With the continuous growth of the global market for smartphones and related technology, comes the need for translation and localization of mobile apps.
Apple’s AppStore has over a million apps developed for iOS. Google, on the other hand, uses open source for its Android apps (Android—the OS with the highest number of active devices). Android smartphones has 50% of the global market share. For a short period of time, Windows Phone apps collected numerous impressive reviews. Apple’s UI is localized in over 30 languages, having over 50 keyboard layouts with specific language functions and voice control able to recognize over 20 languages.
Mobile apps are not only games and social media plug-ins. Large online retailers apps are becoming more and more popular. You can easily purchase various types of goods and services through a mobile app. Whatever its intended purpose, your customers will expect their app to be available in their native language. Even if you offer it for free, it will definitely need localization.
Localization of mobile apps is no different than software localization. The process includes four stages:
- User Interface Design
During the design, developers have to take into consideration the specific features of the target language. Our job at this point is to prepare the so-called “test translations.” These aim to discover potential difficulties and assess whether the software is ready for localization. You’ll also receive recommendations on the social, cultural, linguistic, applicable, and legal standards of the target markets.
- Translate Software Text Strings
We use a translation memory (TM) when localizing UI strings to guarantee a consistency in the content of the whole application. The strings are localized to remain compliant with the operating system terminology and adhere to length restrictions. Usually, translation and localization are done for user interfaces, online help content, and documentation.
- Compile software build with localized files
Software build is the process of compiling source code into executable code that results in a finished functional product. This development process is performed after string translation with the localized files.
When these localized apps have been built, there will be changes and updates that will have to be adjusted for. A common adjustment is resizing the UI elements to compensate for length changes between languages.
- Software and application testing
When the user interface elements are translated the next step in the localization process is to test the software for language accuracy and practical functionality. We work with native speakers who test the linguistics to make sure that the language reads properly and is true to your intent.
Then follows a functionality test to confirm that the interface and the translation are displayed the right way and according to the relevant context.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you require mobile app localization!