Localization of iPhone Apps
DevDays 2009 – Dublin, April 23
Giacomo Duranti, Chief Operating Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org • +353‐1‐5237538
KEY ‐ DATES
1998 ‐ Keywords International Ltd was founded to provide Localization
services to the software industry
2004 ‐ Keywords International Ltd decided to work exclusively on Games
and to cut all non core business lines.
2009 ‐ Keywords International is a leader in video game localization,
localization testing and linguistic QC.
– Connecting directly to the target audience – no matter what language they
– Translating and testing in over 30 languages and 8 platforms
– Over 75 employees – hundreds of projects each year
– All services carried out in our facility in Dublin
KEY ‐ SERVICES
– Audio Recording
– Quality Control
100 Seats State of the Art Testing Lab
• Language Quality Control
– Linguistic Support
– Terminology Management
– Quality and Geopolitical Assessment
WHAT IS LOCALIZATION?
• Internationalization is the process of
designing and building an application to
• Localization is the cultural and linguistic
adaptation of an internationalized
application to two or more culturally‐
• When users launch a well‐localized application,
they should feel fully at home with it and not
feel like it originated from some other country.
• Expand the market
– Yes, they don’t speak English.
• Increase the penetration of the product
– Localized products sell better
• ROI can be very good
– iPhone App Store & Favourable factors
WHEN & HOW TO LOCALIZE?
• Plan for localization from the start
– Retrofitting an existing application to
support localization is much harder than
writing your application that way from the
• Use the SDK
– iPhone has a robust localization
architecture that lets you easily localize
your application into multiple languages.
And variants of a language...
For en_US it’s LOCALIZATION
For en_GB it’s LOCALISATION
WHAT TO LOCALIZE?
Not only text needs localization
• Windows, views, menus must be able to accept
• Static text must be translated.
• Images might need to be changed.
• Sound files might need to be changed.
• Dates, times, currencies and numerical values
must be formatted using the current locale
Word wrapping should use current locale rules.
Sorting must be done based on current locale rules.
Online help must be translated.
TIPS & TRICKS
Design with localization in mind
• Allow more space
– Translated text is longer than the English
• Be aware of display differences in other
– Asian languages
– Bi‐directional languages
• Beware of sentences constructed by
• Document the strings file with
comments – provide context
• Plan to localize your Apps
– Plan for localization since the beginning
It’s a small effort – you will be rewarded
• Localize your Apps
– Go global
It’s a small investment – you will be rewarded
• Localize your Apps seriously
– It better be good
– Good is better