Mobile app localisation services for Spanish and Galician speakers

Localisation of user interface and Help content

Translation of descriptions for Google Play Store

Translation of an app’s terms of use

Localisation of marketing apps

Localisation of travel apps

Localisation of property CRM applications

App testing for Android

What is localisation and how does it differ from translation?

According to the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), “localization involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language) where it will be used and sold . In addition to translating, it involves consideration of the target country’s cultural features and the writing characteristics of each language, which may call for an interface redesign. For example, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese etc. are all languages that are written left to right, while Arabic is written right to left.

When it comes to content localisation, you need the help of a native translator who specialises in the language variant of the target country, as they will be best placed to understand both the language and the expectations of the users in the market where the app is to be sold. For example, in Spain we tend to use the verb “comprobar” while in other Spanish-speaking countries they prefer the term “chequear” (“to check” or “to confirm”). The same is true for the word “ordenador”, as in Latin America the term used is “computadora” (“computer”). Neither term is incorrect, there are simply lexical preferences that need to be taken into account to find the most suitable translation for the audience in each country.

Points to bear in mind when localising a mobile app

Whereas in other fields, such as tourism or advertising translation, the emphasis is placed on creativity and on avoiding a translation that’s too literal, in localised content for mobile, the translation must be direct, concise and clear, in order to ensure a good user experience.

Among the elements to be translated, attention needs to be paid to the following:

  • Character limits: in a mobile app there are often space restrictions that must be respected in order to avoid any later display problems.
  • Word variations depending on gender and number: word variation according to gender and number is a common linguistic phenomenon in many languages. For example, while English has the adjective “happy”, in Spanish and Galician we have up to four variants (contento/contenta/contentos/contentas) and this has to be taken into account as it requires the use of what is known as ICU Syntax.
  • Placeholders: these elements are a series of labels that differ in type depending on the value they represent (number, date, time, etc.).

In addition to the translation process, the mobile app testing  process is key, as this involves checking for linguistic errors, usability details, formatting errors, application function errors and design issues with the user interface itself. This validation and issue detection service is also used to polish aspects that were not detected during the translation process.

Why translate your mobile app into Spanish?

More and more mobile apps come to market each year, as there is a huge number of people using mobile devices to connect to the internet (according to a study carried out by We Are Social in collaboration with Hootsuite, no fewer than 5.2 billion people worldwide). It is increasingly normal to use a mobile phone to buy from e-commerce sites, manage your banking, reserve flights or look for accommodation, among other things. It is also important to remember that reading habits are changing as a result of this new reality: we spend a lot of time reading on our mobile devices, but we normally only scan the page quickly, paying particular attention to titles and subtitles, unless we are particular interested in reading the content in full. Since the screen on a mobile device is small, visitors’ eyes jump about the page, and companies must be able to convey their message clearly, while providing apps that are simple to use, perform their function and allow the user to navigate correctly around a limited space.

In Spain as well as many other countries, using a mobile to go online and make purchases is now as normal as doing so on a computer. In terms of operating systems, Android is the most widely used in Spain, with a market share of over 90%. Don’t miss the opportunity to penetrate the Spanish market, use app localisation services.