In 2017 world population is estimated in 7.5 billion. This number seems/looks enormous and if put in a graphic by continent one may note that more than half of the population is located in Asia. World’s population will not stop growing and you will probably want your app to follow that trend, being available to more and more people.
Well, we know that the most popular language of the world is, without any doubt, English with 26.3% of internet users. However, we have Chinese as the second most popular language in the internet: Chinese users correspond to 20,8% of internet users.
Probably you would like to reach more people who use different languages. You can use many ways to make this possible. First of all, let’s explain two important concepts when we talk about a globalized app.
Localization refers to the adaptation of the content of a product, application or document to meet the culture, language and other requirements of a specific target market (a locale).
Localization is sometimes written as ‘l10n’, where 10 is the number of letters between ‘l’ and ‘n’.
Internationalization is the design and development of a product, application or document’s content that enables easy localization for target audiences that vary in culture, region, or language.
Internationalization is often written ‘i18n’, where 18 is the number of letters between ‘i’ and ‘n’ in the English word.
Same words, but different meanings in Britain and USA english
Although these two words are similar we have some differences: while internationalization only translate your app to be accessible by other languages, without any kind of cultural adjustment, localization also take the culture of a country and other rules like icons, currency, different words that have same meaning in different countries.
Making things happen
Nowadays we have a lot of front-end frameworks and different libraries that could be used to build your website, web app or mobile app. Off course you can search on Google or Github many plugins and libraries to deal with it. For sure my major breakthrough was this **i18next ecosystem.**
It is a full bunch of tools and features that will help you with your necessity. This ecosystem have a list of front-end plugins, but it also has back-end tools necessary to put it all to work together and have a great result.
Finally, before a conclusion about this topic, here I got two links one from Google — https://developers.google.com/international/, and another from Apple — https://developer.apple.com/internationalization/. These two links have tips to internationalize your app.
In summary, if you want to reach as many people as possible, you would want to internationalize and locale your app, providing a better experience and getting users from different places around the world with different languages and cultures. We have a lot of tools and ways to do that, so find the one that best fits your need and go ahead.
Thanks to Rodrigo Boniatti, Matheus Azzi, Will Soares, and Rafael Gibim.