Building Android Apps for Different Countries

Building Android Apps for Different Countries

Once an app starts getting international recognition, one of the things developers tend to do is leave the app in English, because the majority of the world’s population is able to speak it. However, a large group of potential users will be left out of the potential target group if they aren’t able to speak a level of English that allows them to play the game or use the app.

Apps

What would developers lose if they decide to not translate their app?

Around 30% of the world’s population speaks English. A developer can’t translate their app into every language imaginable, but it would guarantee more exposure and the app would likely do well because of this. However, there are many difficulties involved with creating an app for multiple languages.

Charades

Many people love to play this game in their spare time, and making it an app is a great idea. But, is it feasible to build an app and immediately release it for multiple languages? As an independent developer, this is something that would not be quite feasible because the costs would be quite high. For a bigger corporation, like Supercell, this might not be a problem. However, if Charades were to be made for multiple languages, there would also have to be multiple answers because the App would be confusing otherwise. For example: why would one only mention US American actors (that may or may not be famous) and not actors from The Netherlands, if you create the App in Dutch?This app would definitely benefit from having a more international version.

Clash of Clans

Possibly one of the world’s most popular gaming apps at the moment, Clash of Clans has been translated into many languages, to its benefit. Because the creator of this app (Supercell) is a large corporation, this app needed to be international from the start. There is a “global chat room” that can be changed by the region you are in and the language you speak. If you play the game in Chinese, you will get into chat rooms where Chinese is mainly spoken, for example.

How are apps translated?

One of the most popular ways is translating the app into main languages. Chinese, English, Spanish, French, and German are generally the languages available for apps. It covers most of the world, and if there is demand for specific language, it becomes easier to find translators for the language pairs (like English to Dutch or German to Dutch).

What is the easiest way to offer an app in multiple languages?

Is it a good idea to offer different languages from the start? Should there be an options menu where you can decide on a language? There are many ways to go about it, but ultimately it depends on how extensive one’s knowledge of the main language should be. If the app is created in French, it could be a good idea to immediately give the option to change the language to another. If the app is in English, you could give users the choice at the option menu to change the language of the app, seeing as English is much more widely spoken than languages like French.

About Tim Oldenhuis

I’m a native Dutch translator living in the Netherlands. I translate for Coursera to help make education accessible for everyone. My interests are SEO, Gamification and Marketing. I translate website content and blogs, primarily from English and German into Dutch.

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