Localization Case Study
Kissflow
Today's businesses are constantly changing and evolving. But to be successful and stay competitive, business needs to be more agile. And this is where simple work platforms such as Kissflow come to help. It is a unified work management platform with capabilities for app development, process management, task management, data management, integrations, analytics, and collaboration by embracing the low-code/no-code paradigm.


In this case study, we will describe how this platform works and how the Inlingo team localized it into 10 languages.
About the Project
The unified Kissflow platform enables business users to take control of their own digital needs while IT leaders can continue to provide a secure and scalable platform for digital growth. For example, if the admin of an organization wants to create an application for ID cards and an Access Request process, they can simply go to Kissflow and either choose from the available existing templates or create one from scratch using the drag-and-drop interface. At the same time, if they want further customisation to the interface or integrations with existing systems, IT can come in and help customize it.
Kissflow has customers across many industries including banking and finance, retail, oil and gas, logistics and supply chain, healthcare, and manufacturing.

The work platform offers a simple intuitive interface for business users and citizen developers to create applications, optimize & automate processes. It also provides capabilities for IT to customize these applications, process, integrate them with different apps and processes. The Platform also has strong chat and collaboration capabilities to tackle internal communication challenges.
platforms
Countries
Users
1
160
Kissflow in figures
platform
counries
organizations
users
1
160
10 000
1 000 000
The idea of simplicity and versatility is also reflected in the design of the platform. The team uses the signature Kissflow colors and predominantly simple geometric shapes, making the space stylish while being understandable. In order for every text to be readable at first glance, all products use the Graphik font, which is a vital part of the Kissflow style.
Our Kissflow Platform Localization Process
Inlingo and Kissflow had their first encounter in October 2020. The development team made a request for the project to be localized from English to Japanese and sent a test assignment. The assignment amounted to only 50 words which had to be translated in line with IT terminology and style.
  • Aleksandr Baranov
    Inlingo Business Development Lead
    The test assignment turned out to be really small, which is why we decided to provide several translations. We prepared four stylistically different versions so that the client could choose the one that suits them best. The Kissflow developers decided that one of them was appropriate, so we passed the Japanese language test.
Once the test stage was complete, the Inlingo team started the translation of the whole text. In order to facilitate a better mutual understanding, our manager called the client to discuss the details and told them about the company's experience of working on similar projects, described the production process and discussed the fine points of our cooperation. For instance, only those translators who passed the test assignment worked on the Kissflow project itself as we had agreed not to change those who would work on the project.
  • Sergei Shabailov
    Inlingo Localization Manager
    The Kissflow team originally wanted to order a machine translation of their application which would be post-edited. However, we understood that IT projects require a special approach that only a human could provide. There are many specialized terms and nuances which have to be taken into account when translating into other languages. This was the exact reason why we concentrated on flexibility and creativity. We paid a lot of attention to the selection of translators as they had to have an excellent understanding of the specific features of this project.

    When we were selecting the team for Kissflow, we focused on those factors which were important to us: experience in IT translation, good reviews, a record of reliably keeping to deadlines and of course the successful completion of the test assignment. It was important to the developers that those who worked on the project remained the same, as it allowed for a consistent style to be preserved.
In order to make it easier for the translators to get involved in the process, the Kissflow team sent us a product presentation and a training video. Inlingo successfully completed the Japanese version, which is why the developers offered us to translate the project into another 9 languages:
French
German
Arabic
Vietnamese
Spanish
Brazilian
Polish
Korean
Russian
New languages do not appear in the application by accident — users from around the world send requests to Kissflow about using their work platform. This is why the translation process does not just take place under the careful supervision of the development team but also with the consideration of the wishes of future users.

In order to simplify the working process, the Inlingo team created a style guide for each language, which is a compilation of rules that must be followed so that the translation is consistent. They depend on the grammar, punctuation and culture of the speakers of that language. Information is now stored in one place, and it is easy to use in case the translator has a question.
languages
words per language
year of work
translators
10
71 000
1
10
Localization of Kissflow is…
project managers
3
business development manager
1
The Kissflow project is still being worked on today. Localization has had a direct effect on the success of the project, with each new language increasing the sales volume by 25%.
Localization Examples
When we adapt a project for a new audience, we always come across interesting cases for which we must find solutions. The localization of the Kissflow's work platform was no exception The subject of IT also requires additional expert knowledge. We are going to describe the challenges that we faced and how we found the solutions to them.
Loanwords VS Native Korean Terminology
Anglicisms are very widespread in the modern Korean language and especially in software. There is a transliterated Korean analogue for practically any English word. However, interfaces that use words of native Korean origin look more natural for Korean users. Knowing this, the Inlingo team made the decision to use them.
  • Elizaveta Kitavnina
    Inlingo Korean Language Editor
    Let's use the word "task" as an example, as it is one of the most frequently used words in online trackers. Instead of using the loanword "태스크" we used the Korean word "업무" every time. The translation creates a better impression on native speakers this way.
French Terminology
The French are very respectful of the purity of their native language and do not tolerate loanwords. A great example that demonstrates this is the translation of "Apple ID". The French version of this established IOS term is "Identifiant Apple".
While we were working on the project, we came across the "SCIM" abbreviation. In order to correctly translate it into French, we researched it and found out that "SCIM" is localized by keeping the abbreviation itself in English, while providing its expanded form in French. This is what it looks like on CrowdIn:
Daria Chertovskikh
Inlingo French Language Editor
We also checked the texts which were translated into French before the developers started working with Inlingo. We discovered words which required correction. For instance, the phrase "Go to Team" was translated as "Aller à Équipe".

The translator noticed that capitalization in French was not as frequent as that in English. The definite article was missing as well. This is how the team confirmed the more appropriate version of the translation as "Aller à l'équipe".
Addressing the User
Korean is a language which clearly reflects social hierarchy, which is why translators paid special attention to their choice of form of address towards the user. It is important to create the impression of a friendly environment, while retaining a respectful tone.
  • Elizaveta Kitavnina
    Inlingo Korean Language Editor
    We decided to use the "귀하" pronoun, which is one of the most respectful forms of address. It was only used in those cases where the user had to be addressed directly. We had to avoid using the "you" pronoun in other cases, as Koreans practically never use it.
Truncated Phrases in the Localization Kit
Some of the lines in the Localization Kit were split into separate words instead of sentences. In this case, there isn't always enough context for a translation. The variety of word forms in the Russian language forced the team to ask many questions for clarification, all in order for the translation to be correct.
  • Marina Efanova
    Russian Language Editor at Inlingo
    We asked for examples of use for every section of this kind. This is important in order to avoid errors with the gender of adjectives, noun cases and verb forms in the Russian language.

    For instance, the "Sign Up" line could be translated as "зарегистрироваться", "зарегистрируйтесь", or even "регистрация". There were times when the line only consisted of the "ON" preposition. We understand that it is used to indicate time, but this is not enough for a translation into Russian. The statements "on Monday", "on Mondays" and "on February 14" would look completely different:

    "on Monday" — "в понедельник";
    "on Mondays" — "по понедельникам";
    "on February 14" — "14-го февраля".

    In the end, we used a colon in the Russian translation to avoid confusion.

    (Something will happen) on (Monday/ February 14)

    (Что-то должно произойти) : (Понедельник/14 февраля)
This trick was also used when a noun followed a number — X days can mean "2 дня" or "5 дней". In order to avoid case mismatches, we used the "д." abbreviation instead of the full form of "дня/дней".
Items — what does this mean?
The general interface elements are especially interesting, like the word "Items". The issue is that it is very generalized, and it can mean practically anything. Here is the comment which the translation team received regarding this word:

"If you enter anything in Kissflow, it's an item."

It was very important to retain the broad semantics of this concept. When choosing between "objects" and "elements" for the translation into Russian, the team decided to use "objects". as it allowed for consistency with previous translations that also used this variant to be retained.
  • Aleksandr Dyubenko
    Japanese and Russian Language Editor at Inlingo
    In our conversation with the client, we found out that these "items" can be subdivided into "tasks", "requests" and other elements. An understanding of this hierarchy was essential to keep to the logic of the translations in those cases where it was not obvious from the text itself:

    {{flow_name}} - {{action_user}} assigned {{item_id}} to you.

    {{flow_name}} — {{action_user}} назначил(а) вам объект {{item_id}}.

    In order to keep the translation grammatically correct, it was necessary for us to add an explanation before the placeholder, because the Dative case in Russian would have required case changes in the placeholder itself (at least for Feminine nouns).

    We knew that in this system, the object could be a task, so we understood that the use of the verb "assign" — "назначить" remained appropriate. However, the concept of an "object" is broader than that of a "task", which meant that the safest option was for us to use "object" as a complement.
Results:
  • 1
    We translated 71 000 words into 10 languages
  • 2
    The sales volume increases by 25% whenever each new language localization is released
  • 3
    We created a style guide of its own for every language, which allowed us to keep consistent with the same translation style throughout the text
  • 4
    We used an individual approach to every new language, considering the nuances of the translation and the cultural features of its future users.
Case Study Credits:
  • Aleksandr Baranov
    Business Development Lead
  • Sergey Shabailov
    Localization Manager
  • Elizaveta Kitavnina
    Korean Language Editor
  • Daria Chertovskikh
    French Language Editor
  • Marina Efanova
    Russian Language Editor
  • Aleksandr Dyubenko
    Japanese and Russian Language Editor
  • Sergey Savchenko
    Marketing manager
  • Arina Gridneva
    Case study author and editor
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