GTE Localize

Top 9 App Localization Best Practices for Business

Posted by Chloe G. on July 05, 2023.

Mobile applications have become a fundamental part of our daily lives. As developers, reaching a global audience is crucial for the success of our apps. One of the key strategies to achieve this is through effective app localization. This blog post will delve into app localization best practices, covering various aspects from planning and preparation to testing and partnership.  

1. Start With The Top Used Languages Online

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To maximize your app’s reach, it is essential to begin with the most widely spoken languages online. English, Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic are among the top languages with a massive user base. However, your choice of target languages should also align with your app’s purpose and potential user demographics. Research the language preferences of your target audience to ensure you prioritize the most impactful languages.


2. Chart a Plan

Localization is not a one-time task; it requires a well-thought-out plan. Create a comprehensive roadmap that outlines all the necessary steps, deadlines, and responsibilities involved in the process. Establish clear objectives and set achievable milestones. Consider factors such as budget, time constraints, and resource availability while devising the plan.

Begin by defining the primary objectives of app localization. Are you aiming to expand into new markets, increase user engagement, or boost revenue through global reach? Clearly outline your goals, as they will influence the languages you choose to support, the level of localization required, and the timeline for implementation.

Target Languages and Regions: Research and identify the target languages and regions where you plan to localize your app. Consider factors such as language popularity, user demographics, market demand, and cultural compatibility. Prioritize languages that align with your app’s purpose and have a sizable user base.


3. Follow Platform Guidelines

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Each app platform (iOS, Android, etc.) has its own set of guidelines for localization. Adhering to these guidelines will help ensure consistency and compatibility across different platforms and devices. Follow best practices for string externalization and use localization frameworks provided by the platform to streamline the process.


4. Externalize Translatable Content From Code

Avoid hardcoding text directly into your app’s code. Instead, externalize all translatable content, such as user interface text, into resource files. This enables easy management of translated content and facilitates updates without requiring code changes. Utilize string resource files for different languages, allowing for simple replacement during localization.


5. Prepare for Text Expansion at the Design Phase

Text expansion is a common challenge during app localization. Text in one language might require more space than another, leading to layout issues. To tackle this, design your app’s user interface with text expansion in mind. Leave ample room for longer translations without compromising the user experience.

Opt for expandable UI components such as text boxes and buttons. These components can automatically adjust their size to fit the translated content comfortably. This way, you can maintain a consistent and harmonious design across different languages.

Be Mindful of Character Limitations: Some languages may use characters that require more space, and others may have longer words or phrases. Take into consideration the languages you plan to support and be mindful of any character limitations when designing UI elements. Keep in mind that some languages, like German, tend to have longer words than English.

Consider Text Direction: Remember that not all languages are read from left to right. Some languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, are read from right to left. Ensure your UI supports bi-directional text, and design accordingly to avoid any issues with mirrored layouts.


6. Map Out Your Continuous Localization Approach

Localization is an ongoing process, especially as you release updates and add new features to your app. Embrace continuous localization to efficiently handle future changes. Implement a translation management system (TMS) that enables seamless collaboration with translators, automates workflows, and keeps track of version control.


7. Test The App With Native Speakers

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Thorough testing with native speakers is crucial to ensure the quality and accuracy of translations. Native speakers can identify cultural nuances, language-specific errors, and localization issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. Conduct usability testing to gauge how well the localized app resonates with the target audience.


8. Embrace Localization

Embrace localization as an integral part of your app development process, not just an afterthought. Incorporate localization efforts from the very beginning of the project to ensure a smoother and more efficient process. Engage your development team, designers, and marketers to understand the importance of catering to a global audience. While comprehensive localization is beneficial, it might not always be necessary for every app. Analyze your app’s content and features to determine the level of localization required. Certain sections, such as legal disclaimers or technical terms, may not require extensive translation, whereas user interface elements and marketing materials demand more attention.

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9. Remember Discoverability and Search Optimization

Optimizing your app for local search engines is crucial for better discoverability in specific regions. Conduct keyword research and optimize app store descriptions, keywords, and metadata for each target language. This will significantly improve your app’s chances of being found by users in different regions.


Work With a Trusted Translation Partner

Collaborating with a reliable language partner, such as a professional translation agency or a native-speaking language expert, can greatly expedite the localization process. A language partner can provide linguistic expertise, cultural insights, and efficient translation services, ensuring a higher-quality localized app.

App localization is not just about translating words; it is about creating a user experience that resonates with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. By collaborating with the right language partners, you can enhance your app’s global reach and maximize its potential for success. Embrace localization as an integral part of your development process and continuously refine your strategies based on user feedback and market trends. Remember, the key to unlocking the global market lies in understanding and respecting the unique needs of each target audience.

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When precision and excellence are crucial, GTE Localize stands as the dependable app translation service partner on GoodFirms you can rely on to bridge language barriers and open up fresh prospects for your business. We are ready to offer you assistance and fast app translation quotes! Contact us today.