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How To Prepare Your App For Localization

With phones taking over our lives, the operation platform has evolved significantly. For example, nowadays, Google Play is multilingual, which is a great opportunity for developers. You can target all the regions, go for all the markets. But it is better to do it wisely, leisurely. Many startups make a common mistake, they consider translating their apps instead of localizing them. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, those projects fail in new markets due to the audience’s misunderstanding of the product. That is why a big company or more experienced companies choose one of the game localization services. Eventually, it saves much more than you spend!

In this article, you will find out about main android localization peculiarities, so if you are interested, stay tuned!

1. Study the Android Developer localization guide

When you develop the app, Android loads the best match resource automatically. These may be texts, images, sounds, and any other statistical data. The same system works for the locale of the device. And if there are no locale-specific resources, the default one will be used in such cases. The Android developers advise moving all strings into strings.xml and do not hard code them. It will make the process of localization easier. Moreover, if you have parts, phrases, or words that should not be translated, you may do that there as well with the help of a <xliff:g> tag. But try to not create more strings than you need, it will just have the reverse effect and degrade the user’s experience. And of course, it is never a bad idea to double-check if everything works correctly, all the processes exactly look like you imagined. 

2.  Choose the markets

First of all, you need to analyze the target audience, the new markets you are going to enter, as it will give the direction to the whole project and all other decisions will be made based on this. You need to choose what markets you need, what languages you will have to use there. To save some money, you may start with different levels of localization and choose the one that will be more appropriate for the product. There are cases when it is not obligatory to translate the app as people prefer the English version and translate just game sections and some text parts, or in some countries, people stay with the basic localization, for example, when they need to translate information for the Play Market, the description of an app, keywords, and screenshots. 

3. Start testing 

Now, when you pick the languages and target markets, Start by identifying what needs to be localized (images, audio files, time, numbers, dates, currency, etc.). Do not forget to think over the design itself. As you know the length and height of words in different languages are different, for example, if you compare English with mostly short words, and German or Russian where words are almost twice longer, or Chinese that has high hieroglyphs, you will see that the design needs to be corrected, try to develop a flexible layout since the beginning. Develop the glossary you may include specific words, names, phrases that you want to preserve or to be translated in a particular way. It is important if in the future you will take more markets, so even if you change the localization team, the translation will be consistent. 

4. Make conclusions and decide what’s next

Now it’s time to estimate the results. Choose the most valuable criteria for your business, check if the localization met your expectations, and decide what to do next. Here you may see if all the markets were successful and if you want to make emphasis on some of them or pause any. Moreover, you will have to think over if you need a full localization if you didn’t have it since the beginning because it may help you to raise the retention rate of the app. It means that the audience will keep using your product over and over again. 

Final thought

After reading the most essential steps in the localization of an Android app, you noticed that it is important to think about it even before you start developing. There are small details that you need to consider from the first code letter because it will take a lot of time to change something later.

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