# 5 Best Practices of Mobile App Localization

‘Yoink’ increased the sales by 300% just by providing Asian languages!

‘Yoink’, the software of Eternal Storms Software for Mac, iPad, and iPhone, has experienced 305% increase in sales after they provide the application in Japanese, China for 144% and Korea for 16%. They decided to localize their application into 6 languages besides default language, English. And among 6 languages, East Asian countries—China, Japan and Korea—showed a remarkable result compared to European countries. While this case proved the correlation between app localization and sale increase, it also tells us the secret how to enter Asian market successfully—overcoming language barriers.


Work with local translation agencies for localization!

If you are doing business in Asia, language matters more than anything. App localization can help you to reach Asian clients successfully; however, at the same time, localization is a tricky project because it has to be rolled out based on cultural understanding. Let’s assume that you need the material to be translated into Chinese. Can you guarantee that a native Chinese speaker—who has moved into the States since the childhood and never returned to his mother country—fully understands Chinese culture? Rather, I’d recommend finding a local translation agency to find a native Chinese translator in order to maximize the localization effectiveness.


Here, this post introduces 5 best practices for successful mobile app localization.


1. Think international when develop!

Amazingly, by simply thinking international at every stage of development, this prevents you from paying the cost and doing additional work for localization. And for your localization process, you should think international from the beginning of app development to the end keeping your ‘international’ on your mind. For instance, when your mobile application content contains time, currencies and address, you keep those elements in mind; then you can easily set it up in targeting countries’ format when localizing. As a result, you can save tons of time and no extra work to go through all the content and find out content that needs to be localized.


2. Select language and region as well.

Many believe that localization is a simple translation work. However, you should have a specific region and language for localization because many countries share languages. For instance, China and Taiwan share Chinese characters and Chinese can definitely read simplified Chinese which Taiwanese use; however, those two countries have different currencies. And even Portugal and Brazil both speak Portuguese but have different local time, spellings and address formats. Therefore, when rolling out app localization, you should decide not only language but also region that you target.


3. Work with a professional translator.

Since localization requires more than a simple transition of letters, find and work with a professional translator. Basically, translation is like an art. Painters know how the object looks like and try to express it reflecting their thoughts with a different color. Also, translators’ understanding of mobile application and storyline is mandatory to localize and express your content in the certain language in its cultural context. This is what a professional translator does in the field of localization, and this is the most meaningful app localization.


4. Tell your translators the context.

Telling your translators context decides the quality of localization a lot. It’s not easy to contextualize for translators when translating texts in Excel or XML files. And especially, texts in mobile application tend to be really short so that it makes translators to guess the context and translate. For instance, if there is a word ‘Call’, without context, translators may think of making a phone call while it means an agreement in the context. However, with your cooperation with the translator, you can be away from poor localization and maintain accurate and clear translation.


5. Translation tool utilization for efficiency

You may look for App localization service providers who use translation tools—Translation Memory (TM) and Term Base. TM refers to the database of previously translated phrases. It helps to analyze phrases in the text in terms of similarity. And Term Base, in addition, remembers the terminologies commonly used in the specific field. For example, for the sentence of ‘Please download whitepaper’, ‘please download’ phrase will be examined, and ‘whitepaper’ will be analyzed by Term Base and replaced on behalf of the previous translated phrases and term base. Accordingly, working with localization service agencies using TM and Term Base can enhance language consistency and accuracy, speed up translating and reduce cost consequently.


#Localization – Make Your Market Entry Easy and Simple

Numerous global companies already have gone through localization for their global business expansion. Localization is not an option for global companies anymore for successful business expansion, and it determines success and failure.

Forever 21 is not appealing to the Korean market ever since they started their business in Korea because of poor localization. Their website provides a simple translation so that it makes Korean clients feel apart and unfamiliar.

On the contrary, Uniqlo is being loved by Korean consumers creating a great profit in the Korean market with perfect localization. If you plan to do business in Asia, communicate your customers with accurate Asian translation effectively with localization like Uniqlo.

Localization is the most powerful and effective tool for your business in Asia.



TEXTree, your possible and dedicated Asian communication partner.

Make your Asian business EASY AND SIMPLE!

Online Marketing
Customer Service
Abby Lee
Abby LeeMarketing team
T +82. 70. 8270. 8970 | F +82. 2. 3431. 4273