the audience in which the client or we try to sell the solution we made, so we end up with 4-5 languages supported.
Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share with our readers?
I hope it is clear that we love Localazy. After a long time of ignoring localization and rejecting projects that require localization, we can proudly announce that we are happy to start localizing all of the projects. The best advice I can provide to readers is to try. You will love Localazy, or you will learn something. You have nothing to lose, and Localazy free 200 phrases should be more than enough to understand the system.
I hope Localazy serves you and your project as great as it does for our company.