The tremendous growth of the mobile app market is one of the top tech phenomena of our century. Recent research shows that there are currently over 3.6 billion mobile users around the globe. However, if your app is only available in English, there is a large vacant market of potential users who won't buy your app if it's not available in their native language. (Actually, the immense market growth is a result of downloads and revenue from Europe and East Asia -- countries that do not primarily speak English or where English literacy rate is low.) Some big companies out there have understood this and they are looking to succeed in this competitive environment by developing mobile apps that not only cater to their home market but are now crossing the borders to an international clientele.
But how do you adapt your English-language app to launch in different markets or geographies? By tailoring the app to fit the foreign market without losing its initial objective or usability. In other words, localization.
Get your app ready for localization
Keep in mind that content length can greatly vary after translating - in fact, your message can sometimes become up to 60% longer! This is why one of the essential things to pay attention to before localizing your app content is text expansion. Moreover, you’ll need to be careful to anticipate text of all orientations -- just think about the languages that are read vertically (e.g. Chinese or Japanese) or those that are read right-to-left (such as Hebrew and Arabic).
Next thing is to make sure to a create a language glossary (abbreviations and acronyms, compound noun phrases, words that stay in English - like terms with a copyright, universally accepted jargon) and set up a translation memory. This is extremely important when more than one translator works on a project.
Also, think twice about symbols or colors that may have cultural, religious or political implications. The last thing you’d want for your ''cutting-edge'' graphics is to turn out to be offensive or vexing in some markets.
It’s important to remember also that the more comprehensive your style guide (like intended tone, brand guidelines etc.), the more it will help the translator(s) deliver on-brand, localized mobile app content.
App localization - Who's going to do it?
Who will localize your app? Do you pull together a team of scattered freelancers? Take the risk and use internal resources with no translation background? Or hire a multi-language service provider like All In Translations?
Assuming you decide to hire us and use our services to localize your mobile app, we guarantee that our translators are all tried-and-tested native speakers and all have extensive experience in the country where the source language is spoken. They know how to customize your mobile app to specified locale or region without losing brand identity and consistency.
Contact us at email@example.com and Michele Spiteri, our Sales Executive, will explain in detail how we can help you take your app global.