This is part of our series “Bring it to the world” which profiles websites and apps that offer localized versions to reach happy users from many parts of the world.
We’re following OneSky famous users to discover their experience and philosophy of localization that makes their products so awesome to global users. This week we interviewed Valentin Binnendijk, CTO & Co-founder at TrekkSoft Ltd.
Q&A with Valentin Binnendijk, CTO & Co-founder at TrekkSoft Ltd.
1. How did you get the idea of localizing your product?
We were founded in Switzerland, and we still have offices there, in the town of Interlaken. Because Switzerland is a small European country with four official languages, we’re used to working with clients who have diverse language needs. So localizing our product was never really a question. It was a necessity.
2. Did you try any other solutions before using OneSky? What were the results?
We tried two other solutions briefly, but we didn’t go through the hassle of integrating either product through the API. We’re a startup, and one of the localization providers we considered was way too expensive for our needs. The other was just far too complicated. The user experience didn’t seem good.
3. What were the biggest challenges you encountered while localizing your product?
When you have a big, constantly-evolving app in multiple languages, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different translated versions, and to keep track of who has to translate what.
Also, we have multiple strings with only tiny variations between them. So, one challenge has been figuring out ways to merge these strings, or to change the sentences, thereby decreasing the amount of translations required.
Finally, because we have a large app, we have many different parts to our software, not all of which need to be translated into every one of our languages. It’s a challenge to keep those parts separate, and to avoid unnecessary translating. We’ve tried to use different *.po files to keep track, but that hasn’t worked especially well, so we often end up translating content that we don’t really need.
4. How did OneSky help to make your localization process more efficient?
Although there have been some caching issues, through OneSky’s API integration and syncing process we can translate and update our software on a constant basis, allowing us to keep up with the needs of our ever-evolving product.
5. Why did you choose to crowdsource your translation?
First of all, we’re a bootstrapped startup, so we don’t have a large documentation team or a huge translation budget. But we do have an engaged customer base. Crowdsourced translations let us draw on those passionate customers in order to get high quality, affordable translations. Also, crowdsourcing our translation means that the process isn’t dependent on the development team, but can involve other TrekkSoft Ltd. staff.
6. What are the top three things you love about OneSky? Why?
First, the user interface is simple, so we—and our translators—don’t have to wade through a cluttered or confusing system. Second, OneSky’s support services respond very, very quickly. And, more generally, it just works well. As a young company, we can’t waste time on clunky interfaces or unreliable platforms. We need to be able to get cheap, fast, high-quality translations. By keeping our content organized and by providing an accessible platform for our translators, OneSky makes that possible.
7. How has localization helped your product so far? Any statistics you can share?
Today, we have customers in more than 70 countries, and we are offering services in more than eight languages. We are constantly adding new languages and improving our product. OneSky helped us set up a system to make this internationalization easy, and they’ve allowed us to lay the groundwork to scale up our localization efforts.
8. Any advice for someone considering localization?
Do it as early as possible. And be sure to integrate a crowdsourcing system, even if you only have two languages. That way, your product will be set to scale up and go global, and you’ll starting thinking about entering international markets much earlier.
About Valentin Binnendijk
About TrekkSoft Ltd.
TrekkSoft Ltd. was founded in 2010 to provide exemplary online booking services for the tours and activities industry. Its service is available in more than eight different languages with clients from more than 70 countries.