10 Application Localization Mistakes to Avoid
The increasing use of mobile apps and the growing prominence of regional languages worldwide make app localization crucial to the success of your business.
So, what to avoid, on in other words, which things you must consider or stay careful about while localizing your mobile app? Read this blog to know the answer.
The Emergence of Regional Languages, and the Increasing Use of Mobile Applications
Local languages have a promising future on the internet. India alone will have about 536 million regional language internet users by 2021. One of the most significant reasons for the emergence and growth of native languages is the convenience that they offer.
Local languages help users with a better understanding of the content that they consume and also simplify virtual interactions. They prove useful, particularly in the non-English speaking regions, and within the non-English speaking users of the internet.
Besides the linguistic evolution, the development of applications, and mobile apps, in particular, has been a significant reason for the growing use of the internet worldwide.
Mobile apps have revolutionized the virtual cosmos, Reports suggest that people spend 90% of their mobile time on apps, as they are quick, easy to use, and precisely serve the needs of the users.
They prove useful in helping you do everything right from posting concerns, talking to your banking assistant, buying a pair of trousers online, getting information, making friends, etc.
But mobile apps also haven’t stopped evolving! Regional languages have begun to dominate the mobile app sector as well. The development of various local language mobile apps in recent years signify the growth of regional languages and have made app browsing an even more convenient and user-oriented experience.
So, as mobile apps work as a quicker and a more focused alternative to websites, and web applications, localizing them becomes an equally critical and intricate task.
However, despite the criticality, often, many companies either refrain from localizing their apps, or if they do, they don’t do it correctly. Such apps are flawed, and they simply don’t connect, as regional language internet users don’t see a reason to connect with it.
Risking your business to a flawed or locally irrelevant app can prove detrimental to your success in the regional market. Hence, knowing what not to do or what to avoid can help you. Let us proceed to explore the ten common app localization mistakes.
10 Mistakes that Top App Localization Companies Avoid
1. Doing it all in a Hassle!
Of course, everyone wants to lead the game and make the app available quickly to the users. However, every language in the world is different. For instance, translating your application from English to Arabic may take longer than doing so from English to Spanish.
Besides, factors such as the layout of the application, consumer psychology, etc. are factors that further add to the intricacies and the time it takes to localize an app. Some critical technical and linguistic concerns demand a considerable amount of attention and time.
A lot of business owners do not recognize these differences. They treat everything as the same and are in a hurry to finish things up. Such an approach does not allow them to give proper justice to the localization aspect of the application and does not let them launch it on time either.
2. Misaligning the Text and the Application Design
Again, the difference in the text format is another significant area of concern. Japanese script is different from that of Latin. Similarly, the Latin script varies from the Arabic one. While Latin reads from left to right, Arabic reads from right to left.
You cannot miss on such a visible and critical concern while the app development is in process. Your app must support multiple scripts to ensure that the content doesn’t appear disorganized, inappropriately aligned, and therefore prove annoying while trying to read it.
The solution to this concern is straightforward. It is to develop an application that supports multiple scripts, especially when you wish to venture into diverse markets.
3. Cluttering the Application with an Inadequate Alphabet Space
The idea of fitting a large amount of text within a short space takes a toll on the user experience. Even if that is not the case, not recognizing the difference between alphabets also results in a messy app.
Latin alphabets are different from those of non-Latin languages such as Japanese, Marathi, or Hindi. Chinese alphabets, for instance, are larger in size, and occupy a larger screen space than English.
So, you cannot apply the same rules, or the use the same layout while translating from English to Hindi, or English to Chinese, and others. Doing so results in a compact mobile app page that doesn’t leave any space for the script, alphabets, and the localized content to breathe.
The key here is to understand these critical differences, and create a page layout that aligns with the script, varying alphabet sizes of different languages. It helps you develop a clean application that facilitates a seamless content experience, and app browsing experience.
4. Overlooking Cultural Differences
Culture is an essential element of localization. It contributes to the application’s relevance in the local market context and connects you well with the native users.
Despite the criticality of culture, some tend to overlook it. It may lead to an app that appears alien, inappropriate, and irrelevant in regards to the culture of the target audience
Such an approach can deter them from the app, thereby compelling all the hard work down the drain. Even worse, the ignorance may prove offensive, if the localized phrases, words, sentences, symbols, etc. are not correct in the cultural context of the native audience.
Hence, while localizing the application, you must ensure you pay sufficient attention to the native audience’s culture. It will contribute to the comfort level of the target users and create resonance within the local audience group to increase the likelihood of your app’s success.
5. Using Incorrect Colors
Every color holds a particular symbolic significance in every culture. For instance, yellow, in the Japanese culture, signifies wealth, bravery, and refinement. But, in France, it stands for jealousy, weakness, and betrayal! So here, the use of yellow in an app localized for the French people may not go well with them, and they will refrain from using such an application.
So, how do you deal with these color differences? The only answer to this question is to study the meaning of different colors in the target culture and avoid the use of colors that offend the users or give out an inappropriate message to them.
6. Using Inappropriate Graphics and Images
Localization, as we’ve said before, is a complicated task. It doesn’t limit itself to localizing the text but extends to localizing various other factors such as the colors, layout, and graphics, and image also. Speaking of pictures and graphics, a particular image that signifies something good for a specific culture may trigger discomfort and annoyance in the mind of the users in the other.
So, by not considering the cultural sensitivity of graphics and images, some companies don’t only fail their apps, but also put their reputation at stake! It is because images and graphics are not only crucial to the application’s appearance, and contextual enhancement, their incorrect and ignorant use can tarnish the reputation of the app and the company that develops it.
7. Using the Incorrect Date and Time Format
While the UK follows the Date-Month-Year format, the US uses the Month-Date-Year order. Besides, some countries like the United States, Australia, Canada, etc. use the 12-hour clock, and some countries, say France, for instance, use the 24-hour clock.
Not using the correct date and time format can lead to confusion. For instance, let us say an app is announcing the date of a global event that targets people from the UK as well as the US. The event is scheduled for the 12th of July. So, while addressing the UK audience, the date format will be 12/07/2020. But while informing it to the US audience, it will turn into 07/12/2020.
8. Linking Codes
The single coding formula does not work in the case of a multilingual application. But, a lot of developers, unaware of the result, do it. They string together sentences through a single code. It may work in the case of English, but not necessarily in the case of other languages.
It is because every language follows various formats and grammar rules. Hence, linking, or concatenating the codes may give the sentence a completely different meaning and convey an entirely different message to the users.
9. Not Identifying Regional Linguistic Differences
This is another factor that a lot of apps don’t recognize, especially when it comes to targeting a micro-region that speaks a specific dialect of a language. Often, such apps come up with the localized version that comprises the standard form of the language, and which is why they don’t connect.
A particular region may speak a specific language. But that does not mean the people in the area speak it in the same manner throughout the region.
For example, the Marathi spoken across various regions of Maharashtra is different. It uses different types of words, and at times, and the sentence structures too vary. So, if you are targeting the coastal parts of Maharashtra, using the standard version of Marathi may not resonate as much.
You must take cognizance of these differences if you are developing an application that targets a specific location, and wherein the form of the language is different than that of the standard one.
10. Releasing the App without the Right Quality Checks
Your application approach may have been correct and comprehensive. But, releasing the app without performing the right quality checks, and across all the necessary parameters may lead to the launch of an erroneous application on the market, and damage your reputation.
The solution to this concern is to have an on-time QA test. It is necessary to test the application on aspects such as the quality of the translation, localization, the appearance of the content, and other technical and user-related elements. The idea is to examine the applications across parameters that impact the application’s performance and those relating to its user experience quotient.
Partner with Filose for the Most Appropriate and Accurate Application Localization
For a task as critical as application localization, you need a partner that helps avoid all the above mistakes and deliver a comprehensively and accurately localized product. Filose, one of the leading application localization companies in the world, proves helpful in this regard.
Filose is the right blend of expertise, coupled with diverse experience in localizing a range of apps for a variety of businesses, and different languages, cultures, and audiences. The company, with over a decade of experience in app localization, has delivered results in the form of apps that contribute to enhanced user experience and match the user needs.
If you’ve got business expansion plans, and wish to penetrate the regional market through a fully localized application, aligned with your business needs, along with the prospects’ expectations, contact to Filose’s experts on +91-20-49007800 or email to email@example.com
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