Internationalization vs Localization-min

Internationalization vs Localization

The appeal of iOS is global – iOS users live in many different countries and speak many different languages. Making your app connect with the audience, by “speaking” another language requires both internationalization and localization. Now, I hear many people react with “Aren’t they just two words for the same thing?” Not at all! They represent separate and equally important steps in the process of bringing your app into the world of multiple languages.

Internationalization is the process of designing and building your app for international compatibility. This means, for example, building your app to:

  • Handle text input and output processing in the user’s native language.
  • Handle different date, time and number formats.
  • Utilize the appropriate calendar and time zone for processing dates.

Internationalization is an activity that you, the developer, perform by utilizing system-provided APIs and making the necessary modifications to your code to make your app as good in Chinese or Arabic as it is in English. These modifications allow your app to be localized.

Localization is the process of translating an app’s user interface and resources into different languages. Unless you happen to be fluent in the language you’re supporting, this is something you can, and should, entrust to someone else.


How will this create an impact

Example : Suppose you have visited the restaurant which has dark light and you are ordering food using torch. It’s very bad user experience.

Let’s understand the impact of a poor user experience. A fine dine restaurant typically uses dimmed lighting for a more relaxing experience. However, a poorly designed environment will have the patrons reaching for their mobile torches to merely read the menu.

Similarly, many developers create their app in English and then release it worldwide on the App Store. The non-English audience will reach out for their dictionary applications (aka the mobile torch).

Now, English is common enough in countries other than the United States that they’ll see sales in those countries, but the majority of their sales will come from English-speaking countries. As of this writing, the App Store is available in more than 120 countries, and iOS supports more than 50 languages. Making the decision to ignore 49 languages and have lackluster sales in 119 countries saves you time, but in the end it will probably cost you money.

Localizing your app has an immediate impact, even before your app is downloaded, because you can localize the App Store description of your app. A user is more likely to download your app if she is able to read its description in the App Store.

In conclusion, both Internationalization and Localization are critical to an app’s success in the global ecosystem. Ignore either at your own peril.

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