Mobile App Internationalization: Must-Have for Global Success

As a smartphone user, there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to use an app because it’s in a different language.

A study by Distimo shows that most of today’s free apps are offered primarily in English. And in most markets, that’s perfectly fine. However, when people are asked to pay for this material, they deserve to run it in their own language.

Customers are more likely to buy if they can access content in their own language. But how does that work with an app?

It starts with mobile app internationalization, and it’s a must for businesses targeting global customers.

It’s a prerequisite for localization and makes life easier for you when you’re trying to quickly launch more languages.

Prepares for Multiple Formats

App internationalization helps take care of the different fonts, content displays accoridng to screen sizes and language orientation, and a host of other seemingly small details that make the difference between a smooth, uninterrupted user experience and one that makes users immediately recognize that the product was not originally built in their language. If you’ve ever tried to enter a UK post code in a US zip code field—or vice versa—you know what I mean.

The internationalization process must also account for different punctuation conventions, base keyboard layouts, and methods of interpreting text.

Works on the Backend

Behind the scenes, you also need to think about development issues, as the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) points out. These include character encoding, managing strings and images, and looking after programming language functions with which another country’s most popular operating system may not be familiar. Consider locale support as well, while ensuring your mobile app plays nicely with other third-party products. At every stage, you need to make sure your app continues to work even after you have prepared it for use in a new part of the world.

How to Simplify App Internationalization

The best way to handle these tasks is through a translation software solution, which helps you to achieve internationalization without performing excessive amounts of coding on your own. The tool can automatically take collect all content and code that needs to be translated and later help serve the translations up via a content delivery network.

This approach to mobile app internationalization has a number of advantages. First, it cuts the cost of both internationalization and localization. Second, it quickly adapts to changes in your app content in the future. Third, it shows your global customers the version of the app they’re already looking for.

Image source: Bigstock

Unlock international markets and grow your revenue with a fully localized mobile experience.


About Sharon Hurley Hall

Self-confessed word nerd Sharon Hurley Hall has the perfect job - as a professional writer and blogger. In the last couple of decades she has worked as a journalist, a college professor (teaching journalism, of course), an editor and a ghostwriter. She finds language fascinating and, in addition to English, speaks French, Spanish and a smattering of German.