Mobile App Localization?

It’s been trending for the past 2 decades ─ from marketers to app developers to every and each app localization company. And this is quite natural, with mobile apps increasingly becoming universal and used by people of all ages, races, colors, and genders all over the world.

Quite logical, and if you have any doubt about the trend, take these two crushing figures:

  1. There Are over 2.7 billion smartphone users on our planet.
  2. Ninety percent of mobile time is spent on mobile applications.

So, what is the mobile app Localization?

What Are Application Localization Services?

We’re answering this question against a background of a constantly changing mobile app market, where marketers and mobile app developers are striving hard to create strategies that increase mobile apps’ exposure and boost both visibility and downloads.

With this in mind, we can conclusively define mobile localization as the process of adjusting a mobile application in terms of interface and functionality so that it may cater to the needs of end-users who belong to numerous regions and cultures ─ and speak different languages.

From the perspective of marketers, however, mobile app localization is all about delivering a smooth, thrilling “mobile user experience” that resonates with the prospective users of mobile apps in overseas markets ─ targeting people who have multilingual and multicultural backgrounds all over the world.

At the end of the day, if you succeed in leveraging app localization services, your mobile app will gain access to millions, and potentially billions, of new users, who will download an app that:

  •       Keeps the original intent and functionality of the original app.
  •       Pays full attention to technical, linguistic, and cultural differences.
  •       Has a look, feel, and function as if it was originally created for the new target audience.

And it will definitely pay off!

Why is Mobile Localization Vital?

Yes, we need to ask these central questions. Why should smart app developers localize their apps? Why should a global-minded app development fall back on app localization services to extend its footprint into more and more geographical areas? In a world that is going mobile, why should a mobile developer partner with an expert app localization company? Let’s dive deeper to see the reasons.

1-Increase App Visibility  

When it comes to Apple Store and Google Play, they both offer options for developers to localize their app listings to achieve higher discoverability for global users. Consequently, more users can find the app with the use of keywords in their mother tongue and thus will be more likely to download the app.

2-Enhance Global User Experience

The majority of user activity on smartphones takes place nowadays in applications rather than browsers. With this in mind, the thrill of an app lies in its ability to speak the language of users. If the app provides global users with an exciting experience, each one of them will become an ambassador recommending the app to others. 

3-Enter New Markets

It’s a true and tried recipe. You won’t get users to download your app in new foreign markets unless you localize it. This is the easiest pathway to global markets.

4-Increase your ROI

Also, when you partner with a professional app localization company, the direct result is that you’ll be reaching more app users, and, consequently, you’ll generate more revenues. In fact, you get extra downloads, and thus additional dollars, with each language you add to your application.  

Benefits of Mobile Localization

So, what benefits will you, as a mobile app developer, reap when you localize your app? Let’s list them in order of importance.

  1.     Increase the visibility of your app in the Google Play Store and App Store.
  2.     Improve user experience.
  3.     Expand into new markets all over the world.
  4.     Increase app sales.
  5.     Increase your revenue and bottom line. 

Which Languages Should You Localize Into?

In all honesty, the answer to this question depends on the type and marketing strategy related to your mobile application. However, let’s frankly admit that the largest market for applications, at present, is China. Therefore, localizing your mobile app into Mandarin Chinese is a great decision.

As for other languages to localize into, you can see in the following list a sort of guide to where to go down the road.

  •       English — USA, UK, Australia, Canada
  •       Japanese — Japan
  •       Hindi — India
  •       Russian — Russia
  •       Korean — South Korea
  •       German — Germany

.     French – France

  •       Spanish — Mexico, Argentina
  •       Portuguese — Brazil
  •       Indonesian — Indonesia

.     Arabic – Arabic countries

 .    Main African languages – Swahili, Afrikaans, Zulu, Somali, Xhosa, Amharic, Hausa, Yoruba

Yet, you need to remember that this decision always depends on your specific needs and budget.

The Mobile Localization Process

At AfroLingo, the “process” plays a great role in the final quality of your mobile app localization project. However, though certain stages may differ from project to project, we generally follow the below process for mobile localization.

First – Project Assessment

We always start by carrying out a general assessment of our client’s mobile application. This step involves an evaluation of the project’s technical complexity, amount of work, and lead time. The assessment aims to demonstrate the extent of localization required and how to cater to your time frame and specs.  

Second – Analysis and Strings Extraction

At this stage, we check whether the source content is multiple languages ready and that the app’s code is written to allow you to create versions of your product in other languages with ease and low cost.

Third – Internationalization

Before you localize, you need to conduct “internalization”, which has the following workflow:

  1.     You will extract User Interface UI strings from your app code. You separate the textual content into an external file. This will enable you to tweak and adjust the content without changing any of the code itself. This specific type of external file is known as a “resource file.”
  2.     You create multiple resource files and translate the text in each file. You will then have one resource file for each language. Name and store each file appropriately, so that the system can understand which language each external file refers to. Now, when a user opens your app, the smartphone OS will load whichever language resource file is closest to the user’s language setting.

Fourth – Translation and Localization

Then, our team translators around the globe will translate and localize all textual content.

Fifth – Translation Review

Professional linguists then engage in reviewing and editing the translated texts to ensure maximum accuracy and quality.

Sixth – Linguistic Testing

The linguistic team then conducts linguistic testing of a localized version of your app to locate any linguistic errors which might have emerged after the implementation of localized content. With this, they make sure that all localized texts are compatible.

Seventh – Operational Testing

Then, test engineers and programmers will have to conduct an operational test of the localized app to fix bugs and make sure that the look and feel as well as functionality are faultless.

Eighth – Customer Feedback

The customer will then provide feedback.

Ninth – Implementation of Client Feedback and Final Delivery

The final stage involves implementing all of the client’s feedback. Then we send the packed files of the localized mobile app to the client.

Tips for Mobile App Localization

If you, as a mobile app developer, wish to go global, it’s a must that you should localize your app, everything in it from UI to app title, short description, long description, screenshots, and everything else. In the following lines, let’s have a look at a few tips for the success of mobile app localization.

First – Mobile Localization Should Have a Definite Strategy

Certainly, you want to ensure from the outset that your investment in mobile app localization will be bearing fruit. So, you need, and have, to define a clear app localization strategy before you start off.

For example, you should decide which languages you’ll be localizing into. This decision, no doubt, should not be based on the list of popular languages or the languages that your team love! Rather, it should be based on intensive market research that enables you to have a full picture of your target market, your buyer persona, and the other factors that ensure the success of your mobile localization effort. 

Second – Localization Planning Ahead of App Design

Do you want to know the fastest pathway to mobile localization failure (to get around it)? Your project is doomed to failure if you deal with mobile app localization as an afterthought. The fact is, you have to plan for this strategic effort during the early stages of your app design. 

For example, you should internationalize before you localize. Internationalization is setting up the mobile app for adapting to various locales. So, a mobile app that has been “internationalized” can be effortlessly “localized,” and will look as if it was a native app.

Third – Context is a Must for Translators

Honestly, the translators of your mobile app are not necessarily aware of everything you already know about your app in terms of user interface, user experience, functionalities, etc. Therefore, to ensure the success of the whole process, you need to provide them with as much “context” as possible so that they can produce clear and high-quality content.

Fourth – The Importance of Testing

Testing plays a vital role in the success of your mobile app localization strategy. You need to ensure that the layout on every screen is good. Also, you have to test the app using numerous devices and screen sizes.

Further, the app localization company you’ll be partnering with should have a localization app tester who is fluent in the language you localize into. He or she must check such localization issues as user interface issues, untranslated strings, errors, etc.


Why AfroLingo?

At AfroLingo, we don’t take you into the unknown, but, rather, we empower your app development business, small or big, to bring your products to new audiences in new markets all over the world. But in what way are we different from others?

We’re proud of our team of professional translators who work day and night to deliver second-to-none app localization services that put you on top of all competitors.

Also, at AfroLingo, you’ll find the quickest turnaround times in the entire app development industry. When it comes to an urgent project, you’ll get your project done faster than you may imagine or expect. 

When it comes to technology, we leverage the most advanced translation management system (TMS) in the whole industry, which automates much of the app translation process and ensures accuracy, consistency, and high quality.


Frequently Asked Questions About Mobile Localization

Last but not least, we’ve collected the questions that our clients frequently ask about our app localization services. Let’s dive deeper into them. 

Which languages should I choose for localizing my app? 

Overall, the most popular languages that developers localize into are Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. However, this business decision should be made by app developers on a case-by-case basis based upon such factors as the app developer’s budget and target audiences.   

Can we have one mobile application and try to sell it everywhere in all markets? 

Big no! The facts of life are against this. Mobile app users are more likely to pick the apps that have been localized for their language and culture.

Are app localization services necessary and why?

In fact, they’re fundamental and vital for the business success of any mobile app developer. Professional mobile app localization is an asset for developers who wish to reach target audiences in specific foreign markets.

How long does it take to translate my app?

This depends on the volume of the text in your software.

Do you offer proofreading services for google play app and android app translation?

Yes, we do.

Do you have a maximum or minimum size for projects?

We do any project of any size.

Which formats do you support?

All formats.

Who will translate my app?

AfroLingo takes pride in a professional team of translators who have rock-solid, extensive experience in this field. We do translation, proofreading, editing, and review. This aims to ensure accuracy and quality for the content of your mobile app.