Ivideon: localizing applications for cloud-based video surveillance

Ivideon: localizing applications for cloud-based video surveillance

About the project

Services: software localization, mobile app localization, site localization, localization testing.

Working languages: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Turkish.

Industry: software development, mobile app development, cloud-based video surveillance.

Timeline: from July 2015 to present.

Size: over 300,000 words.

Team: Russian to English: 4 people including 2 staff editors; English to other languages: 19 people including 2 staff proofreaders; 1 project manager.

Project features:

  • non-standard file formats for translation work (PHP, TS, and STRINGS);
  • a source text containing code elements that influence the meaning or type of a string;
  • high client standards for the style of translations into English.

General information

Ivideon is a cloud-based video surveillance service. With Ivideon you can watch video footage anywhere in the world on a variety of devices connected to the Internet: smart phone, tablet, notebook, PC. Recorded video can be stored locally or in the cloud, and local recording can be carried out either continuously or on a schedule determined by the user. Cloud recording is activated when a sensor detects motion, sound, light, temperature, or moisture. The user can receive an immediate event notification on a mobile application or through a web browser.

The service can combine an unlimited number of cameras in different geographic locations into a single system, set access privileges to video archives and event recordings, and it offers features to integrate with access control systems, fire and security alarm systems, POS systems, and so on.

Specifics about the localization files

Right at the start of the project, we encountered file formats that were new to us, such as PHP, TS, and STRINGS. The files for localization contained not only text, but also elements of code and string IDs. By setting filters in the memoQ CAT tool, we were able to select and import just what needed to be translated and exclude almost all of the code. The remaining elements of code we “hid” from the translators, locking them up in memoQ tags. And this was not by accident. Now, members of the team who were not actual programmers had no access to the code, which meant that the risk of damage to the code was reduced to practically zero. The result was that none of the code was harmed in the localization process.

But even though we “hide” the code from the translators, we remain vigilant. And one of the project’s special features is that elements of code often carry a context that influences the meaning of the text. The tags may be hiding line breaks or HTML codes for special characters — these cannot be ignored, but rather must be deleted or changed based on the rules of the target language. For example, where in English the text Don't record video occurs, the ' is the symbol for an apostrophe in HTML. So for the translation into Spanish, the apostrophe is not needed. The character should be deleted and the words translated: No grabar vídeo. Tricky elements also come up in a text, such as placeholders and functions where the application places specific values in the interface. An example would be pluralization in PHP, which specifies the correct word ending according to a numeral. Consider the phrase in English Last {n} day, where {n} is replaced with a numeral depending on certain conditions. The ending on the noun day will change when the numerical value changes (last day, last 6 days). In Spanish it’s a bit more complicated: endings will change not only on the noun, but also on the adjective (último día, últimos 6 días), like in Russian (последний день, последние 6 дней, последние 3 дня). And then we need to take into account more variations of a noun ending in Russian (день, дней, дня). On the other hand, many Oriental languages, such as Japanese, have no plural form at all, so for these languages there would be no difference (過去日, 過去 6 日). All of this requires additional context and extreme care on the part of translators and editors. So at the very beginning of the project, we agreed with Ivideon to jointly maintain a special Google sheet where any member of the localization team may ask a question and receive a response from the developers. The spreadsheet still exists to this day, and has grown to encompass all our languages of localization.

Context in the translation of interfaces

Without context, a good translation of an application interface is not possible. A text can be played with this way and that, based on different interpretations of its meaning. As an example, a segment containing the English word Open, which seems quite simple at first glance, may be translated into Spanish as Abrir or Abierto, depending on whether the word is a label on a button or a message describing a current condition. Without context, we could spend a lot of time guessing, while the true meaning is waiting somewhere nearby.

First, to give our team members access to the context, we asked them to install an application on their mobile device or computer and then set up an Ivideon account — our clients gladly connected us with cameras for the purpose. Then we created special guides for our team to give an overview of the basic functions of the PC applications Ivideon Client and Ivideon Server, and of the mobile versions of Ivideon Client on the iOS and Android platforms. Now translators and editors spend much less time getting familiar with the basic features of the application being localized. And of course, our nice little spreadsheet for questions, which helps us to clarify all the essential nuances, is always kept up-to-date on the project.

Testing candidates for the team

For all language pairs, we looked for translators and editors that work in the area of video surveillance and that have more than one localization project in their portfolios, along with experience translating marketing materials.

With our client’s approval, we created a test for team candidates based on localization materials we already had on hand. To evaluate the tests for multilingual localization, we brought in experienced experts who had already proven themselves in All Correct Games.

The Ivideon team on the challenges and what’s most interesting

Federico, English-to-Italian editor:

“For me the most difficult aspect was certainly keeping consistency throughout the project. We had to work on a large number of files in a long period of time (~18 months, I think) with at least 2 translators and 2 reviewers (All Correct employees), so it was quite hard to try to keep everything consistent and homogeneous.”

İpek, English-to-Turkish translator:

“I really enjoy being a part of this project. Everything runs very smoothly, my contacts at All Correct are true professionals, and it is a pleasure working with them. It is satisfying for me to contribute to such a useful product as well.”

Jürgen, English-to-German translator:

“It was very interesting to get to know how far advanced remote surveillance actually has become and how easily you can manage and control your cameras on various sites and locations by using cloud connectivity.

I learned that there are sound and motion detectors in various modern webcams that can differentiate between normal movements like bushes swaying in the wind and suspicious movements like a human being walking in front of these bushes.”

Nuno, English-to-Portuguese editor:

“As with most app/web content localization, I believe one of the biggest difficulties was being 100% sure of where/how a given string would be used. Sometimes it’s something as simple as using the correct verb tenses (which might change if we’re translating an expression that will be shown in a button or in the middle of a larger text), but that makes a huge difference in the final output.

The issue with ‘not knowing how the strings would be used’ was minimized since we were given access to the mobile app, which (sometimes) allowed us to correctly view how the strings would in fact be used.

I always end up learning something new with each project. In this case, apart from learning about the product itself, I was also able to improve my translation/proofreading skills with HTML texts. Translation of web/app contents is always different from other types of translations, especially due to the way HTML tags affect the final output.”

Sophie, English-to-French translator:

“It was interesting because the product and the system are interesting, and it was fun to discover all the possibilities and functions.”

Maira, English-to-Spanish translator:

“I loved working on it because I felt I could control the whole translation from start to finish. Also, I could install and try all the applications involved and use them as reference, which is not always the case when localizing software products.

I learnt there is a fantastic free video surveillance suite that now I plan to use for my own purposes.”

Victoria, English-to-Spanish editor:

“The All Correct team always provide a way to ask the client for clarification (a screenshot of the word in the app, for instance), which is extremely useful and helps ensure maximum quality.”

Client comments

Alexei Kizya, Ivideon localization manager:

All Сorrect has been our main contractor for translations for the past year and a half. Their estimates and all accompanying project documentation are very transparent. Throughout this time, their work was accepted without any substantial conflicts. Even though projects were coming in from a variety of different channels (work taking place through third-party cloud translation services and direct exchange of files), all the original and translated materials were in perfect order. The glossaries and translation memories were available to us whenever we asked for them. As a contractor, All Correct was very responsive to technical changes, and in the process of our work we were able to easily start interacting through cloud translation services, change the format of string files for our mobile application, maintain translation repositories for web projects, and so on. And by the way, their expertise in several areas really suited us: in naming products (identifying negative and positive connotations), in the typography of various languages (line breaks, text spacing, lists, and so on), and in putting together a style guide that has governed all of our texts in English.
We have run the work through our task-checking system and testing tools (Jira and Testrail) without any problems.
For me as a localization manager, it was a big plus to be able to rely on All Correct as a contractor and to plan project tasks and budgets months in advance.
Along with its high quality of work, the All Correct team has demonstrated impressive operational efficiency. Tasks like translating release notes for a hotfix into 10 languages before the next day, or translating an extensive presentation in one day for potential partners that we met at an international trade show, were completed without any problems. And that’s great!

Ivideon

The startup Ivideon was founded in 2010. The cloud service now counts more than 2 million users around the world, as a partner to leading manufacturers of video surveillance cameras.

It’s the innovative product of a Russian team of engineers, combining mass Internet service technologies with the latest developments in the video surveillance and monitoring industry. Now Ivideon is a global leader in the area of cloud video surveillance.

All Correct Translations

All Correct Translations is a division of the All Correct Group providing translation and interpreting in the oil and gas, chemical, automobile, IT, and other industries.

The All Correct Group, which is headquartered in Dublin, was founded in 2006. The production office is located in Samara (Russia). The guiding mission for All Correct Translations is to provide business clients with translations to and from Russian that are critical to their business processes and ready for use.

The All Correct Group helps develop translation and localization standards within the ISO, GALA, and IGDA, and is also a member of the Union of Translators of Russia and GALA.


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