The 6 Steps of Localization

The 6 Steps of Localization

Here at Applingua we often get asked what the localization process involves. Localization is generally very much the same from translation agency to translation agency, whether it’s an app, a game or a website being localized. However, there might be some small differences from company to company. For example, not all agencies offer testing within the translation fee – here at Applingua testing is an integral part of what we do, so there’s no extra cost for testing.

So, let’s take a look at the steps involved in localizing your product:

1. Prepare for localization

Before any app, game or website can be translated, it needs to be prepared for localization. This could be in the way you organise your Xcode project, or installing translation plugins for wordpress.

2. Decide on which languages

This is of course one of the most important decisions and we can often provide advice on this. Check out our previous post on the top most translated app languages. Essentially, you have to consider carefully the following:

  • Where you have demand from: countries where users are asking for your product to be translated is probably a good sign of its potential success in that country once localized
  • Where you can profit from: at the moment, your app isn’t available to those who speak on Chinese, for example, so once it’s translated, could you potentially have access to a market of over a billion people?

3. Send us everything

Once you’ve prepared the strings for localization and decided on the languages, send them to us either in an e-mail ([email protected]) or using our Quote Form and we’ll put together a quote for you based on the number of words and the number of languages.

Applingua Top Tip: at Applingua we don’t charge for duplicates, so if you have any strings which appear more than once, you’ll only be charged for one translation – not all agencies do this, so we’ll definitely save you some money this way!

When providing us with the necessary files, it’s also a good idea to give us information about the following:

  • The name of your product and your company name – these are often different
  • A brief description of your product: what it does, who it is for and which platform it will be available on i.e. iOS, macOS, Android etc
  • A link to the product website – this can often give translation invaluable insight in to the product and how it works, which can directly affect the translations

4. Approve the estimate

We’ll send you over an estimate of the entire cost of the project with a proposed time-scale. Clients often wonder how long a translation project will take. Well, how long is a piece of string? It just depends on the number of words. As a rule of thumb, I’d recommend calculating around 1 day for every 400-500 words. This is just for the translation itself – the whole process will take more time. But if you have a project which is 800 words, we’d expect the translators to take about two days to translate that, plus a day or two for testing and signing off.

When we send you over the estimate, we’ll also include the most asked question at Applingua: Would you like us to proceed? If you’re happy to go ahead, just hit the reply button and type “yes” – this is really important, sometimes people think we’ll go ahead with the translation, but we need a 100% confirmation from the client before we start anything. That way we make sure you’re definitely happy with the cost of the project.

5. Translation

The project is then assigned to our translators. Sometimes they’ll need clarification on issues such as context or specialist words, so we might be in touch with a few queries. Otherwise, the translators localize the product into their language. Once the translations are all done, we’ll send the localized strings back to you.

6. Testing

At Applingua we value the importance of testing. We see it as an integral part of the localization process. Translators work with strings when localizing, so they don’t see the overall product. This is why testing is so important. This way the translator can see the product in use and can check the translation fits the context of the product.

During the testing process, there might be some changes made, but once they’re done, the product is good to go. We’ll send it back to you, ready for you to release!


A final thought…

When translating an app or a game, it’s easy to forget that these come with App Store Descriptions, a website and Support Documentation. For your customers to have the full experience, they’ll also need access to these in their language, so make sure you plan to have these translated as well. This also might save you a lot of time responding to e-mails in foreign languages asking for supporting and help.

Anthony Ash

A lover of language, Anthony speaks several and is particularly interested in historical linguistics. With an MA in Linguistics and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, he is our Chief Language Expert and Director of Training.

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