When Nordic web, app, and game entrepreneurs talk about localization, they generally mean if their product was first in Finnish or Swedish, then they’ll translate it by hand into English. Once English is onboard, our region’s entrepreneurs seem to settle, thinking they’ve already hit one large market, and that it’s too difficult to get their app or game into a language they don’t speak.
It’s true you can find success just focusing on the English-speaking market, but you’re also fighting within the most contested market for services and games. But what about Asia, Russia, or the Spanish speaking markets, where localization can make a huge difference in downloads and usage? Rovio’s Asian focus with Angry Birds prove that young, rapidly growing companies can prosper when they get localization right.
Thinking about localization can sound like it takes too much time or resources for an already busy team, but an app with a few hundred words can hit a new market in just 1 to 2 days if you use the right tools.
A translation company, OneSky, does quick tailor made translations for apps and games. Unlike traditional incumbents, which normally focus on linguistic translation only, OneSky has built a complete end-to-end solution to streamline the software localization experience through a comprehensive translation management system and their self-managed network of professional translators.
In an interview with ArcticStartup, OneSky ran through how they take the pain out of localization.
The first hurdle that might make app developers hesitate when thinking about localization is how many man-hours it’s going to take to get all the text out of an app and in front of a translator. Luckily OneSky supports over 30 file formats, like .strings, .xml, .yml, .po, .xls, and other popular formats for mobile and the web. Simply upload your resource files and their system can automatically parse the files into readable strings and display all the text line-by-line on their translation management system.
If you prefer a more automated approach, you can use OneSky’s API to automate the string uploading process.
Sophisticated Quality Assurance Features
It’s one thing to have the words in your app or service translated, and it’s another thing to have it translated correctly for the context of your app. Once your strings of text are into their system, you can see each line of text broken down and waiting to be translated. This is also where you can ensure If you need to make a note of some words that might get easily mis-translated. You can also set up a glossary easily to make sure translators translate terms that are important to your branding accurately and consistently.
Unlike just hiring your neighborhood translation firm, OneSky supports tech friendly features like placeholder validation to make sure translators would not miss or misspell any placeholders, and you can easily set character limits to your strings to ensure translations won’t be too long that break your UI. The goal here is to ensure high quality translation and enable a fast production cycle by minimizing the back-and-forth communications or revisions needed.
Translating In Context
In traditional translation process, translators often receive the text out of the context of the actual product causing poor contextual errors. To avoid this problem, OneSky allows you to attach screenshots to your strings so that you can show translators how the strings actually look like in the actual product. For mobile apps, OneSky even offers an SDK (iOS/Android) which can help you capture and upload screenshots automatically from your app, saving >99% of manual effort.
As you tweak, change, and update your app, simply upload your updated resource files to OneSky and their system can automatically detect which strings are new and/or updated, so you do not have to manually keep track of updates. Generally speaking, most apps can be translated completely within three to four working days by OneSky’s own network of professional translators, with one translator being able to translate between 1600 and 2000 words a day.
One of the things we’ve been saying over and over at ArcticStartup is that going international doesn’t just mean expanding from your native country to the UK, and then to the United States. The world is hungry for Nordic and Baltic apps, but they’re not going to find them without good localization. Luckily now this isn’t a matter of time or resources.
OneSky is a SaaS translation platform for mobile apps and websites. It also offers translation service supporting 40+ languages, and supports 30+ popular file formats including .strings, .xml, .yml, .po, .xls, etc. Manage the translations for your mobile apps, websites, softwares, social media and documents, all in one platform.