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Which languages and countries to target for translations

10-23-2009, 09:37 AM
#1
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Which languages and countries to target for translations

I'm interested to hear from some developers who get a decent proportion of their sales from non-English speaking countries, and developers who've translated their game specifically for localization in other countries, and what you feel your Return On Investment is for these markets is.

There are a lot of languages out there. And not all have a market for western games. Assuming you're hoping for at least moderately successful worldwide sales on your game, what languages do you think are 'must-haves' for targeting for localization?
10-23-2009, 10:05 AM
#2
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 27
Not a good idea to translate, the main maket is the US. If you reach the top 25, you can think to translate in French but your sales will not grow...

This is really hard to sell in the appstore. If you app don't reach a top 25. You will sell very small quantity... And this is really hard to reach the top 25.

10-23-2009, 12:17 PM
#3
Joined: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 741
In console game dev localisation the acronym 'EFIGS' was always the buzzword I heard. It means English, French, Italian, German, Spanish.

If you look at the non-english speaking stores it seems most charts are dominated by games where the descriptions at least have been translated. This is of course far easier to do than translating the whole game.

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10-23-2009, 01:19 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagineNET View Post
Not a good idea to translate, the main maket is the US. If you reach the top 25, you can think to translate in French but your sales will not grow...
This is incorrect. I had my game translated to French, and the sales did increase noticeably. I also did Spanish and Italian...Spanish got some more sales, Italian not so much. The cost was less than $100 so it was more than worth it, and I didn't reach the top 25.

However the best investment was translating the App Store description to Japanese. This made sales in Japan significantly higher ever since I did that, and for some reason, for the last month or so, Japanese sales have been twice as high as US sales. I also had the App Store description translated into Dutch, but that had zero effect.

--Eric

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Last edited by Eric5h5; 10-23-2009 at 01:22 PM.
10-24-2009, 05:18 PM
#5
That's a hard question.

For our games, we decide to fully translate them in 10 languages. ( English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Korean )

Why 10 languages? We believe it is preferable to provide other languages.
Some developer think that translating a game costs a fortune. it's false.
If some developers choose only the English language is a matter of simplicity (and maybe laziness in the coding process)
I have seen a lot of games on the app store in english only with so few words they can be easily translated into several languages for a few hundred dollars.

We believe that offering multiple languages is a proof of quality and respect towards the foreign customer. (that's a important point)

Maybe it did not impact the sell in some countries, it's truly hard to say, but if the cost of translation is low, it is a good deal for everyone.

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10-26-2009, 01:33 PM
#6
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 27
Well, this is not always a bad idea. However the issue is the quality of the translation. So, for a budget of $100, you can get 4 translations ( eg Elance)
but how to be sure the translations are not poor?

A poor translation can hurt your sales! I'm French, and I can see the poor translations of the French AppStore.

So I'm thinking you don't have to translate your game for the first release. If you reach a top 25/50 in US , then you can decide to translate. In this case, a good idea should be to use two translators per language (one for the translation, the other for fixing the translation).

About top 25. (please read top 25 in one category)




Quote:
Originally Posted by AdriVetasoft View Post
That's a hard question.

For our games, we decide to fully translate them in 10 languages. ( English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Korean )

Why 10 languages? We believe it is preferable to provide other languages.
Some developer think that translating a game costs a fortune. it's false.
If some developers choose only the English language is a matter of simplicity (and maybe laziness in the coding process)
I have seen a lot of games on the app store in english only with so few words they can be easily translated into several languages for a few hundred dollars.

We believe that offering multiple languages is a proof of quality and respect towards the foreign customer. (that's a important point)

Maybe it did not impact the sell in some countries, it's truly hard to say, but if the cost of translation is low, it is a good deal for everyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric5h5 View Post
This is incorrect. I had my game translated to French, and the sales did increase noticeably. I also did Spanish and Italian...Spanish got some more sales, Italian not so much. The cost was less than $100 so it was more than worth it, and I didn't reach the top 25.

However the best investment was translating the App Store description to Japanese. This made sales in Japan significantly higher ever since I did that, and for some reason, for the last month or so, Japanese sales have been twice as high as US sales. I also had the App Store description translated into Dutch, but that had zero effect.

--Eric
10-27-2009, 12:06 AM
#7
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: SEOUL/KOREA
Posts: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric5h5 View Post
This is incorrect. I had my game translated to French, and the sales did increase noticeably. I also did Spanish and Italian...Spanish got some more sales, Italian not so much. The cost was less than $100 so it was more than worth it, and I didn't reach the top 25.

However the best investment was translating the App Store description to Japanese. This made sales in Japan significantly higher ever since I did that, and for some reason, for the last month or so, Japanese sales have been twice as high as US sales. I also had the App Store description translated into Dutch, but that had zero effect.

--Eric
This is very good to know. Thanks for your info!
We did update iPharaoh this morning with two additional languages (Japanese and Korean). We plan to update it with other additional languages as well.

My suggestion is Japanese, French and Spanish are necessary to reach large market. Since Japanese market is the second largest market in the world (and its app store is also growing to be like no. 2). I don't need to mention French and Spanish, lol
10-27-2009, 07:28 PM
#8
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 5
We're doing localization in: English (of course), Spanish, French, Japanese/Chinese and German.

I think is a good idea to provide localization for the games regardless if that generate a raise in your numbers or not. That means your company, your product, cares of the user. At least from my perspective.
10-27-2009, 07:59 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob.rosset View Post
I think is a good idea to provide localization for the games regardless if that generate a raise in your numbers or not. That means your company, your product, cares of the user. At least from my perspective.
Agreed. Translating into a local language probably doesn't provide an instant boost in visibility -- users still have to find your app in the iTunes app store first. But it does mean that once they find your app, they get to read about it in their native language and know that the developer is paying attention to them.
10-27-2009, 09:54 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 5
Also you could consider a new art design according to the country sometimes. China is a good example of a new UI for localization. Well, it's a whole new market for most of us I think. At least for our company and for me.