Product Translation on iOS and Mac OS X Platforms

If you are producing an app or application that runs on Apple’s platforms, you should be sure to match the already translated software. It is really frustrating for your users if you improperly refer to standard software commands in your documentation or your user interface.

This article will cover two steps to help you accomplish this goal. Locate and download the translated resources provided by Apple and how to use the resources and execute searches in the files.


Download the glossaries from Apple

You can find the glossaries on Apple’s Developer Resources site. You will be asked to enter an email address and password. You should be able to enter your iTunes credentials to access this area. This is where you will see the translated glossaries for both mobile (iOS) and desktop (OS X) platforms by language.

Determine which platform you need and which languages you will need for your project. The files are .dmg archives. These files will open automatically by double-clicking when you are working on a Mac. On a Windows machine, you will need an archiving program like 7-zip or DMG extractor. Once you have the archive open, you will find a large number of files with a .lg extension. You can either rename all the files by using an application like Renamer, or you can simply use a tool like Notepad++ for Windows or Text Wrangler for MAC, where you can open all of the files at once and execute a search across all files.


Execute a search across all files

During the translation of the user interface or documentation, the translators will want the ability to quickly query the resources to find the existing translations from Apple. For this example, I am using Notepad++ on a Windows 7 machine. The easiest way to do a thorough search is to open the folder containing all the files, select all the files (Ctrl +A), right-click, and choose Edit with Notepad ++. Once the files are all open (you will see a tab for each file), you can choose Search>Find…(Ctrl + F). Type in the word or string you would like to find and choose the button Find All in All Opened Documents. This will result in a list of all segments that correspond to your search. You may need to experiment with some of the options, like Match case and Match whole word only, to get the desired results.


Tip for advanced users: Use ApSIC Xbench to quickly build a glossary you can use in your Translation Management System (TMS)

ApSIC Xbench is a great tool for doing translation quality assurance as well as leveraging different types of terminology lists. There are two advantages to this approach.

  • Searches can be completed far more quickly.
  • You can create a TMX (translation memory format), Excel file, or tab-delimited file, which will allow for a simple import into a TMS.

The process is very simple.

1. Start a new project in Xbench (Ctrl + N).

2. Add the entire folder of files downloaded from Apple for a single language by choosing Add and then selecting the Mac OS X Glossary file type.

3. Select the Next button, then choose Add Folder, select the language folder you want to import, and hit Next.

4. You will then proceed through a few screens with some options you can choose to tailor the import. Sticking with the default options is fine. When you are through these dialogs, you will see a search window with a list of results.

5. You can now perform a search on all of the files in one single window and see the results listed below.

6. Finally, you can also export the results to an Excel, TMX, or tab-delimited file for import into a different tool.


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