making your apps international

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How to take your apps to a global audience. Presentation by Filipe Samora at AppsWorld 2011, Olympia, London

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  • 1. Making Your Apps International Testronic Labs Filipe Samora - AppsWorld - 2011/11/30
  • 2. AGENDA1. Why Make Your Apps International?2. Prepping Your Apps for International Markets3. How to Make Your Apps International
  • 3. Why Make Your Apps International?
  • 4. Cant ReadWONT BUY!
  • 5. WHY MAKE YOUR APPS INTERNATIONAL? Translation is not necessary. Dont most people speak English anyway? 11 out of 12 people worldwide dont speak EnglishSpeakers of English as a foreign language feel more comfortable using apps in their native tongue which increases the chances of them buying these apps
  • 6. WHY MAKE YOUR APPS INTERNATIONAL?You might also be surprised to hear that English is third on the list, behind Mandarin andSpanish in terms of native speakers List of top 10 languages by number of native speakers (2010) No. Language Native Speakers 1 Mandarin 845 million 2 Spanish 329 million 3 English 328 million 4 Hindi-Urdu 240 million 5 Arabic 206 million 6 Bengali 181 million 7 Portuguese 178 million 8 Russian 144 million 9 Japanese 122 million 10 Punjabi 109 million Source: Wikipedia
  • 7. WHY MAKE YOUR APPS INTERNATIONAL? While English is the top online language, it only reaches 26.8% of the online population. In other words, with your English-only website and apps, youre ignoring 73.2% of the online population!2010
  • 8. WHY MAKE YOUR APPS INTERNATIONAL? Now, what would happen if you translated your website and apps into the other 3 top languages on the chart? By doing that, you would drastically improve your reach to 63.5% of the internet population. Simply put, that would more than double your available prospect pool!
  • 9. WHY MAKE YOUR APPS INTERNATIONAL?It is estimated that the worldwide smartphone application market will growto $15.65 billion and the number of smartphone users will increase to1 billion by 2013.
  • 10. PREPPING YOUR APPSFOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
  • 11. PREPPING YOUR APPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETSEven if you arent thinking about releasing your app in multiple languages, youneed to ensure your app is ready to accommodate different languages. Thisprocess is known as internationalisation.Internationalisation should be step one in the design and development process of goingglobal. It involves setting up solid foundations so that your system architecture istranslation-ready, supportive of multilingual data, user interface and regionalrequirements. 1. Technical Component 2. Linguistic Component
  • 12. PREPPING YOUR APPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS TECHNOLOGY STANDPOINTEMBRACE UNICODEUnicode supports double-byte (Asian languages), special character sets (e.g., EasternEuropean) and bi-directional (right-to-left, e.g., Hebrew, Arabic).Unicode eliminates dependencies on byte values. It is a fixed-width, 16-bit character set,which enables it to capture more than 65,000 characters. That means that Unicode canrepresent scripts and symbols for writing text in nearly every language.
  • 13. PREPPING YOUR APPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS TECHNOLOGY STANDPOINTISOLATE TRANSLATABLE TEXT FROM CODETextual elements, e.g., GUI component labels or text messages that vary with locale,should not be hardcoded in the program. Instead they should be stored outside of thesource code and retrieved dynamically (JSON, PO, XML, XLIFF, etc.). This eliminates theneed to recompile your app for different languages. Translatable text JSON file String ID Path to translated graphics
  • 14. PREPPING YOUR APPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS TECHNOLOGY STANDPOINT CHECK IF ALL YOUR CONTENT CAN BE TRANSLATED Pre-populate a built application with dummy translation automatically, according to applied settings, in order to detect implementation issues in the software, prior to starting the real translation phase. This process verifies that applications GUI or functionality will not break with the translated text and examines whether the application can support special characters and text expansion.
  • 15. PREPPING YOUR APPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS TECHNOLOGY STANDPOINTPRESERVE LAYERED GRAPHIC FILES AND ORIGINAL FONTSBy doing so you will avoid additional costs during multilingual graphicsproduction. Supplying the translator vendor with only flat GIF/BMP/JPEG fileswithout original fonts will result in higher cost and reduced quality whenattempting to mirror source graphic output.
  • 16. PREPPING YOUR APPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS TECHNOLOGY STANDPOINT ALLOW FOR TEXT EXPANSION Bear in mind that most European languages expand by 25-50% from the English. Provide character space limits to the translators for strings that cannot be expanded in restricted boxes. Although you can resize your dialogs before after software translation before rebuilding the translated application, the process will be much more efficient if most of the dialogs and controls have sufficient size before translation.
  • 17. PREPPING YOUR APPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS LANGUAGE STANDPOINTTRY TO WRITE GLOBALLY Its not easy to ask writers to stanch their creativeness, to drop slick jargon wording or to let go of comforting local references and instead, draft generic examples that resonate worldwide. However, if youre aiming at going global, bear in mind that a lot of jargon, slang or local culture-specific references will not necessary translate into other languages / regions / cultures.