Let me guess. Does one of the following scenarios apply to you?

  • You have had great success in the US with your game on the App Store, and you recently noticed an uptick in the number of international downloads, so why not localize your game and increase the revenue?
  • Your company is planning to launch next month the greatest mobile app ever, after two years of development, and as a marketing manager, you feel that the app should be localized from day one.
  • You’ve read an article on the explosion of mobile app downloads in Russia and Brazil, and you don’t want to be left out.
  • You have been contacted by an app publisher in Egypt and you’re ready to penetrate the MENA market with Arabic versions of your entire app portfolio.

World

So, maybe you spent some time to think about it and this is where you are at?

  • Your developers say that they have not properly internationalized the app yet but it’s not going to be difficult, they’ll just follow Apple’s recommendations.
  • You have a Mexican friend, your wife’s cousin got his Master’s Degree in Germany, one of your developers grew up in China, and you took French in high school, so you’re pretty much covered!
  • For the other languages, never mind, you’ll just pick a few freelancers on Elance or Odesk.

So all is well, it’s going to be a breeze and you should be able to release localized versions of your app in a few weeks…

WRONG!

Chances are:

  • Your developers are seriously underestimating the internationalization effort. Double-byte strings will break their code here and there, and let’s not even talk about right-to-left Arabic layout.
  • After trying out the “friends and family translation network”, you’ll realize that translation is not a hobby but a profession.
  • Translating the strings is going to be tough but your developers will eventually manage to generate a localized built. However, you really won’t have an idea of the overall quality of your localized app.
  • A few days before the launch, you will suddenly be wondering whether you should translate the app title or leave it in English.
  • Gosh, you forgot the keywords, and now what’s going to happen for the international discoverability?
  • After suffering a lot of delays and sweating buckets, you’ll finally launch in a few markets… And then what?

So, what should you do to avoid the bigger pitfalls, and what should be your process for app localization on the road to international success? 

Come back on this page to learn more, we’re working on a series of posts that we’ll publish in the coming weeks! Hopefully, after reading all of them, you will start to master the art of app localization!


This post belongs to our app localization series:

  1. The Art of App Localization
  2. Deciding which markets to localize for
  3. Localizing the app title