Google has announced several upgrades to it's new Android keyboard. The Gboard now has the ability to do automatic translation. As you type, the new Google Translate integration will translate text in real time as you type it in.
When you first dream of launching an app globally, the excitement of sharing your product with the world can sometimes blind you to the intricacies involved in the process. Regardless of how rose-colored your glasses are, however, taking an app global presents unique challenges which must be addressed.
Why App Localization is NeededIf you are a regular reader of this blog, you have seen many posts about what localization is and why it matters. For a brief refresher, you can check out the Dynamic Language "Guide to Written Language Services Infographic" or take a look at the article "Taking Your App Global - What Could Go Wrong?"
The goal of localization is to enable a user who speaks another language to have the same user experience as a user who speaks the language in which the app was first developed. Rather than a word for word translation, the aim of localization is to provide a comparable user experience to a linguistically and culturally diverse target audience.
Research is KeyJust as local market research is fundamental to your success domestically, careful research of foreign markets enables a sure-footed expansion process. Steamfeed's "Advice for Startups Looking to Go Global" notes: "One of the biggest mistakes that ambitious startups make is to decide on a market before doing the research. There are some markets around the world that are literally exploding but that doesn't mean that your company would do well there. Just because an economy is booming doesn't mean there is a need or desire for your products or services. Before deciding on where you would like to expand, get the facts."
You’ve worked hard to build a successful tech startup with an app that is ready expand across borders. Now you are faced with the next big decision – how will you handle the localization of your app and your marketing content for a global audience?
It’s second nature for us to proclaim the benefits of localization, but is there ever a downside to going global? Software localization services are a net benefit for enterprises, but they can also have drawbacks which are seldom discussed. A recent article by the Common Sense Advisory found that while localization makes software attractive to foreign buyers, it also opens up the possibility of foreign piracy.
The CEO of tinyBuild recently provided country-specific figures for the game Punch Club, revealing initial piracy rates of 97% for Brazil. In other markets, more Germans bought the game than pirated it, with the highest buy rate of any country. The next best countries were the US (23%) and France (17%), but less than 4% in Russia, China, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, and Poland bought the game.
When learning a foreign language, accurate pronunciation of new vocabulary words can be one of the toughest skills to master. As the language-learning world becomes more and more digital, language learners are more likely to turn to online tools, such as Google Translate, for pronunciation help. However, the computer voice often sounds robotic, garbled, and difficult to understand.
1. Prepare for Text Expansion
While text size matters on any type of screen, it’s especially critical to plan for text expansion as you develop your mobile application in other languages. Without proper adjustment to text fields, the corresponding translated content may not fit on mobile devices, given their smaller screens with limited space for text and images. Your localization provider can make adjustments to sentences or words that have fit issues (such as abbreviation and word choice), but it’s best to plan for this at the outset.
Gaming applications are wildly popular these days, thanks to significant increases in both the accessibility and performance of mobile devices around the world. If you are a developer planning to launch your app in new markets, you first have to localize your application to adapt to the language and tone of that target audience.
It’s especially important to achieve a natural and desirable play experience for each specific cultural context. End users value a localized game in their native language and with their own culture in mind. This greatly enhances their experience and makes them feel that the game was truly meant for them! Here are ten of the hottest international markets for gaming applications.
Language Learning Goes Mobile
One of the inevitable challenges of learning a new language or honing your language fluency skills is not having the “intuition” that comes naturally to native speakers. Most of us have had the frustrating experience of trying to find the meanings of words by plugging text into machine-translation services or searching in dictionaries, only to find terms that are either outdated or not used in casual conversation. We are often left with more questions than when we started!