App localization is the process of translating your app to different languages. Why is it necessary? It’s simple. Not everyone speaks English. So if you want to roll out your app into places where English isn’t the main language, get a better understanding of the languages spoken in those countries.
It’s also very important to understand that when two countries are speaking the same language, say for example, the UK and the US, it doesn’t mean that they’re speaking exactly the same language because there are notable differences even within the same language. Same words may have different meanings or different usage in different places.
When you come to the topic: translation, it’s imperative that you don’t fully trust Google Translate. For example: If you wish to translate the word “download”, Google Translate will show that the Spanish version is “Descargar”, the German version is “downloaden” but the native Hawaiian version is “Like Like Like.” Now you know that there are some questionable results in Google Translate.
This is one of the several issues that are likely to crop up if you don’t localize your apps. In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of app localization and the ways to get it correct.
What Is App Localization?
App localization is a refining process. It’s a process that has the ability to determine your success outside your app’s place of origin. It’s the process of adapting the app to a particular culture, language, and market, etc.
If you want your app to succeed globally, then you have to add culturally appropriate symbols or icons. Say for example, something might be innocuous to your audience in the US but could be offensive to other countries. If you keep such symbols in those areas, your app might have to suffer. Understanding cultural preferences and getting the intricacies of language correctly is what app localization is all about. It’s vital because it can make you or break you in the global market.
Why Is App Localization Important?
This strategy is important if you want to launch your app globally. The global audience is diverse with different languages, preferences and idioms. While making your app global, you have to capture these little details. Starting from currencies to measurement units or idiomatic expressions, app localization will enable you to get localized versions of the app, appropriate for that geographical audience.
If you’re successful in doing this, then you’re all set to launch your app globally. If it’s appealing to localized audiences all over the world, you’re in for tremendous success.
Localization Tips For Mobile Apps
You know by now that Google Translate is not the solution. So to avoid embarrassment by translating Download into “like like like”, you can keep these changes in mind to make your mobile-app localization successful.
- Correct translations of any language.
- If applicable, remember to change the currency or add currency options.
- Legal differences should be kept in mind.
- Have localized keyboard options or assign the correct keyboard for different languages/places.
- Check icons, images or symbols and rectify if they’re culturally distasteful in specific locations.
Another important detail is to localize your keyword translation process. Direct keyword translations done from Google Translate may give you the correct word but not necessarily the preferred or most-used one. For instance, direct keyword translation search will lead to formal/actual words like “Inexpensive”, “Automobile”, and “Weekend activities with children” rather than “cheap”, “car”, or “weekend activities with kids”, respectively.
App Localization Gone Wrong
There are a ton of language and cultural differences. Sometimes, these intricate details are overbearing and tricky. Many brands fail to optimize their business because of their failure in this area.
The localization process has led to hilarious mishaps from time to time. For instance, Pepsi’s slogan, “Come alive with Pepsi Generation” became “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in China.
But it’s not with language alone. The “rock on” emoji denotes fun in the US. But it’s offensive to people in Italy, Greece, Spain, Argentina and Brazil.
So, it’s imperative to do your research before you make hilarious mistakes and risk your app’s future.
Internationalization vs. Localization
Both are used to mean the same thing, but there’s a subtle difference to note. Internationalization tells you whether the structure of your app is capable of being translated in other languages. It’s a pre-launch consideration. App builders have to be conscious of this criterion if they want to make their app global. However, Localization is a post-launch phenomenon. Once you have created your app which can be internationalized, you can go for app localization.
Internationalization involves developing and designing the app in such a way that it supports bidirectional text (required if you want to switch to Japanese) and non-Latin alphabets. It also helps in gathering data regarding location-specific preferences and so on.
The gist is that an internationalized app doesn’t mean it’s localized. Localization is an intricate detailing process which comes after you’ve built your app capable of including global differences.
Localization As A Growth Strategy
If you’re set in an English-speaking country and your app becomes popular in several countries that do not speak English, you’ll know that your app localization process is successful. There are a few ways to grow using app localization.
- The best way to guarantee proper localization is to involve people from those countries in the process. They can be of aid in pointing out culture-specific details which may be difficult for you to gather otherwise.
- Keeping one ear to the ground: This is an effective strategy. You can keep yourself up-to-date with the platforms to see where your app is being discussed or check out people’s reactions to it. You can also check out recommendation sites and check your app status there.
- Before localizing your app, analyze global adoption trends to check which locations are generating interest for your app.
- Make sure whether you can make your localized app popular in those areas based on local preferences and interests.
- Test your localized app before running it in the global market. This way, you can review your product, take feedback from people belonging to different locations and hit the market without having to face embarrassment or failure.
Here’s all you need to know about app localization. Let us know if this was helpful for you.