Businesses succeed when they develop effective contact with their clients. It is much more crucial when extending into new geographic areas because credibility needs to be rebuilt. Companies typically localize all of their offerings to increase reach.
Offering mobile applications in the local language significantly increases the likelihood of success because they are one of the vital channels of communication and occasionally serve as products. You may take it a step further and faithfully reproduce the tone and meaning of the original message with the help of professional app localization services.
In this post, we’ll examine how multilingual user interface app support is a vital resource that any company needs. We will also talk about how frameworks for developing mobile apps and mobile operating systems assist developers in adding multilingual support to their mobile applications.
Internationalization vs. localization
Localization is the process of modifying an application for a particular locale or language by translating its assets, such as text and graphics, and adding regionally relevant elements. Internationalization is structuring an app’s code, and user interface for localization.
There may be several languages spoken in a nation or area. For instance, English and French are both equally popular in Canada. An astute company would release its app in both languages to boost downloads. Case studies and polls have shown that multilingual apps perform far better than apps that just support one language. People prefer using the Internet in their native tongue. According to a Common Sense Advisory survey,
- 1% of users exclusively use websites in their own language.
- A product containing information in their own language is more likely to be purchased by 4% of consumers.
Forward-thinking businesses always internationalize their apps, ready to expand into additional regions or languages. Any app that requires localization should ideally be internationalized first. And this ought to take place throughout the actual design phase.
Why supporting multilingual apps is an intelligent tactic?
Giving an app localized language support persuades the users that you are there for more than just business; you want to be a part of the neighborhood. It becomes a crucial factor when potential clients choose whether or not to buy your product.
The following are some benefits of MUI apps:
- enables access to new markets
- increases downloads and, thus, income
- increases ranking in the app store owing to more downloads
- allows collecting of additional information about consumer behavior, which can be transformed into strategic insights.
- helps with consumer acquisition
- boosts client loyalty
The following are some elements of the software that require localization:
- text that the user reads, such as menus and button text
- images with descriptions and alternative text
- with captions, audio video
- format for dates and times
- information specific to a culture
Issues with creating internationalized apps
Offering an app in the native tongue entails more than just translating the program’s text messages, settings, and menus. Additionally, it entails changing the terminology to account for cultural preferences. An acceptable expression in one culture or location could be considered offensive in another. Alternatively, the exact holiday may occur on a different day in several areas worldwide. Cultural quirks must be considered by the team responsible for localizing the existing app.
Providing multilingual support in mobile apps presents several difficulties, including:
- It’s crucial to consider the message’s context.
- Although many languages employ right-to-left (RTL) scripts, the majority of languages use left-to-right (LTR). Both scripts must be supported for an app to be truly multilingual.
- There may be variations in text direction, date, and number formats.
- In the native language, a distinct set of alphabets might be employed.
- Not every typeface can be translated.
- The design’s flexibility should accommodate the long translational text.
How to get ready to release multilingual applications?
- Always start by developing the program in a way that makes localization simple. This can be achieved by dividing executable code from text and pictures that users can see.
- Market research is crucial for determining the localized regions where you would want the app to be offered. You can use app stores’ analytics to focus on lucrative markets.
- After deciding on a few viable markets, you need carefully research each one to determine how much localization is necessary.
- Get the app localized by the development teams after choosing the markets where you want to offer it.
- Before releasing the localized apps, it is crucial to test them.
- Even though it would be easier to state that the app page needs to be localized before launch, many companies still make this error. The squeeze page, if not the entire website, must be localized for app details and download links.
- The performance of your apps can be assessed and found moving forward using the same App Store statistics.
Support for several languages across various mobile OS
Nearly all mobile operating systems enable inter- and localization. See how the two most widely used mobile operating systems, Android and iOS, handle this.
Support for several languages and cultures on Android
Android gives apps created with the Android Development Kit complete localization capability. The res/ directory, which is automatically generated when a project is established, is where the culture-specific files can be saved.
The Android OS fully supports both LTR and RTL scripts. As a result, the OS can recognize script direction and modify everything accordingly.
Text message formatting is a crucial localization activity. How the localized content is put depends on where a text begins and ends. Typically, they are formatted by adding text and numeric information in the proper places. On the other hand, RTL scripts require caution when deciding where and how to enter text and numeric data since the numbers used could be LTR even though the script is written right-to-left.
The BidiFormatter class in Android has a method called unicodeWrap that automatically determines a string’s orientation and ensures that any text or numbers entered are shown correctly.
Additionally, Android enables layout mirroring. Thus apps using RTL script will have right-aligned menus, right-aligned text, and left-pointing forward arrows.
iOS mobile apps that support several languages
It is simple to arrange iOS app development for localization without having a list of languages and places in which they must be available, thanks to tools like XCode 11, Apple API auto layout, and Unicode compatibility.
- XCode Export For Localization automatically extracts all content that can be localized. This covers localization resources as well as code-derived strings.
- Most Apple services, including apple wallet, apple pay, and sign in with apple, have already been localized. The software can use these to create localized buttons, payment sheets, errors, notifications, etc.
- Subtitles and closed captions can be added to audiovisual content in the app using the AVKit and AVFoundation frameworks.
In conclusion, app localization is a necessary process that businesses must undergo when extending into new geographic areas to establish effective contact with their clients. Offering multilingual apps with a faithful reproduction of the tone and meaning of the original message helps to maximize user engagement and increase the likelihood of success in the target market. The benefits of MUI apps include access to new markets, increased downloads and income, higher app ranking in app stores, the collection of additional information about consumer behavior, and the ability to acquire and retain clients.