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Localization, is it worth it ?

02-19-2014, 11:36 AM
As a developer and translator...

I'm both an app developer and translator, so I see both "sides of the fence" on this to some extent.

A couple of caveats you need to bear in mind are that localisation in itself won't magically make your app culturally relevant to speakers of the language in question if it wasn't relevant in the first place. So I would definitely advise trying to find out, e.g. using something like Google Trends, what volume of interest there is from speakers of the language in question for the theme of your app.

Then in turn, it's worth trying to assess whether having your app in a given language will give it a competitive edge: what percentage of apps in that genre have localisation compared to the demand for it? When I added German to my word puzzle "LetterMeister", this sparked a little bit of interest from German reviewers because they noted that most games of that genre are in English. (I should say that the attention was largely honorary, though: I haven't actually had tons of sales from German speaking countries.) Different languages could give you access to app stores where there's less competition for the top spots (but conversely with fewer sales).

The other thing I've found for small niche/independent apps is that the thing that really makes localisation work is if, following localisation, you are then able to conduct your other marketing/awareness raising activities actually in the language of localisation: posting on forums etc actually in the target language. So you may need to think a little bit beyond "translating your app" as a one-off exercise. I guess this may not apply so much if your app and marketing budget is big enough for on-line interaction not to be a major part of your strategy.
03-01-2014, 12:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Morestel, France
Posts: 572
I've wrote a Blog Post about Localization (as a guest blogger) on the Amazon Developer Blog. It's a generic article, so for all platforms. I'm explaining many technics and tips for making localization as smoothly as possible. I hope you'll enjoy the read: BLOG POST.