Collectively, Google Play and Apple’s App Store approve over 500 apps a day and getting your app noticed could be really hard. You can take a note from the biggest app publishers, Gameloft, EA, Disney, apart from their large marketing budgets, they also publish their apps in multiple languages.
By reaching the right audiences you can gain a significant competitive advantage. What most mobile app develoeprs forget is that English isn’t the language of the internet. Countries like Russia, India, South Korea, and Asia is responsible for over 45% of the internet traffic. Even the mobile market is biggest in China (1,246 million users), followed by India (893 million users).
This shows how much potential is out there for app developers. If your studio can’t afford translations and localisation in multiple languages, there are other ways of doing it. You can translate language by language depending on the traffic you get to your app (for example, translating into Spanish because a large proportion of your users are from Spanish speaking countries.), use machine translation that’s proofed by an industry specialist or crowd source your translation with the help of volunteers.
Not very app has to be translated. Not language centric games like ‘Flappy Bird’ and ‘Angry Birds’ are easy to understand. But for anything else that isn’t easy to comprehend and is feature rich, proper translation and localisation is essential.
‘Make App Magazine’ recently did an experiment which involved translating an app targeting countries such as Italy, France, Russia, Japan and China. The results were more than remarkable. Even though their app was already generating traffic from the aforementioned countries but they saw a boost of 767% in downloads!
There is a thin line between ‘Translation and Localisation’ and sometimes both terms can be a little confusing. Furthermore, translation is pretty much about turning words or text from one language to another, localisation is more about “making it local”. Often localisation takes more time than translation. Content, such as images, dates, date formats, needs to be adapted accordingly as well.
You might be asking yourself “What’s the right time to translate my app?”. Well, the best time is now. Translating your app while developing it means that you can reach more people shortly after you publish it online. This is usually the more costly option. If you already have an app, or you want to wait, tapping into the download analytics can show you which countries can be targeted. To save budget you can choose the second, or third, most popular destination that generates the most downloads and then translate accordingly.
Dozens of apps get approved everyday and finding a way to edge your competition could be hard. Translating your mobile apps into multiple languages can not only bring you more downloads, but also more revenue and brand awareness. And that’s something that every app developer wants.