How To Localize A Mobile App?

A successful mobile app will make the user forget the app that was ever designed for anywhere else but their country. So, how is this achieved? Read on!

The Mobile App Localization Process

The mobile app will go through the Translation, Editing and Proofreading (TEP) Process to make sure that all the linguistic and cultural expectations are met. When it comes to apps, there are specific content types that will go through this TEP Process:

  • In-App Content: This includes all the textual content the user is exposed to inside the app itself. In-App content localization start with translating the “Resource File” which is typically based on a JSON, XLIFF or.XML Interchange file format.
  • Non-String Content: this includes non-textual content such as video, audio, numbers, and currency.
  • App Store Content: Since this content can often determine if a user will purchase/download or not, it is pretty essential as well. This type of content includes text, but also localized keywords so users can find your app, screenshots, app previews, videos, and sign-up flows.

What You Should Share With Your LSP 

You are also part of the localization process! It is important that you contextualize your Mobile App by sharing useful information with your LSP so they will understand what your app is all about. This includes:

  • Screenshots of special features
  • Comments to the strings
  • Letting the translators download the app, if possible, so they can go ahead and test it out for themselves

Continuous Localization: What It Is And Why It Matters

Mobile App localization is a continuous process. You will add features and make changes all the time, and your translation should go with it so that miscommunications and errors can be avoided.

To facilitate this process, your LSP will make use of a Translation Management System (TMS) and Translation (CAT) tools. With a TMS & CAT tool, productivity will increase, and costs will be cut and they will make sure that:

  • The new content is flawlessly extracted and the translation is properly inserted.
  • The teams can collaborate efficiently
  • A Translation Memory (TM) is set in place so that the translations will be archived and you will never pay for the same translation twice.

Mobile App QA Testing

Prior to the release, the app should be tested. Ideally, this will include both Smoke Tests and Beta Tests to confirm that the added languages don’t undermine the performance.

Once the app is published and released, you can launch international marketing strategies to get your app out there. In order to always keep improving, make sure to enable User Feedback and use the comments, reviews, questions, and requests as a baseline for any future changes to be implemented.

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