Business Translation Center

Five things to think about before you begin your mobile app translation

by OFER TIROSH 29/01/2018

Along with video translation, the translation of mobile apps has really taken off in recent years. As more and more businesses develop apps for their customers, the international potential of those apps is becoming clear. After all, when you’ve taken the time and trouble to create an app, why limit its use to just one country?

In light of this, we’ve provided a few hints and tips to think about before your company begins the app translation process. After all, it can be much more effective (in terms of cost as well as time) to make sure you’ve considered the translation from every angle before getting started.  


A high quality localization service is often key to the success of the materials that you present to foreign audiences, and apps are no exception. From the text within the app to the kind of images used, localization can help to shape and steer the translation process to ensure that the final product is entirely suited to the cultural and religious sensibilities of the intended audience. It’s a great way to avoid reputational damage and make sure that your app engages customers overseas for the right reasons. 

Tech credentials

Before you begin speaking to translation services about your mobile app project, think about how ‘techy’ you need your translation professionals to be. They’re likely to have to liaise with the app developer as part of the process, so be sure to grill potential translation companies on their tech credentials as part of your selection process. Appointing a company that can competently discuss the tech side of the app can pay big dividends in terms of the speed and efficiency of the translation process.  

What to include

This is another area that requires some thought well before the translation process begins. What is it precisely that you need translated? There’s more to translating an app than converting the text that appears on the customer’s screen. Don’t leave your app store description to the last minute, or the app’s website description – think through each of the elements of your app and the marketing and customer services processes that sit behind it in order to ensure that your project can proceed calmly and without any last minute panics. 


Do you want your translation agency to work directly from the app’s code or from strings in Excel? Is this even something you feel confident answering, or are you already picking up the phone to the developer? Think through the format element carefully before speaking to a professional translation agency about your app. They will want to know what format you will be providing the app in, as well as what format you would like the translation back in. 


Think carefully about which language it would be most beneficial to have your app in. This will no doubt be driven by your international strategy, but factors like potential audience size should also be taken into account. It might be worth scanning a few statistics about the number of speakers that different languages have before you get started, in order to ensure that you’re getting the maximum value out of your translation process. 

If you have an app that needs translating, the Tomedes team would love to help. Contact us today to find out more.