Qualities to Look for in a Professional App Translator

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App Translator

If you want an instant way to increase the sales or use of your app, you can’t beat expanding the app’s availability into other regions. Apps hold wide appeal all across the world. Statista looked at the usage rates of the popular messaging app WhatsApp, for example. In the third quarter of 2017, 73 percent of the population used WhatsApp in Saudi Arabia, while in Germany 65 percent of the population used the app. These numbers show the potential for new app sales if you localize your app for a new language/country.

App localization can be a labor-intensive process. You have to recognize the cultural sensitivities in the new region and understand how your intended audiences prefer to interact with technology. Many small moving parts need to be localized, like currency figures, the part of the app translation that handles the language itself and possibly even region-specific graphics. Since app localization is so complex, it makes sense to hire an app translator to provide your app translation and localization solutions. Below we’ll cover how to find and work with pro app localization services.

Where to Find a Contractor for App Localization:

Finding contractors for a single-time project has never been easier, thanks to the ready availability of both bidder sites (such as Upwork) and professional translation agencies. Both options have pros and cons, so here are some to consider:

Pros of bidder sites:

Upwork and sites like it are convenient options when you want all your client communications and billing in one place. It can also be cheaper than going through an agency, as prospects bid for projects by proposing a budget to you.

Cons of bidder sites:

You have to be very selective when going through Upwork and similar sites. Anyone can sign up for these platforms. And it can be a challenge to assess the true skills of anyone you hire until they’re working on your app localization project. In-system ratings and profiles can help, but you need to assess them carefully in order to find the right person.

Pros of a translation agency:

A translation agency will pre-select and train app translation professionals for you. Agencies also tend to build up reputations more easily than individuals, due to the sheer volume of clients that a good agency works with. That makes it easier for you to find the opinions of people who have worked with the agency, either online or in your professional network. An agency may also find you certain individuals who specialize in what you need specifically, such as iOS app localization.

Cons of a translation agency:

Agencies can be more expensive than individuals who contract through bidder sites, although you do tend to get more bang for your buck as a result (a dedicated project manager, as well as a translator, for example).

Bidder site contractors and agencies can both be great options for your localization solutions, depending on your budget, willingness to assess individuals yourself and time constraints.

How to Assess a Potential Contractor for Your App Translation Project:

If you do decide to go the bidder site route, then you’ll need a strong knowledge of what you’re looking for in an app localization pro – so be sure you have a sound knowledge of the basics of app translation. Even if you source app translation services through an agency, it can also help to know which skills, in particular, you are seeking.

If you’re trying to undergo the complex project of app localization, whether iPhone app localization services or for another system, the person you hire will have to be the full package. A professional who knows how to provide quality app translation services will have:

  • Strong attention to detail
  • A native facility in both language and technology: for instance, you may want to find translators who are also Android developers
  • Excellent communications skills, which will be imperative for when questions and concerns pop up during the localization process
  • A proactive nature: the contractor should anticipate needs and communicate right away when issues arise

You may be wondering how you can possibly know all this before working with someone. Well, you can’t really! However, you can mitigate the risk by grilling the prospect on how they handle any questions you may have, what their overall communication style is like and how they’ve handled challenging projects in the past. You should also ask about their specific localization and globalization knowledge. In addition, you should assess their previous translation and localization projects and gather any testimonials and references they have.

How to Test an App Translation When You Don’t Speak the Language:

The trickiest part of working with a translator is the very nature of the exchange: they speak the language and know the other culture, but you don’t. So how can you tell if the app translation services professional you hired is even doing a decent job?

There are actually a few ways to go about testing an app translation:

  • Find app testers online who are native to the region you localize your app into
  • Hire a secondary editor who works in the target region’s language to look over the work of the first translator
  • Organize a professional focus group within the target region to test the app

Mobile app localization isn’t a one-step process where you submit the app to the translator and it comes back in pristine condition. Even work from the top app translation services will need testing, revising and feedback. But if you take the time, your final product will provide a fluid usability experience in any region.

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