I was going through the claims of a company that specializes in 'localizing software, web properties and mobile apps without touching the source code' and the idea appeared revolutionary indeed. It is tempting to access the uppermost layer of a software at OS level and dynamically translate interface contents. If the software is not a legacy one in the real sense and supports modern encodings the trick might work resulting in a win-win situation for the client, the localization service provider and the user. However, if the solution belongs to the pre-Unicode era, the entire exercise may turn out to be fruitless given the fact that you can only touch the interface and not the internal structure of the software.
Unless the code, the database and the input systems support modern day encodings (Unicode, UTF-8 and so on) the localization exercise is not going to serve any useful purpose. It would create an entity that wears Indian cloths but does not speak or understand Indian language. No input, no output, no data storage and no processing in Indian languages. On the face of it, everything would appear localized as the dynamic localizer layer would come into play but dig a bit deeper and everything would come out to be plain hollow.
Unfortunately some companies are making it big by misleading government organizations into granting projects to localize legacy projects (even if there is no source code available). I recently met a few government officials fuming at this kind of localization, at the 10th World Hindi Conference held in Bhopal. The big money spent by their organization on getting its legacy solutions localized had actually resulted in a farce.
The officials had no words to express their helplessness as their legacy ERPs, CRMs and System Management Solutions looked perfectly localized from outside but they had no way to input Indic text properly. The menus and dialog boxes were in Indic but they could not process, store or use localized data. Ironically, due to the external appearance the projects had been considered as 'duly localized' and the payments had been accordingly released.