Localization FAQ

Revised: April 2021

Want step-by-step instructions?

Answers to frequently asked questions.

Which top languages should I pick for localizing my app? App Localization

The most popular localization languages are Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese. It depends on your target and your budget, and there is no reason you can't start with 1 or 2 languages and add more once you see some success. Contact us for personalized advice.

Which languages does iPhone support? Which can you localize into?

That's two questions! Here's the short answer:

French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian (Bokmål), Russian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Croatian, Romanian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Tagalog (Filipino), Thai, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Indonesian, and Malay

In fact, those languages are just to start—Babble-on can take care of translations in any language. Just ask.

Languages in green are the languages iOS currently supports, and we do all of them! Apple actually has made the issue confusing because the iTunes App Store supports a different list of languages than the iPhone itself. See this detailed list and explanation of iOS Language Support

Do you offer continuous localization?

Yes, we do. Talk to us and we'll help you set up an automatic sync of your files to any of our integrations, including Github, Bitbucket, and Crowdin. We also offer monthly invoicing to make billing easy.

How do I upload my files to Babble-on?

Start by creating a developer account (it's free) on our portal. Press the green New request button and upload your files. If you've got a lot of material, or you want to integrate us into your release schedule on a consistent basis, talk to us about Github, Bitbucket, or Crowdin syncing of your localization branch.

What does the localization include?

Every project is handled one-on-one with you and includes:

  • Professional, native translators in each language

  • Dedicated translator to manage project

  • Properly formatted UTF files so that you can just drop them into your project

  • Lightning-fast answers to localization/cultural questions

Send us your app and we'll even make sure it looks right before you push the final release.

Do you have a minimum project size?

We will do a project of any size, but we do have a minimum charge of 100 words ($22) per language.

What about localization updates for my app?

Updates are a snap. Just send us your latest and complete English (source language) files. Our in-house software scans it to find what's new and changed since we last worked on your app. You'll only be charged for translating the new stuff.* Unlike most companies, we use the same team of translators to do your update as did your app. That means consistency and speed since no one has to relearn the vocabulary.

We do have a small minimum fee per language to incentivize you to send us the strings at every point update, rather than 10 words today and 25 words the next week. We're very sympathetic if you have a critical last-minute string before release of course!

How do I localize the display name of my iOS app? Should I localize it?

To change the name of your app on the iPhone home screen (Springboard), create a file called InfoPlist.strings and add it to each language .lproj folder. Localize the name on this line: "CFBundleDisplayName" = "Mon app français!";

The more interesting question is: should you? For most developers, the answer is yes. The primary exception is when you have established a trademarked name or brand that is recognizable internationally (or that you hope will be soon recognized internationally). For instance, Apple translates the name of the Calendar app, but doesn't translate Safari. Ultimately, the decision is yours and we're happy to make recommendations for your localization. See also this answer on our blog.

How do I prepare my iPhone and iPad app for localization?

We've put together an entire step-by-step tutorial to show you how to prepare your Xcode project for localization and extract the strings. Once you have followed it, you can upload your .strings file, along with your app description and keywords, and we'll get started right away.

Which localization formats do you support?

Basically everything. If it's got strings, we can localize it.

  • Android .xml
  • iOS/Mac .strings, .stringsdict, .plist
  • Windows .resw, .resjson
  • Microsoft .NET .resx
  • BlackBerry .rrc
  • Java .properties
  • GNU GetText .po, .pot
  • XLIFF .xliff, .xlf
  • HTML .htm, .xhtml, .xht
  • Go .gotext, .json
  • Plain Text .txt
  • Steamworks .vdf
  • CSV .csv, .tsv
  • RTF/Markdown .md, .rtf
  • Qt .ts
  • DKLang .dklang, .lng
  • XUL .dtd
  • TOML .toml
  • Salesforce .stf
  • JSON/i18next/FBT .json
  • Ruby on Rails & YAML .yml
  • Joomla .ini
  • Youtube Subtitles .sbv
  • SubRip .srt

What is Pseudolocalization?

Pseudolocalization is a fast QA method to make sure you've found all your hard-coded strings before you send it off to be translated. Basically, we'll send you a modified strings file to run in your app filled with à ƒàķé Éñĝļîšĥĥ ļîķé ţĥîš. Check every screen and make sure the text appears as the pseudo-localized text rather than your original. If you can't spot any missing strings, you're good to go.

Tip: Pseudolocalization is also a way to make sure you've left enough room in your GUI for other languages. A common rule of thumb is that non-English languages are 30% longer, so tiny buttons and titles may not fit when you localize. Pseudolocalization can help you spot those cramped spaces too!

We offer FREE pseudolocalization — Just send us your strings.

Who actually does the translation of my app?

Unlike nearly every localization service out there, Babble-on is made up of a tight team of translators who collaborate on every project. There isn't an account manager or intern answering your emails, but a real translator managing it from start to finish. We don't outsource jobs to the lowest-paid worker available. The same consistent team works on your projects and localization updates to ensure the highest quality and consistency. Try asking this question to any other company and you'll be amazed (and disappointed) at the response.

Who will write the press release for my app? Press Releases

All press releases we do are originally written in English by Benjamin Zadik, a professional copywriter (and translator). He'll ask for anything and everything you have about your app (website, feature list, video demos, etc.) and conduct a short email interview to get the essential information. Once your press release is written, he'll work with you directly to revise it until you're happy.

Will you distribute my press release for me?

No, we just write app press releases. However, once the press release is written it is 100% your property and you can do whatever you like with it. There are other services, including PRWeb and BusinessWire, which may be relevant for some apps if you believe mainstream (non-tech) publications might write a piece about your app.

Will you email or call journalists to tell them about my app?

Although we're happy to write you a fantastic email query letter, we leave it to you to send and modify it for any journalist/blogger you want to reach. Our focus is language and writing, and we've found that developers have better success identifying likely media targets themselves. The key is to identify reviews and articles about apps that are similar to yours. Then, write to the journalist/blogger and tell them that you have a new and better app that they might be interested in. You can also search for publications that are on topic — for instance, if you have a baby-focused app, send the email query to writers at mother & baby publications. These techniques take some research and effort, but are far more successful than blasting any and everyone in the blogosphere with an email.

What are the advantages of an app description written by Babble-on? App Store Description

Your App Store description serves as an introduction to your app. In most cases a potential customer will see your icon and just the first two lines of your description before deciding whether to read on or download your app. That makes these 300 words the most important thing you'll ever write about your app. The advantages of having a pro do it for you are:

  • Earn more downloads by enticing users with creative and friendly writing
  • Market your app like a professional, with nuanced phrasing and impeccable grammar
  • Teach users to use your app by going over each feature succinctly
  • Reduce bad reviews by deftly including what the price includes—and what it doesn't
  • Get honest advice about what should be included and what can be left out

How do I add localized translations of my App Store description and keywords?

We've made it very easy with this step-by-step tutorial. Did you know that we can help you craft more effective app store descriptions in English, too? It's worth following our tips toward creating the best app store description you can before you send it to us for localization.

Urgent questions?

E-mail or call to speak with someone right away.

We're even available for your last-minute projects if you say please!