With the right amount of early-stage preparation, you can significantly cut your app localization cost. The median number of days between app updates is only about 7.8, meaning that you should expect a significant amount of changes and resubmissions every year. However, a seamless localization process will go a long way toward streamlining and managing all these moving parts.
Perhaps not initially intuitive, it is important to avoid the option with the cheap upfront cost; it is only going to create problems for you later as you have to resubmit jobs and continuously change your content. With early preparation, your long-term costs will be controllable, predictable, and reasonable.
Using Preparation to Foster App Localization Cost Savings
Most companies that attempt to translate an app make the mistake of not setting the initial groundwork because they’re in a hurry to enter the market. However, the preparation isn’t as challenging as expected, so long as the right standards are set early on. You’ll want to:
- Build out app’s native language keywords: The words that are central to your app’s brand require mapping to their potential translated counterparts in the target language(s). This process helps preserve the experience and the search engine optimization program at an early stage.
- Ensure clear, consistent key use: Keys give context cues that help translators improve their work. For example, you’d want to use a key that says “home screen title” rather than an abbreviation that simply says “hst” because the translators will immediately understand what the first one is. If it says “hst,” they likely won’t understand what it alludes to.
- Make use of comments: Comments should be added to the code to enable further context. At Bureau Works, we use a preview mode that provides another layer of context and have found that it’s incredibly helpful in ensuring accurate translation. The more context you can provide to the translator, the better your overall result will be.
- Invest in training linguists: Have the linguists use the app for some time before the project. This strategy is possibly the best way to get an expert translation that’s specific to your product. Using it for at least 8 hours is enough to help them understand its purpose and improve the content.
- Create an approved glossary: Your glossary and corporate lexicons are the single source of truth for your translators. Have an approved one for in-country use to help guide them and stay true to the brand.
- Choose a single point of contact: Establish a single main tester for each region to streamline feedback. This way prevents disparate opinions that can result in translation inconsistencies and inaccuracies.
You need to pay very close attention to the first iteration of your app because it’s the foundation that all other versions will be built upon. A single error in the first iteration will filter through all your programs and create a difficult-to-resolve situation. Aiming for perfection in your source language keeps you from propagating bad information through all your subsequent app translation rollouts.
Choosing the Right Vendor to Limit Cost Creep
One problem you’re going to run into if you go to a translation-focused agency for your app is a lack of file-engineering expertise. Most translation agencies focus on the content itself and not how it will display on your app. However, your user experience is just as important as your content, so you need a vendor who will be able to manage the technical aspects as well.
You’ll want to vet potential partners, inquiring into how they treat variables and regular expressions. These two components are essential for both accurate translation and the user experience, so you’ll want a vendor with a firm policy on treating these building blocks. If the vendor can’t tell you what their processes are for mapping out and handling regular expressions and variables, there is a considerable project risk.
A smaller test job of a single page or screen view could be an insightful way to see how they will handle the app as a whole. Send a machine translation request for a file, and then apply it to your app to see how it displays. You’ll want to use content with a moderate level of complexity—with variables that change based on region—to ensure they have the right processes in place to meet your needs. Have your developers analyze the completed project when it is returned, so you can see how they performed from both a linguistic and technical perspective.
Solid preparation will help you attain the most app localization cost savings for the long-term, since you won’t have to go back and rework linguistic mistakes and bad code. Ensuring your source content is strong and your partner has robust technical knowledge will greatly help in streamlining your process. Given that you’ll likely manage many mobile app updates and languages, the sooner you build out a program, the better.
Bureau Works provides app localization cost savings through the use of our intuitive, streamlined platform. To learn more about effectively controlling the costs associated with your app project, contact our team.
November 17, 2020