If you want your app to have an international audience, you definitely need to think about a multilingual app. Not just for the non-English speaking people who you want to reach out to but also those who can understand English but are more likely to engage with you when you speak their language.
The world is becoming smaller every day. More than 3 billion people across every major country in the world are connected to the internet today. A whopping 49% of all internet users in the world are in Asia. Another 37% are in Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and Africa, and only 8.2% in the United States of America. Clearly, the world of the internet is now multilingual.
Businesses are no longer defined by their geographical boundaries. The Internet makes it possible for you to sell to countries on the other side of the globe. However, as a cardinal rule, people buy from people. There is no walking away from that. No business can ever be successful without the human touch. And to that end, language is one of the most fundamental elements in a business. So to increase your business’ exposure, reach out to a far larger audience across international boundaries, rake in larger revenues and make your business truly global, make your app multilingual. Make sure to check this website https://jatapp.com/services/dedicated-development-team/ to find the best solution for making your business app relevant for your and your client’s needs.
Doing so however requires a good deal of thought and consideration. Multiple factors will impact the performance, penetration, and adoption of your app and will all need to be carefully analyzed. So here are 4 key factors to consider:
- Research Your Audience
Before you jump into developing a multilingual app, you will need to carefully analyze your audience and find out which languages you want to build into your app. A simple English app is enough work on its own and to add in another language would mean creating two sets of all pages. More languages mean more pages and soon you have a massive development and maintenance problem on your hands. That is why you need to carefully research your audience and determine what main languages your app is likely to be used in.
- Machine Translation or Human Translation
There are two ways you can go about translating your copy. You could either have expert professionals write each line in proper language and dialect, or get an online translation tool to do the job for you. There are pros and cons to each and which way you choose would entirely depend on the scope and specifics of your business.
Online translators can help you translate hundreds of languages in no time while having an expert for each language will take significantly more time and money. At the same time, however, you probably only need a few languages and not hundreds, and an expert will be able to convey your brand’s message in a better way, using words, phrases and tone that influence users much better. So carefully analyze your use cases to determine which is the better approach for you. For example, an event app that needs to reach a large number of multilingual audiences can use online translation to just convey the message. But a speech therapy or medical support app would do better with human translation.
- Understand Your Challenges
Languages are one of the most varied things in the world. Some have twice as many letters in their alphabet, others have really complicated grammar rules. Your app’s content delivery will need to be extremely adaptive in order to accommodate different languages. A few points to remember are –
- Different languages take different amounts of space, so keep enough allowance at the design stage. Some languages require up to 30% more space to write, than the same sentence in English.
- Also, remember to customize currencies and date and time conventions. Some countries follow the DD/MM/YY format while others follow MM/DD/YY. Even AM and PM connotations vary. So never hard code your date and time formats.
- Use internationalization, and add as many languages as you think you might need right at the beginning. This will help you translate and customize easier later.
- Choose the Right Tools
The developer community has lately taken note of the significance of multilingual apps and hence, there is now a bevy of tools you can use to make your app translate languages better. So depending on the platform you are building your app on, you can choose the tools designed to help you.
Apple provides base internationalization as a part of its SDK, so instead of designing individual pages in each language, just one set of pages needs to be made. Apple also uses its expertise in culture-specific content to help tailor your app for different markets.
Android supports multilingual apps by supporting locale directories and resource files, direction, and language-specific resources, localization checklist and eve bidirectional text.
Microsoft’s Multilanguage app toolkit has a number of helpful resources to offer. You can make use of these and a number of third-party tools and services to develop your multilingual app.
Ignoring the non-English speaking people of the world in this day and age of globalization can be a big mistake. Instead, if you make the effort to offer your app in multiple languages, you are set to make your business a global brand. So have you developed a multilingual app yet, or are ready to embark on one now? Share with us.
Aston Rhodes is an experienced content creator and marketing expert for the software development company JatApp. Aston has been helping authors improve their blogs for over 5 years and turn this hobby into a business. She does research and discussion on tech-related topics. She enjoys sharing her experiences with a like-minded audience and writes about software development, digital marketing, business, career, and more.