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How exactly does localizations of apps translate to more downloads?

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I have been wonderinga about this a bit and wonder if anyone have an answer.

 

How exactly does localizations of apps translate to more downloads?

 

Is the addotional downloads gained by more direct exposure in the appstores or is it because users from other countries will like your app more if it is in their own language? Say for a very simple app that can be understood by anyone and with very little text. Would that app still benefit from localization in the regard of it being more visible in other stores? For example maybe some countires appstore only show apps that are localized in their countries?

 

Do you localize your apps and do you think it is worth it?

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Is the addotional downloads gained by more direct exposure in the appstores or is it because users from other countries will like your app more if it is in their own language?

 

It highly depends on the region, but mostly the idea is the second part.

In countries like france, japan and russia, its said that they prefer localized apps a lot more.

I've heard that chinese gamers actually don't care that much.

In sweden, a localized game can make it feel more like a kids game, older players tend to think english language is "cooler".

 

If they need to actually read the text to understand the game and what to do, localization becomes more important.

 

Some app stores have prefered to promote localized apps, but that is for the above reasons, the idea that customers prefer it.

It might increase your chance for it though, but apart from that, I don't think your visibility is impacted.

 

I don't think anyone filters on localization.

 

 

 


Say for a very simple app that can be understood by anyone and with very little text.

 

If that is the case, localization has less impact.

But then again, if you have just a few strings to translate, localization is pretty cheap.

 

We actively try to keep strings to a minimum, but they have a tendency to be really hard to get fully rid of :)

 

Then everything isn't that easy to translate...  In the latest edition of our skateboard game, we opted to translate everything but the trick names, they are in english in all regions.

Edited by Olof Hedman

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It just depends. Note that "localization" is not just about text (that is, language). It can be a lot, lot, lot more (no, it doesn't stop at how you display numbers and dates, either). But let's stay with localization == translation.

 

You need to assume that not everybody speaks English, and not everybody wants to speak (or read) English even if they could. For a real classic, try and get something from a French person if all you speak is English. So yeah, if your app is properly localized, people will generally like it more.

 

On the other hand, bad translations will hurt more than they help, especially on the users that understand English. Microsoft is the classic example. The translations of just about everything in Windows are abysmal, and the computer-generated translations that they have on MSDN and on their help center are totally unintellegible gibberish. I'm considering myself at least moderately qualified, but I regularly find myself shouting "What the fuck is this word supposed to mean?". Just try to figure how a layman will feel. Choose any average service or policy on a German Windows system, and then figure out what it does or what its English name is. Good luck.

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Please stop posting your on-topic questions in our off-topic forum ("The Lounge").  Choose the forum you feel is most appropriate (again, NOT The Lounge) and a moderator will move it for you if necessary.

 

I've asked you this repeatedly (at least four times) now.  Next time you post an on-topic question in The Lounge it will be closed instead of being moved for you.

 

 

Moving you to our Business and Law forum.

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The description for the lounge is "Chat about anything you feel like" - "dont have to be development"

The lounge is the social area.  Like going to the pub, you want to talk about stuff other than work.  Sometimes someone will mention something tangentially related to work, but it is best avoided in the social area.

 

If you want to talk about game development stuff, it belongs in the relevant area of the site.

 

Getting back on topic:

 


How exactly does localizations of apps translate to more downloads?

 

You obviously read English.  

 

Would you shop for and download a game called "?????", or "Lernabenteuer Deutsch", or "????????" ? 

 

Localization opens up new markets, more people, more potential customers.

 

More potential customers means more potential downloads and more potential sales.

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As well as the other points made, on mobile, Apple and Android are important gatekeepers with their featuring systems, and the features are different per territory.

 

You are unlikely to be featured in France without French localization for example.

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Is the addotional downloads gained by more direct exposure in the appstores or is it because users from other countries will like your app more if it is in their own language?

 

It's actually both. Your app does get more exposure, because when people search for apps they mostly type in the keywords in their own language. So even without app store optimization your app has more chances to be discovered by, say, Russian speakers if the app name and description have been translated into Russian (this is why it makes sense to do this even if the app itself is really simple).

 

And of course, there're countries where users prefer localized apps. The reasons for this might vary. Like it's been already pointed out, in France they might not want to use English even if they can. While in Russia according to one of the recent studies only 15% of the population think they know English.

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Not saying localization isn't important (I think it is and wish we did it at work) but most of the sales of our games are from natively speaking English countries.  Whether or not sales in Russia of our games is low because the games aren't in Russian or because piracy is fairly big over there is a question for debate.  While we are no doubt losing sales because are games are English only the higher ups don't think it is worth the cost of localization.  Translate if you can (and for good translations) but it isn't the end of the world if you game is English only.  If it is good and you hit the app store lotto you'll make money either way.

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Localization gets your more downloads. Recently, I was trying to download an app, and I received the following message "this app is not available in your current store." When are user receives this message, they can change & download a competitor's app that is listed in the 'similar' category - or switch to the American store.

 

The native English speaking population, only makes up 26% of Internet users (according to: Translate LLC). Chinese accounts for 21.5% of the Internet browsing population. A Gala Global study that found 56% of consumers care more about the ability to obtain information in their own language than the price. Apps that do translate and localize, generate more downloads. Consumers prefer to use apps in their own native language. 

 

Translation is just taking the content, and changing it to a specific language. Localization and translation are different. Here is an example of a localization service 

 

 

1) A visual editor for fast translations. 
2) Delivers SEO-friendly translated content. 
3) Plugs into the your existing website/ app, without any additional development. 
4) Currency and connects with e-commerce integrations. 
5) Indexed for native search engines. 

 

You consider using Localizer is plugin, which handles the process of converting mono-lingual websites /apps, to multilingual. Here is a link to their site: http://www.localizer.co - Test it with any website first here http://secure.localizer.co/signup/startonboarding
 
Challenges to localization:  "83% of marketers who localize their content believe that it improves consumer experiences, highlighting a widespread belief that brand messaging should adapt to local markets." (Localization L2 Intelligence Report, September 16, 2015). Around 40% of companies / apps are actually 'translating and localizing' their products. 
 
Localizing your app, will get you more downloads as your product will be more accessible. The best thing about localizing an app - it can usually be done in a day, at an affordable price. 

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The best thing about localizing an app - it can usually be done in a day, at an affordable price.

Erm... Yeah, maybe. And maybe not. If your app doesn't have much text, that may be possible, and it's better than nothing. But that's not the whole story.

 

Localization is -- as you have stated yourself -- a lot more than just translating. But it is even a lot more than the things you listed.

 

It starts at translating, and doing good, high quality translations already isn't something trivial (nor something you get for free). It continues with numbers and dates, and having to adjust the GUI because the length (and orientation, there is not just right-to-left in addition to left-to-right, but also top-down) of different languages differ greatly. Text that fits your screen in English may not fit (usually will not fit) in German.

And then, in case you have any kind of dynamically generated text (like "Do you want to trade %item% with %src% for %coins%"), the fun only begins. You will notice that not just the positions of the placeholders are different in different languages, and they obviously hold different words but they may also have a different spelling or be a completely different word depending on context (and depending on quantity). Some languages have e.g. non-optional ligatures which totally change a word depending on not immediately obvious conditions. There are even differences between e.g. localizing for "mainland" China or for "the rest of China" (same language but totally different writing system).

 

And then, you will notice that people who come from another culture behave totally different and have totally different expectations, and a different consumerism. For example, most people in Europe will sneer at grinding and at pay-to-win, and relatively few will pay to have a special-looking hat that doesn't do anything other than look special. In Asia, that's the most normal thing in the world.

You will find that (despite more and more people worldwide wanting "free") people in the US and in the EU are rather OK buying a monthly "all inclusive" subscription, but in China they will expect to pay per minute (and considerably less, too -- you cannot sell a software at the same price in countries with a currency that has only a fraction of the buying power). Different cultures will expect a vastly different graphical style as well. Furry characters or Korean-style cute stuff in Europe? Good luck selling these.

 

Different cultures regard certain "magical" numbers differently, too. Ever wonder why elevators in the US have no 13th floor? Ever wondered why all Chinese, rich and poor alike, will buy Lafite Rothschild, especially the 2008 at any price, no matter how unreasonable? (It's an OK wine, but most definitely not worth the price it's sold for).

 

After doing all the translations and stuff, you may realize that your very game design prominently makes use of the numbers 4 and 6 in some way. Well, good luck if you want to get sold in China. Could as well try selling a game prominently displaying "666" or "1313" to US soccer moms.

Edited by samoth

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