Guideline A: User interface

A5: Messages & dialog boxes

Tracking messages and dialog boxes

UI for a product is sometimes translated in several stages, with information such as dialog boxes being translated before the hard copy manuals. If pictures of the dialog boxes are also shown in the manuals, the translator requires a tracking mechanism to find specific translated dialog boxes when translating the manuals.

Guideline A5

Provide translators with a way of tracking UI entities (such as messages and dialogs).

Example: The User's Guide of your product or solution describes all the messages in your product. These messages are translated first, and the translated messages are reused later when the User's Guide is being translated. During the translation of the User's Guide, the translators can find a specific message by its unique identifier. This tracking mechanism not only avoids unnecessary retranslation of the messages, but also reduces the chance of mislabeling the messages in the User's Guide.

Guideline A5-1

Have a mechanism to identify changes in the application or Web site and route that information into a translation process.

One of the benefits of having a mechanism to track changes is that it enables you to manage the change. For example, it can help answer questions brought about by the changes such as:

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