21 September 2022

App localization: how the process works and its advantages

Categoria: Linguistic Services

App localization is a must for companies that want to tap into new markets. Speaking the user’s language is a strategic choice that allows the business to grow, which is why many companies require localization services.

For the uninitiated, localization involves adapting an app’s content to the language and culture of the target users. It is therefore the step following translation of the text from one language to another. Localization effectively alters the content — whether written or multimedia — to reflect the underlying meanings given to it by the national culture.

Together, let’s take a look at how this is done and at what benefits it brings to those who choose to localize their apps.

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How it works

App localization involves a three-step process: preparation, translation/localization, and revision (technical/linguistic).

During the preparation stage, the app that will be localized is evaluated and the elements that must be processed are separated from those that must remain unchanged. Apps mainly consist of two components: the interface that is visible to the user and the part that is invisible, but necessary for technical operation, in the form of code. Localization mainly concerns the interface, while inappropriate changes to the code risk compromising the functionality of the application.

Having drawn a dividing line between the part that has to be localized and the part that must be left unchanged, we move on to the most operational stage, that of translation and/or localization. First the text is translated, then each aspect is adjusted according to the user’s cultural background.

Times, dates, and currencies are classic examples of elements that require localization. These references significantly differ between countries, which means they need to be modified so that the app is immediately understandable and ready to use. Multimedia items, such as images or videos, also need to be adapted if they include elements that are poorly aligned with the sensibilities of the new target audience.

Once the app has been translated and localized, the process involves a series of checks. The first is linguistic revision. The text must be flawless and free of grammatical, morphological or lexical errors. This is the domain of reviewers and proofreaders, who check the appropriateness of both content and form. Next, a technical check can be made. It is necessary to ensure that the app works correctly in the language into which it has been translated, so testing is done to detect any bugs or other usability-related issues.

Once this structured series of checks is complete, the app can be considered successfully localized. This process of linguistic, cultural and technical adaptation requires the involvement of professionals in the field, an investment that more and more companies are willing to make because the resulting benefits amply repay the costs incurred.

Advantages

App localization has three closely interrelated benefits.

First and foremost, localization allows you to expand your user base. Although knowledge of lingua francas such as English is increasingly common, most people prefer to interact with products created in their native language.

This is mainly due to two reasons. The natural laziness of our brains leads us to opt for the alternative that requires the least effort and time, so, if asked to choose between an app in our native language and an app in a foreign language, we will inevitably choose the former. The second reason is the feeling of security that comes from interacting with a localized app. When using such a product, risks of misunderstandings or misinterpretations are averted by the careful upstream work of user experience experts operating in synergy with localization specialists.

This brings us to the second benefit, namely the increased conversion rate. Using a translated and localized app allows you to fully understand its information and directions, leading to a pleasant feeling that you have mastered the situation. Indeed, it is precisely this accessibility, this feeling of familiarity and control given to the user by the choice to localize an app that is the first step in building a relationship of trust that will encourage ever more people to download it.

A higher conversion rate ultimately leads to the benefit that all companies aspire to: increased sales. To achieve this, it is essential to properly localize the app, so the best professionals in the field should be consulted.

At Way2Global, we have a team of native-language translators who specialize in app localization. Under the careful coordination of project managers, our team can effectively and punctually manage each project order.

Contact us to request a quote or further information.

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    Laura Gori is the Founder and CEO of Way2Global, a women-led translation agency startup with a Benefit ethos. After 30 years at the helm of a small multinational localization company, Laura decided to make a fresh start and founded Way2Global to conduct business in a way that benefits society and the environment, while promoting corporate growth. A fervent advocate of Benefit Corporations and women’s empowerment, Laura takes every opportunity to spread awareness on these issues and contribute to a fairer, more egalitarian and sustainable economy for all.
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