Welcome Waze to Wales

Welcome Waze to Wales

Over two years ago, Applingua approached Welsh Government with an ambitious project to translate 60 apps into Welsh. Being a minor language globally, Welsh is normally overlooked by app developers and while we would agree that the numbers are small, there are few other countries where passion for their native language is stronger.

Welsh Government awarded us the grant and we got to work contacting existing and new clients the world over offering them Welsh translation for free. Within a year we had not only hit 60 Welsh Apps, but far exceeded and all within budget.

Towards the end of the project, we wanted to find an app that would really shine if translated. We wanted an app everyone could use, that wasn’t niche, or particularly topic specific. Sitting in a taxi one day, we noticed the taxi driver was using Google’s Waze app for navigation and instantly we knew who to contact next.

The Waze team at Google are fantastic to work with. From the very onset, they were receptive to adding Welsh to their app, even if it meant a extra development and project management time on their side. As soon as they added Welsh to their Transifex project, we got to work translating.

Fast forward 18 months and Waze is now available on the App Store for both Android and iOS in Welsh. Apart from the usual text translation, one of the highlights for Applingua was organising the voice over navigations using a voice over artist at a recording studio in Cardiff (Hoot!). We’ve already been told by friends that their kids absolutely love the Welsh navigation prompts on the way to school each morning.

If you’d like to download the voice-guided navigation app, visit Waze.com. As this is very much a community project, you can also sign up to contribute to the translations, just click Join the Team. You can also read Waze’s blog post on the journey too.

Robert Lo Bue

Rob is CEO of Applingua. With over a decade's experience, he is at the forefront of tech localization.

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