• Localizing your app to new language markets is similar to creating a new product in one aspect: there is a big uncertainty whether the newly targeted users will like it or not. If you do not localize you may lose big market potential. If you localize blindly you may waste your time and money, but conducting a professional market survey is much more expensive than an app developer can afford.

    How to minimize all these risks? Lean Manufacturing and Lean Startup principles have the answer:

    “Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste” [i]

    How to apply this principle to app localization to create value and avoid waste? The whole process must rely on real customer involvement.

  • No matter how you translate you are facing with issues:

    • Machine translation is cheap but provides poor quality.
    • Community translation is excellent but never finished.
    • Professional translation is faultless but expensive.
    • No translation is perfect but users cannot give feedback easily.
    All these statements are true at some level and they apply to app localization, too.
    The solution is to mix the translation methods by taking only the best from all. That’s what we call on-device progressive translation. How does it work?

  • User engagement

    Increasing user engagement is a key goal for app marketing. The strongest engagement type is user contribution. One master of that is Waze offering different level of contribution opportunities: Everybody contributes with automatic traffic information running the Waze app. But then users can report different traffic incidents for the community, and on the extreme - users can extend/correct the Waze map.

    Translation as user contribution

    How an app with static content can still stimulate user contribution. The answer is translation.

  • The Total Available Market (TAM), the number of smart device users is growing fast. That gives us a chance to see some organic user base growth, but all the analysts are confident that is not enough to maintain a sustainable business on long term. We have to do more.

    To sell more most of app developers pour money and work on improving visibility and conversion rates within their Target Market. That’s not surprising – visibility and conversion rates are the home ground for marketing agencies, the territory where they feel safe to advise (and invoice).

    But there are a couple of other – less frequently mentioned – options to grow your markets: mostly “do-it-yourself” tasks with good chance to succeed. To refresh the terminology: 

    Mobile app localization total available market


  • In the last post we saw that more than 1Bn users have no sufficient English knowledge to use English language mobile apps with comfort. It is a huge user base and grows day-by-day. So, how much more downloads, users and revenue can we get, if we localize our app?

    It depends on several factors. Let's look again what datapoints we can find on the internet. Very few. One great study is by Distimo looking at app monetization of developing markets:

  • Smartmobile market penetration is just accelerating ahead – this year 1,6Bn people will have smartmobile in their hands. Devices are spreading faster than language of the tech world - English. Soon the smartmobile market becomes a multicultural environment, yet a big piece of the ecosystem – smart mobile applications are still mostly in English.

    Most of the developer community understands English and do not have any experience to be in discomfort of not knowing the language. Just how do you feel about this: Ha megérted ezt a mondatot – jelentkezz nálam egy üveg jó Pilsner sörért.
    So how many people have this discomfort? There are no straight statistics available. Moreover, all app markets are quite shy about this topic. And if you try to find relevant data on the WEB, only very few articles are discussing it – mostly talking about the effect of localization, which we discuss in the next post.

    So we decided to do this homework and calculate the population of non-English speaking smartphone users. For each country we took the



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