App Localization: Winning Users Through Language and Culture

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App localization and translation can increase app visibility by 74% and downloads by 38%. These statistics highlighted in the leading pan-European online car market AutoScout24’s research findings provide clear evidence of the impact and importance of app localization when breaking into new markets. However, these are just a few of the benefits that app localization can bring. Let’s explore app localization, its process and costs in this article.

What is app localization?

An application, or app in short, refers to software or utilities on phones, computers, or other smart electronic devices.

App localization involves adapting the original language of an application to a new language that suits the target market.

In addition to translation, app localization is also a crucial task. This technique ensures that the new language of the application is compatible with local users, ensuring cultural and legal factors are aligned with the target market.

When is app localization necessary? This step is essential for app developers to access markets that use a different language from the source language.

Before diving in for more information about this service, let’s follow Thao & Co. to explore what is localization?

What is App Localization? Your complete guide - Thao & Co.

ASO Localization in app localization

ASO stands for App Store Optimization, which is about optimizing content for app stores to enhance the app’s visibility when users search for it. In app stores with many similar apps, ASO becomes particularly necessary to increase the chances of users downloading your app.

ASO Localization or App Store Optimization Localization involves adjusting the app’s details (such as title, description, screenshots, etc.) to fit the target market and align with the cultural, psychological, and behavioral preferences of the target users.

Content and ASO localization play a crucial role in the app’s success when entering a new market. To achieve this goal, businesses can opt for SEO translation services. Credible translation agencies with a team of professional linguists can effectively handle this issue.

What is ASO Localization?

Common types of apps that need localization

What types of apps are popular now? Here is a list of some popular app categories:

  1. ● Social media apps: These apps allow users to easily connect and share information online without any geographical limitations. Some notable social media apps include Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and others.
  2. ● Utility apps: These apps serve a single function and are frequently used, such as Clock, Calculator, Weather, and others.
  3. ● Lifestyle apps: These apps help users shape their lifestyle and often relate to health, hobbies, or fashion. Some typical lifestyle apps are MyFitnessPal, Pinterest, Airbnb, and others.
  4. ● Gaming apps: As the name suggests, these apps create an environment for users to entertain themselves with electronic games, like League of Legends, Angry Birds, and others.
  5. ● Entertainment apps: Some popular entertainment apps include Netflix, Disney+, and others.
  6. ● Productivity apps: These apps help users complete their tasks quickly and effectively, such as Google Drive, Notion, and others.
  7. ● News apps: These are the top choices for users who enjoy reading news daily. Some news apps include Smartnews, Google News, and others.
  8. ● Messaging apps: These apps are used for messaging and communication among users, such as Messenger, Slack, Viber, and others. 
  9. ● Educational apps: These apps are used for educational and training purposes, such as Duolingo, Quizlet, and others.

The role of the operating system is crucial for the apps to operate smoothly on electronic devices. The operating system manages the hardware and software of the device, acting as the communication bridge between users and the device.

Some common operating systems: are Android and iOS (for smartphones), Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux (for laptops and PCs).

Globalization and Localization of Different Opperating System | Thao & Co.

What benefits does app localization bring?

Why is app localization necessary? To answer this question, let’s explore the following points.

Broader range of target customers

Adding a new language to the application can broaden its reach and usage. Users from countries or markets with different languages can also use the app. If your business aims to expand the app’s market reach, app localization is an essential strategy.

Increased app downloads

Generally, users are less likely to download an app if they don’t understand the language it uses. Therefore, adapting the original language to the language of the target market is a proper step to increase app download rates. According to research conducted by AutoScout24, app localization and translation increased downloads by 38% within just 6 weeks.

Enhanced user experience

Adding a familiar language into an app can improve the user experience in the target market. For instance, the delivery app Lalamove allows users to choose a specific location and language suitable to their country of residence. By doing so, users can interact and use the app conveniently.

In the education industry, apps not only need to support the user’s native language but also require a high level of creativity to engage learners. A prime example is our Starling translation project for the uTalk app at Thao & Co. As this language-learning app targets young people specifically, translators must employ colorful and catchy words without being culturally insensitive to create an engaging educational experience.

What are benefits of App Localization?
App localization helps enhance user experience

Higher trust and brand loyalty

App localization helps simplify the language used in the app for users. This enhances user trust and retention rates.

In fact, it is difficult for users to use an app when they don’t understand the language used in that app. Many studies show that 65% of users prefer content in their native language. Similarly, if the app uses irrelevant language, it’s difficult to attract and retain users.

Higher competitive advantage

When competitors use only one language for multiple markets where there are many language differences, offering apps capable of adapting to the target market’s language is a significant advantage.

Users generally tend to choose apps that support their native language. Therefore, adding a new language to the app should be a top priority when reaching new markets or competing with others in the same market.

Considerations for app localization

When localizing an app’s language to suit the target market, it is best for businesses to pay attention to the following points:

Differences in text length: Adapting the language can increase or decrease the character count in a sentence. To ensure the app’s interface remains unchanged, it is advisable to be careful with word choices in the target language.

Cultural differences: Cultures among countries and regions often have distinct differences, leading to different user behavior and psychology when searching for or using an app. Therefore, to provide the most authentic user experience possible, the language of the target market should be aligned with cultural and contextual factors.

UI and UX elements: After completing the localization process, it is necessary for the publisher and the localization agency to conduct the localization testing to check compatibility and identify errors. This can ensure that the released app version does not encounter issues. For example, when adding a new language, it’s essential to maintain brand identity and cater to the target audience to avoid negative experiences for the users.

How does Localization Testing work? - Thao & Co.

Standard app localization process

The app translation and localization process in every localization agency may be different, but the standard process typically includes the following basic steps:

Stage 1 – Gathering content for localization

First, the content requiring localization within the app needs to be gathered. This could include text, in-app messages, and other elements. Once extracted, these elements will be compiled into a “Localization kit.” Upon request, expert linguists will analyze this kit to create Translation Guidelines and keyword glossaries to ensure consistency and seamlessness in the localization process.

Stage 2 – Translating, localizing and proofreading app content

In this stage, experienced linguists will proceed to localize the content in the “Localization kit.” This serves to create a new version of the app that uses the new language while preserving the original content’s meaning and messages.

Stage 3 – Post-translation adjustment

After the translation and proofreading process is completed, the localized content will be reintegrated into the app for compatibility testing and error checking. This ensures that the new app version provides an optimal user experience.

What are the rates of app localization?

Several factors influence the rates of app localization including:

  1. ● Language Pair: The rarity of the source and target languages can affect the localization rates. Less common languages may have increased localization expense, and vice versa.
  2. ● Content length: The longer the content to be localized, the higher the app localization rates might be due to increased time and labor requirements.
  3. ● Complexity of app content: Different fields may entail different complexities and difficulties in app content. A higher technicality level can lead to higher app localization rates. This is because the translation agencies need to spend more time researching, analyzing the content and localizing.
  4. ● Complementary services: In addition to the app localization service, you can request several other complementary services to enhance the efficiency of the localized app, such as content localization, App Store Optimization, and others. Using these services within the same translation agency can help you save more time and costs, ensuring quality and consistency.

Understanding this concern, in addition to app localization services, Thao & Co. also offers various complementary services to bring you the best benefits. Some of the complementary app localization services provided by Thao & Co. include:

  1. ● Create Translation Guidelines: Ensure consistency between the app translation and your brand image.
  2. ● Consumer Language ResearchⒸ: Utilize focus group discussions (FGDs) to guarantee that your app appeals to the targeted customers.
  3. ● SEO Keyword Glossary: Boost products’ visibility on online platforms, bridging the gap between your business and the target customers.
  4. ● Customized Integration & Linguistic Review: Help app publishers save time and effort when dealing with multiple suppliers.

Important considerations in app localization

Best tips for Software translation and Localization - Thao & Co.

For a smooth app localization process, it is advisable for app developers to consider the following issues:

  1. ● Check whether your app has multilingual capabilities. If your app isn’t programmed to support multilingual content, you will likely need to add multilingual codes before proceeding with app localization.
  2. ● Conduct research about your target customers, including demographics as well as psychological and behavioral characteristics. This can ensure that the localized language is most compatible with your target user group.
  3. ● Choose a reputable localization agency. Some criteria to consider when choosing a reputable localization agency include reputation, expertise of the translation team, transparent pricing and work process, and quality complementary services.

For an app to reach new markets where the spoken language is different than the original language of the app, localization plays a crucial role in the success of this strategy. Therefore, the responsibility of the localization agency is even more significant.

At Thao & Co., with many years of experience working on various projects, a team of native linguists with extensive expertise in relevant fields, and being a trusted partner of established enterprises and large corporations, we are committed to helping you achieve your goals for app localization.

Moreover, our proprietary platform can help clients easily track and monitor your app localization process. If you have any requests throughout the project, you can directly message our team through our ChatBoxⒸ for prompt support.

In this article, Thao & Co. has discussed our insights about app localization – a critical task in the market expansion strategy for apps. If you are looking for a partner to implement your app localization project or want to learn more about this service, please contact Thao & Co. at our Get a Quote page for a prompt consultation!

Source: Thao & Company
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