When it comes to multilingual language translation for apps and software, most companies are missing significant opportunities. Typically, they approach multinational market entry during one of two growth phases:
1. When their growth has completely plateaued in the US
2. When their growth is just beginning (like the case of a startup navigating their way through new markets, testing different opportunities)
However, most people don’t realize how easy and inexpensive it can be to enter foreign software markets. Most app stores, like Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, already have the framework in place. All you have to do is get your strings translated—often through machine translation—for a rudimentary start to localization. From there, you can enjoy a wide range of benefits that will help you create the next global phenomenon.
3 Key Benefits of Basic Multilingual Language Translation
Machine translation on a platform like Bureau Works leverages the best options for quickly converting content into a new language. Through the utilization of Google’s neural machine translations and Microsoft’s translator hub, we generate strings of content that are natural and, often, don’t come across as machine translations at all.
This is especially useful for software and apps where the program is less focused on content and more focused on the user experience. With machine translation, we can assist our clients in executing an early global rollout, which includes many of the following benefits:
#1: Build a better brand reputation
International audiences often find themselves frustrated with apps because so many primarily target the US. While this may benefit the American market, it leaves many international consumers feeling like their respective countries were afterthoughts. That’s why it’s critical to offer your app in other languages; it provides the first opportunity to create immediate goodwill between your brand and your global consumers.
With goodwill intact (and the opportunity to enjoy the app in their respective languages), there’s a better chance that these international users will be more forgiving of simple mistakes due to machine translations. To establish early global interest and gain an immediate competitive advantage before launch, utilize app localization.
#2: Grow your brand instantly
Using a simple machine translation process to translate strings and plug them into your app is straightforward and inexpensive, and it provides instant brand growth. Instead of having just 300 million domestic users looking at your app, now you have billions of international users engaging with it.
This strategy can also provide a second opportunity for your app’s success if the US rollout is lackluster—as it did for the social media platform Orkut. This app never quite caught on with US users, but once it was localized, it took off rapidly in other parts of the world. Although it was eventually shuttered—had that localization process started sooner, it likely would have seen much more success in overseas markets.
#3: Identify new market opportunities
Hiring a market research company to find opportunities for your app in foreign markets could cost up to five or six figures. They have to find testing locations, organize focus groups, compile data, and create reports. Despite their heavy efforts, much of their professional guidance is purely speculation. There’s no guarantee that their initial opinion on a market’s potential will pan out.
The alternative would be to spend $300 to $400 to translate some strings of text, upload them into your app, and do a very rough rollout in several locales. This method will provide you with real, viable data on the actual user interest in the market. If you suddenly see a surge in interest and downloads in Turkey, for example, you can consider investing more in that region.
A “rough rollout” approach helps you gauge a market’s potential using your actual product without needing to incur significant market research expenses. Plus, once you do identify opportunities, you can then look at ways to augment them.
Taking Translation to the Next Level
After a rough rollout, you will have the insight needed to consider expansion. You can evaluate if it’s worthwhile to build a local infrastructure or establish an automated translation system for support tickets from users. You may even look into utilizing API voice translation that provides agents with a rudimentary understanding of foreign languages so they can better address customer phone calls and voice chats.
Ideally, you will want to use a localization management platform to help manage all competing tasks in a single space. That way, the rough machine translation for your strings is already in the program and can be used to guide more enhanced processes like automated ticket translations and agent support. It can also be a jumping-off point for more in-demand regional dialects you discover after targeting specific languages.
Utilizing machine translation at the start of your multilingual language translation project is an organic approach to software globalization. It can provide you with the market insight needed to justify spending and allow you to focus your efforts on areas with the most potential. A powerful platform that incorporates machine translation with valuable linguistic assets like translation memories, term bases, and corporate lexicons can help you provide sophisticated customer service in any language. With this strategy, you set the stage for international growth at launch and can expect to see your app make a much more significant impact.