How to Test Mobile App Localization on a Tight Schedule?

Estimated read time 8 min read

The task of localizing a mobile app sometimes appears laborious. Beyond the linguistic elements, one must also account for technical adaptations, ensuring the content remains fully functional and culturally relevant in a diverse language setting. You can effectively streamline the process of testing mobile app localization within a constrained schedule using a mobile device lab.

Mobile App Localization

Mobile app localization refers to the comprehensive adaptation of a mobile application to suit the preferences and requirements of a specific target market or region. This involves not only translating the content into the local language but also customizing the user interface, adjusting cultural references, and adhering to regional regulations and standards.

Ensuring the seamless functionality of the app across diverse linguistic and cultural contexts can present intricate challenges that necessitate careful attention to detail during the localization process. Additionally, technical factors must be addressed, including the app’s compatibility with various app stores and its accessibility across different geographical locations.

Why is mobile app localization important?

Here are several reasons why app localization is crucial:

  • Broadening the audience: Localization is an effective strategy for reaching a wider user base, enabling app visibility and accessibility across diverse regions and countries beyond the developer’s primary jurisdiction.

  • Enhancing user experience: By providing the app in local languages, users can better comprehend and engage with the content, improving usability and increasing recommendations.

  • Improving app store ranking: Localized apps are more likely to resonate with users, resulting in heightened engagement and potentially higher rankings.

  • Staying ahead of competitors: Prioritizing localization sets developers apart from competitors and positions them favorably to capture and retain customers in international markets.

  • Boosting profitability: Well-executed app localization can lead to increased downloads and enhanced in-app revenue generation, making it a valuable investment.

How can you translate an app into different languages?

Accurate app localization involves more than mere text translation; it necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the cultural context of the target audience. Consistency and appropriateness of translated elements are crucial for a successful localization process.

Various common approaches for translating apps into different languages include:

  • Utilizing AI or machine learning translation services, which offer a cost-effective option but may sacrifice some accuracy

  • Engaging human translators, ensures precision but can be time-consuming and expensive,

  • Combining AI or machine translation, with human post-editing strikes a balance between accuracy and affordability.

  • Creating separate apps for each language is a costly but highly flexible approach that guarantees accuracy and customization.

Internationalization vs Localization

In the context of internationalization, developers need to design and build the app to accommodate non-Latin alphabets and bidirectional text, ensuring smooth transitions between languages such as English and Japanese. Challenges may arise due to the limitations of Unicode standards, especially when dealing with characters that exceed width limits, resulting in issues such as broken emojis. ‘

Additionally, internationalization involves incorporating code that can retrieve data based on locational preferences, including date formats and time zones. It is essential to note that while internationalization lays the groundwork for localization, the two concepts are distinct. Localization focuses on refining specific elements within the app, such as language, date and time formats, and currency, to suit the preferences of the target audience.

Steps to Localize a Mobile Application

When localizing a mobile application, follow these steps to ensure a successful process:

  • Research and gather data: Begin by conducting thorough research on the target market, including languages, dialects, and regional preferences. Analyze competitor apps to understand the local market dynamics.

  • Develop a localization strategy: Based on the gathered data, devise a comprehensive strategy for localizing your mobile app. Consider both Android and iOS platforms to tailor the strategy accordingly.

  • Create a localization specification: Develop a detailed specification that outlines the localization requirements for each aspect of the app, such as text, icons, user interface elements, and audio content.

  • Translate the app: Implement the localization specifications by translating the app content into the target language(s). This process involves two stages – translation creation and validation. Ensure that the translations align with the established specifications.

Despite the perceived complexity of the localization process, many apps may already have a version available in the target language. With careful planning and execution, the localization of mobile applications can be streamlined and effective.

Tips for Effectively Localizing Your Mobile App

Here are five essential tips to guide your mobile app localization process:

  • Prioritize Profitable Regions and Languages: Begin with the top languages used on the internet, including English, Chinese, and Spanish. Focusing on these languages initially can significantly broaden your app’s reach.

  • Choose Certified Translators: While AI tools like Google Translate can be useful, professional human translators ensure a more natural and contextually accurate translation, especially for languages with regional variations.

  • Conduct Native Language Testing: Include thorough beta testing in your app development process, ensuring that your app’s functionality and user interface are seamless across different languages. Involve testers from your target regions to provide valuable feedback.

  • Account for Cultural Differences: Pay close attention to potential cultural variations in gestures, symbols, and language nuances. Some expressions or symbols might carry different meanings or implications in various cultural contexts.

  • Opt for Secure Web Hosting: Invest in a reliable and secure web hosting provider that aligns with the locations of your target audience. Prioritize a hosting service that can accommodate increased app traffic without compromising security and performance, even if it requires a slightly higher investment.

  • Utilize automation and technology: While app localization can be intricate and time-consuming, you have the option to employ automation and technology to streamline and expedite the process. Additionally, tools like translation memories, glossaries, and style guides can help maintain uniformity and quality across different languages and versions.

Accelerate the deployment of your mobile apps by utilizing the LambdaTest platform, which offers a comprehensive real device cloud and virtual testing environment specifically designed for native mobile applications. LambdaTest is a test orchestration and execution platform powered by AI, designed to facilitate the smooth running of both manual and automated tests on a large scale.

LambdaTest’s cloud-based approach facilitates thorough testing across multiple devices, operating systems, and browsers, ensuring smooth app functionality across 3000+ diverse environments. This streamlined testing process allows for swift identification and resolution of potential issues, ultimately leading to faster and more efficient app deployment.

Moreover, LambdaTest’s online real device cloud provides the capability for real-time testing, enabling the assessment of mobile apps and user experience in real-world scenarios. By leveraging LambdaTest, you can optimize your app testing procedures, improve the overall quality of your mobile applications, and expedite the release of your products to the market.

By following these tips, you can navigate the complexities of mobile app localization efficiently and ensure a seamless user experience across diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

When Is the Right Time to Localize Your App?

App localization is a meticulous process that requires careful planning and execution for success. Initially, it’s advisable to focus on testing your app in a smaller market before delving into localization. This market should ideally consist of countries where your native language is spoken.

Best Practices for Developing Localized Mobile Apps

Opt for suitable file formats

To ensure ease of future localization, utilize resource files rather than embedding strings within the code base. Choose appropriate file formats such as JSON, ARB, YAML, XLIFF, Android Resources, or Apple strings, depending on the programming language or framework you’re using.

Educate developers on internationalization

Promote the internationalization of your mobile app during the coding and development stages to enable seamless localization. Develop global-ready code from the outset to streamline the localization process.

Avoid hard coding currency, time, and date formats

Facilitate seamless adaptation to varying time and date formats worldwide by steering clear of hard coding these elements. Utilize standard formats like ISO time, epoch time, or UTC, and consider libraries like Date.js or Moment.js for accurate formatting.

Employ a tool supporting diverse file formats

Utilize a translation management tool that facilitates the import and export of multiple file formats. Consider integrating with platforms like Lokalise to streamline the localization process and ensure efficient collaboration with linguists.

Use a translation management tool with a placeholder UI

Incorporate placeholders into your app to accommodate dynamic content during translations. Opt for a translation management system (TMS) like Lokalise that supports the seamless insertion and management of placeholders.

Account for plurals

Address the differences in plural forms across various languages by designing messages with variable elements that accommodate pluralization. Leverage specialized tools like Lokalise to handle plural forms efficiently during the translation process.

Consolidate iOS and Android keys

Merge similar key entries across various platforms to prevent redundant translation work and maintain a streamlined project. Harmonize key naming schemes to simplify the localization process for different platforms.

Conclusion

If you aim to broaden the reach and recognition of your app beyond your primary market, employing app localization is the solution.

A specialized app localization platform can streamline and automate the entire app localization procedure, enabling you to:

  • Facilitate the import and export of localizable strings by integrating with the app’s source code repository
  • Facilitate collaboration among all involved departments within a unified framework
  • Oversee teams and track their advancement
  • Offer translators context through screenshots and live previews
  • Ensure precision and uniformity by utilizing translation memory, glossary, and quality assurance capabilities
  • Manage all language versions of your app assets

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