• Top 5 Localization Trends in 2020


      Did you know that 72.1% of Internet users prefer to dwell on websites translated in their native language? That’s a lot of people.


      But that’s fine. You see, with today’s technologies you can translate your text into any language you choose. “Okay, so what?” — well, people who browse products described in their native tongue tend to trust those seller companies more.


      So, by localizing your content, you can tremendously increase the number of your clients, sales, and, of course, grow your business. And the truth is that the localization industry is also evolving along with other digital businesses.


      To prove it, we at Alconost have researched and listed the top 5 localization trends you can take advantage of in 2020. Let’s dive in!

      Read more →
    • Case Study: How to Get Featured on Google Play and Adapt ASO to Different Countries



        Full HP Ltd is an international mobile game development company with 40+ employees and offices in Rostov-on-Don and Cyprus. Their portfolio includes 8 games, among them Mad GunZ (a Google Play Editors' choice) and Blocky Cars (a Catappult Editors' choice). Mad GunZ has over 12 million downloads on all platforms, and Blocky Cars has over 32 million.

        The company is actively involved in the life of the IT community and is a sponsor of the Sunflower game devs festival.

        The Full HP Ltd team translates texts for Blocky Cars and Mad GunZ using Nitro professional translation service, and agreed to share some of their lifehacks with us:

        • how to maximize ASO optimization results
        • how to get on the home page of Google Play
        • how to monetize children’s games
        • and the benefits of releasing a game on alternative platforms.
        Read more →
      • How to Plan a Winning Product Strategy

        • Translation
        • Tutorial

        How do we know when a product is solving a significant problem in a growing market? Do we need to build a brand and defend it with barriers against competitors? Read further in this article.


        Notes on Des Traynor’s talk from Web Summit on developing a product strategy based on his experience at Intercom. The original article has been written by Vit Myshlaev and translated by Alconost.

        How do you know when you’re really solving a significant problem?



        If you can’t answer in the affirmative to the below three questions regarding your product, it makes no sense to move forward:


        • It is viable. Can it make money?
        • It is feasible. Can it be done?
        • It is desirable. Does anyone want it?
        Read more →
      • How to Prepare a Game for Localization? 10 Basic Rules

        • Tutorial

        Should you act first and think later, or vice versa? Knowing these little tricks when designing your game could save you a fortune.

        We’ve written this article as a tribute to numerous questions from our clients.


        What’s wrong with my game? Why isn’t localization enough? How can we fix it?

        Cutting corners when bootstrapping a new game is a widely-used strategy. And it might even be an efficient one, as long as you aren’t planning to grow incrementally.


        However, shortly after the long-awaited local release is in the bag, most game developers start thinking about how to attract more international gamers. And sooner or later, after taking a crack at promoting their game in more countries, they come up with several ideas for localization.

        Read more →
      • How to Localize an App or Game? Top Ten Free E-learning Sources


          The new year means new plans and new prospects. And if you were considering localizing your product last year, it might be the right time to take action instead of postponing it indefinitely.


          That’s why we at Alconost have prepared a list of free e-learning resources that are sure to help explore the topic of localization and ultimately equip you to manage the whole process on your own. We use some of these courses for our internal training, and we hope you like them, too.


          We’ve arranged the e-learning resources in an order that consecutively mirrors the localization process. We recommend that you go down the list step by step for best results.

          Read more →
        • Where Do Mojibakes Come From? Essentials of Encodings

          • Translation


          This article explores the basic concepts behind character encoding and then takes a dive deeper into the technical details of encoding systems.


          If you have just a basic knowledge of character encoding and want to better understand the essentials, the differences between encoding systems, why we sometimes end up with nonsense text, and the principles behind different encoding system architecture, then read on.


          Getting to understand character encoding in detail requires some extensive reading and a good chunk of time. I’ve tried to save you some of that effort by bringing it all together in one place while providing what I believe to be a pretty thorough background of the topic.


          I’m going to go over how single-byte encodings (ASCII, Windows-1251 etc.) work, the history of how Unicode came to be, the Unicode-based encodings UTF-8, UTF-16 and how they differ, the specific features, compatibility, and lack thereof among various encodings, character encoding principles, and a practical guide to how characters are encoded and decoded.

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        • The RetouchMe Case Study: What We Learned from Localizing an App into 35 Languages



            RetouchMe is a popular app in which professional designers can edit your photos in 10-15 minutes.
            In the US it ranks between 100th and 150th on the top chart for App Store applications (in the «Photo and Video» category).

            • 17 million installs in 150 countries
            • Localization into 35 languages
            • 10-15 minutes average photo editing time
            • An army of designers and moderators in various countries
            • Available in the App Store and Google Play, as well as the Amazon AppStore and the Samsung Galaxy Store

            RetouchMe turns to Alconost for their localization needs, and translates updates using our Nitro online service.

            The RetouchMe team shared with Nitro how localization helped them reach top rankings in many countries, whether localization into 35 languages paid off, and how to add new features in just 24-48 hours without the need for a new release.
            Read more →
          • Promoting an App on the App Store and Google Play

            • Translation
            • Tutorial


            We've developed a unified four-layer model for app promotion and added our recommendations.

            Before we wrote this article we had our apps downloaded over two million times, ran about 50 large promotional campaigns, and made it onto the App Store top-lists in over 24 countries to finally combine all of it into a single workflow.


            You won’t find almost any obvious stuff about keywords, nice-looking icons, screenshots, or ad campaigns in this article. We’ve tried to develop a unified model for a product-focused company based on our experience by answering the questions “What? When? Why?” and even “And what then?”


            If you’re developing your own app, want to start developing one, or just have a friend who’s a developer or marketing professional at a product-focused company, you’ll find lots of useful information in this article.

            Read more →
          • Startups: 10 takeaways from 20 lessons at Stanford University

            • Translation


            Why do some people get rich off of their ideas, and others are not able to reach even 100 customers? The renowned Stanford University, which is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, offers a course where students can learn the recipes for founding a successful startup. This course is also available as an audio podcast and on YouTube. Here are my takeaways from 20 lectures with such well-known teachers as Peter Thiel (PayPal), Paul Graham (Y Combinator), and Alex Schultz (Facebook).

            Read more →
          • How to Localize a Mobile Game for the Asian Market

            • Translation


            With the Asian market rapidly growing, almost every ambitious IT product sooner or later faces the challenge of localization for this region. And without knowing all its facets any localization project is rather doomed to fail. That’s why we at Alconost have decided to translate and share with you the article on localizing games for Asia by Plarium, a global game developer with solid experience in game localization. We found here some useful approaches that are also valid for our localization projects and hope that you’ll like the reading, too.

            For Western developers, entering the Asian market is like entering outer space, only 30 megabytes heavier. Localizing games into Japanese, Chinese, and Korean requires a Herculean effort. You need to account for certain technical requirements and scrupulously research the market and the target audience’s mindset. But if this is your dream, keep reading — our experience should stand you in good stead.

            Read more →
          • Content Localization Strategies

            • Translation


            Setting up the content localization and, thus, configuring the interface language of the product in such a way that the right language is rendered to the right user is extremely important for each digital platform. That’s why we have decided to translate and share with you this expert article by Nicolai Goshin from Hellicht Medien.


            And we strongly hope that some strategic points would be valuable for your localization projects!


            Background and preliminary considerations


            Digital projects targeting audiences in different countries or different language areas are doomed to take advantage of localization strategies. So we must answer the following question: which users should be given which content in which languages? The question at the first sight seems simple. But later in this article we will point out why this topic is, in fact, complex. And, of course, we will also address how to deal with this complexity.


            Let's assume a scenario in which content (for example, an online magazine) is available in three languages: German, English, and Arabic. The goal is ideally to provide content to each user in their native language. If this is not possible, the content should be provided to the user in the language that they best understand apart from their mother tongue.

            Read more →
          • Localization or Creative Adaptation? Case Study of the Game Streets of Rogue


              About the game Streets of Rogue


              In 2017 tinyBuild released Streets of Rogue, a unique visual successor to the hit game Punch Club. Streets of Rogue is remarkable for the variety of its game features and genre elements. The developers combined an intense top-down roguelike, a retro pixel art style, an atmosphere of irrepressible excitement, classic character levelling, and questing. The game revolves around playing through a series of randomly generated cities. This can be accomplished via brute force, stealth, or hacking — it’s up to you!


              How and why the game needed to be localized


              Streets of Rogue quickly garnered a warm reception from gamers and the press alike, so tinyBuild naturally decided to bring the game to a wider international audience.

              Read more →
            • How To Make Videos For Games. Practical Tips and Helpful Guidelines



                Recently we at Alconost were producing several videos for games and, in the process of working with clients, we heard questions again that we had heard before: what should we show, should the video have a voiceover or not, how expensive is it to translate into multiple languages, what source materials do we need, how can we capture video of the screen of a mobile device… To answer these burning questions once and for all, we would like to share with you and give specific examples of how we make videos for games.

                We think our experience will be useful both to anyone who is trying to produce video independently and to developers who are outsourcing creation of video for their games.

                Written by Alconost
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              • How to translate text into a different language?



                  5 options to choose from


                  I used to work as a translator. As I speak several foreign languages, friends, colleagues and “friend-of-a-friends” — heck, even total strangers — would often approach me asking to translate “just a few sentences”.

                  I have translated for clients, for friends and for my own needs. And I can tell you: there are several ways to get your text translated.

                  How do you choose the best one? Well, it boils down to the famous “time — cost — quality” triangle. And normally we get only two of these three at a time…

                  Let’s weigh up the pros and cons of each method. I hope to save you a headache next time you’re translating something into another language :)

                  Written by Alconost
                  Read more →
                • The Story of Nitro, a professional translation service that helps developers with localization and multilingual support



                    Localizing your product can involve many pitfalls, and there are two of them that developers face AFTER the content has been localized: translating the product updates, and offering support for international users of the localized versions.

                    In this article, we will demonstrate how these issues can be solved with just a few clicks.

                    Written by Alconost
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                  • Best Languages for Game Localization



                      In the previous article, we discussed the most important languages for app localization. Soon afterward we received several requests to share our perspective on the key languages for game localization. That’s why we came up with this new post.

                      We’ve analyzed localization languages from the perspective of return on investment.

                      There are numerous case studies, research projects, and forecasts regarding the most promising countries and languages for game localization. In this article, we’re going to examine the game language issue from the perspective of the most efficient allocation of your localization budget.

                      What are the highest- and lowest-priority objectives when it comes to game localization?


                      We suggest raising this question first before selecting localization languages. Why? Because, depending on the type of game you’re localizing, your business objectives, and your audience’s expectations, there are several levels of localization.

                      You can do the minimum required and stop at the first level, or you can go further with a step-by-step localization and maximize outreach.

                      The first thing to start with is the localization of keywords and game description for app stores. This alone might work perfectly well if your game has little to no text or voice and its interface design is fully compatible with the standards of the country you are targeting.

                      Next, if your game contains text-based instructions, you have no choice but to translate them. In addition, other design choices will also need adjustments in terms of colors, numbers, and other local standards.

                      Finally, voice-over, if present in the game, must be translated as well, or at least subtitled. Or you can fully complete the localization process by rerecording voice-over in your target languages, thereby providing the perfect user experience.

                      Written by Alconost
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                    • App Localization in Ten Steps

                      • Translation
                      • Tutorial


                      According to predictions of the analytical platform App Annie, interest in mobile apps will enjoy stable growth over the next four years. So, if you’re considering bringing your app to new markets, this is the time to do it.


                      During my two years as the localization manager, I came to understand that localization has its own rules, and knowing them can help you adapt any product for a new market quickly and competently. These principles will be useful for anyone who wants to localize an app but doesn’t know where to start.


                      1. Evaluate the potential


                      Start with the most important thing: figuring out which languages you need to localize your app into and determining whether or not localization is justified at all.


                      Here’s an example from my experience: Israel isn't a high-priority market for Badoo, but the app is localized into modern Hebrew. Moreover, only 6% of Israeli Badoo users actually run the app in Hebrew (as a comparison, 62.5% of Israeli users speak English). In this particular case, localization is justified even with these statistics, but a similar situation could represent a losing proposition for your app. So, study your market.
                      Read more →
                    • 700 Employees and Multiple Continents: How Alconost Built an Officeless Business Model



                        We decided to take the «no-fixed-office» route from the very beginning of our company. For a boutique translation agency focused on the IT industry and working remotely with clients, this seemed like a natural fit. 15 years later, Alconost has over 700 employees spread across the globe, including translators, marketing professionals, PPC advertising experts, sales staff, editors, localization managers, and video production whizzes. And, still, we think an office isn’t the most effective way to operate. As one of the company’s co-founders, I can share just how we managed this.

                        Not having an office makes the most positive impact on business growth

                        Our clients are located throughout the world, and our managers often have to send emails outside of normal business hours. When you’re dealing with major time differences, problems could easily take days to resolve. But not for us. Our employees aren’t bound by the limits of the standard 8-hour workday, and we can count on them to respond to emails and queries promptly whenever possible. Getting a quick response is key — even if it’s just to hear “I’ll look into this and get back to you tomorrow.” It’s a win-win: the client feels better and we’re happy.

                        We like the officeless life not because it allows us to take our time. In fact, it’s the opposite, and we can clock our turnaround times in minutes, not hours. Half of the orders made via our online translation platform — Nitro — are delivered in less than 2 hours. And anyone who emails us with questions or inquiries about Nitro can count on a reply within an hour. This kind of response time simply isn’t possible with fixed office hours.

                        Written by Alconost
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                      • The Top 10 Languages for App Localization



                          App localization statistics, case studies and analytics


                          The goal of every app developer, product manager, and marketing manager is to drive their app’s visibility and broaden its coverage. At the same time, this is also a way to approach the ultimate business goal of increasing monthly active users and revenue.

                          This brings us to the idea of app localization, which allows a product to reach new geographical regions and satisfy specific needs and user expectations. As such, localization must address multiple linguistic, cultural, regional, and religious considerations.

                          Written by Alconost
                          Read more →