December 2, 2023


Tech as it is.

5 Challenges App Developers Face When Localizing the App and (How to Fix them)

App Developers

App Developers

App Developers: Okay, so you have finally launched an intuitive and functional mobile app. Sounds great. What is the main goal of developing your mobile app? Increasing your app’s visibility, exposure, or number of downloads?

In order to increase your monthly active user base and generate more revenue, building an app in English isn’t enough. App developers and marketers need to consider mobile app localization to reach a global audience.

If truth be told, mobile app localization gives you amazing opportunities to attract global users and increase the number of app downloads. Unfortunately, many app development companies don’t focus on this important aspect of the mobile app development process. In fact, app localization is a low-priority task and some omit the process completely.

Mobile app localization can make your app accessible to people belonging to any region and country on the planet, thereby, increasing the number of app downloads. App localization is quite challenging and requires thorough and subtle handling. The lack of translation resources, software tools, and programming language makes it hard for businesses to release the localized version of the app.

Do you want to customize your mobile app to reach a geographic target market and make it work in languages other than the default? If that is the case, your development team should prepare for the unique set of challenges that they might encounter during the process.

Here are some common challenges app developers and marketers usually face and the possible solutions to solve these issues.

Challenge #1 – Identifying the Language

When it comes to mobile app localization, the first challenge mobile app developers usually encounter is choosing languages. Just because you want to reach a global audience doesn’t mean you release your app in Spanish, Chinese, German, Japanese, and French. Localizing your app for a few local markets is a sensible idea to save your time, money, and cost.

When deciding the language for app localization, it is advised to do market research and check which country has the highest number of app downloads. According to  App Annie study, China is the world’s leading app market that accounts for more than 50% of app downloads across Android and iOS play store. According to Habr, these are the top mobile app localization languages:

·         English

·         Japanese

·         Chinese

·         Hindi

·         Russian

·         Korean

·         German

·         Spanish

·         Portuguese

·         Indonesian

App developers and marketers are recommended to collect as much information as possible to choose the language for app localization. Choosing the right language will definitely increase your chances of getting maximum downloads.

 Challenge #2 – Understanding the Localized Target Audience

Understanding your localized target audience is important for app developers when releasing a local version of the app. It is important to do your research work to make sure the app you are developing for the local market will generate a positive ROI.

You can make a well-informed decision when you understand the pain points, interests, behavior, tech habits, operating system preferences, demographic split and cultural perceptions.  Building a strong knowledge of your target audience’s interests and other characteristics will help you release the free and paid features of the app.

Challenge #3 – Choosing a Professional Translation Agency

In order to create high-quality localization and an amazing user experience, choosing a professional translation agency is an important factor to make your app a big hit. App developers should work with linguistic and localization experts to make sure the app creates an exceptional experience when translated into any other language.

Many development companies find it challenging to choose the trustworthy and highly rated translators for their mobile app localization projects. It is advised to do your research and choose the right company that offers localization and translation services.

Creating a localization glossary is a great idea to help you choose the terms and names you need for the localization process. Make sure to provide the localization team with the good context or important documents that can help them get a clear picture of your app’s features, and benefits. Allow the translation team to learn as much about your app as possible to come up with accurate and natural translations.

Challenge #4 – Understand the Cultural Differences

Cultural barrier is one of the most common challenges many app developers face during the mobile app localization process. When the translation team is unaware of the local culture, values, and lifestyle of the target audience, it will end up with a poor translation.

Understanding the cultural variations and giving importance to every single detail will make the launch of a localized app super successful. Make sure the linguistic team is aware of the cultural values to come up with a perfect color theme, images, localizing names, and other important details. If you are thinking of localizing your app in different languages, hire localization specialists with native linguists that are aware of cultural aspects and take special care of these values within the translation. Sometimes, the wrong color choice, image, or terminology that don’t suit the culture of your target audience can affect your brand reputation and authority. So, choose the linguist team with native speakers.

Challenge #5 – Localization Speed

Mobile app localization is a complex process that needs time, energy, and effort. It takes weeks and in some cases months to complete the localization process. The quality assurance checks, proofreading, editing, testing, and other localization methods may affect the delivery and workflow.

Thanks to the latest translation management systems that allow you to incorporate glossaries and translation memory and support different formats of resource files. Using a highly efficient translation management system will help you perform linguistic testing and help you launch a high-quality app in a local language.

Here is a list of mobile app localization tools and translation management software:

·           Lokalise

·           Crowdin

·           Phrase

·           Transifex

·           OneSky

·           Wordbee

·           Text United

·           POEditor

·           Shuttle

·           Pairaphrase

To Sum All Things Up

All in all, localizing a mobile app gives it an amazing opportunity to reach the global market, earn higher profits and a strong brand position. So, tap into the global market by overcoming all these challenges for mobile app localization and develop a great app for a wider audience. Hopefully, these tips and solutions will help mobile app developers to remove all the barriers of the app localization process and flourish their app in a foreign market.

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