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Best practices#

Our platform is currently available in multiple languages, which increases our responsibility of writing and maintaining excellent localized content. When writing microcopy, keep in mind that the meaning you’re trying to convey and the words you choose must be translation-friendly. Follow the guidelines below to draft and edit content that is ready to be localized.

  • Context is key

Our ecommerce universe has a very particular vocabulary. For translators to create excellent content, UX writers must give them as much context as possible. Check out our Process page to access the Localization Request Checklist.

  • Localization isn’t translating word for word

We translate meaning, not words. Even if you’re bilingual, be careful not to translate microcopy word for word. Connotation, tone and grammar all differ between regions.

  • Character count matters

As UX writers, we create microcopy for users to see on screens. We have limited space to write on, and not every language uses the same amount of characters to convey the same ideas. Make sure you design screens flexible enough to include languages that take up more space. Also make sure you take into consideration how a certain phrase will look like in other languages.

Localization process#

Although we advise that UX Writers only publish microcopy in their native language, the first draft should be done in EN. The Localization team's translation tools and processes start from the EN versions, so UX writing should follow its lead.

  1. Write microcopy in English.
  2. Request a proofread from the Localization team.
  3. Review the microcopy.
  4. Request translation for other Admin locales from the Localizatin team.

Localization request checklist#

For VTEX employees, all translation requests must be sent through the localization team’s Google forms. You can find the link, and directions pinned on the #localization channel on Slack.

When determining a screen’s deploy date, be mindful of the time it takes for content to be translated. We suggest that you send translation requests within 2 weeks before your deadline.

Use this checklist to help you build a thorough localization request:

  1. Provide already edited microcopy.
  2. Give the localization team access to Figma files, or screenshots of where the microcopy will be located on screen.
  3. Provide lots of context around the microcopy. Some questions you can answer:
    - What is this button’s expected behavior?  - What is the message you're trying to convey?    - What does this word mean, in our VTEX context?      - What is the action the user is trying to accomplish?