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The Top 10 Languages for App Localization

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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

Is app localization important?

The most common misperception widely cited by those who are critical of localization is that everyone in the world speaks English nowadays, so it’s enough to have your app in English. However, if we take a closer look at the statistics of the world population, only roughly 25% of people speak English. This means that 75% of the world’s inhabitants will never be able to use an English-language app unless it is localized.

+128% more downloads and +26% more revenue after localization

Another argument for localization is provided in the study “The Impact of App Translations” by Distomo, a global provider of app-related statistics, analytics, and other market data. Distomo’s research has shown that localizing an iPhone app leads to 128% more downloads on average per country. Moreover, a 26% growth in revenue has been observed for each country covered by an app localization. In addition, these growth rates were achieved within only one week after introducing the localized app.

From the case-study by Alconost

One more example of the positive impact of localization is a project performed by Alconost for a personal finance application. Within ten days after the app was localized, its rating on Google Play improved tremendously, as illustrated above. This was one of the rare cases when the client didn’t conduct any advertising campaigns during that period, which allowed Alconost to calculate and attribute the net effect of the localization itself.

Now that we are absolutely convinced that localization is a vital part of app promotion, a couple of new questions arise.

Where should you start with app localization? Which countries and languages should you choose first?

To help us find answers to these questions, let’s refer to the following statistics:

Now let’s take a look at a chart comparing countries and languages by the above categories and placing them in order of priority.

We’ve intentionally built the comparison model driven by multiple parameters both static and dynamic as to encompass the current apps market drivers and its future trends.

From the research by Alconost

Applying a balanced approach, we’ve highlighted the ten languages and corresponding countries that are present in at least 4 of the 6 categories. In doing so we’ve moved from the top down the list in order to keep the priority order of the languages.

In conclusion, here’s a list of the top 10 languages and respective countries for app localization

  1. English — USA, UK, Australia, Canada
  2. Japanese — Japan
  3. Mandarin Chinese — Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong
  4. Hindi — India
  5. Russian — Russia
  6. Korean — South Korea
  7. German — Germany
  8. Spanish — Mexico, Argentina
  9. Portuguese — Brazil
  10. Indonesian — Indonesia

Depending on your app’s type and promotion strategy, this list can be referred to when deciding which languages and countries to focus on during the localization process.

About the translator

This article has been contributed by Alconost, a global provider of localization services for apps, games, videos, and websites into 70+ languages.
We offer native-speaking translators, linguistic testing, a cloud platform with API, continuous localization, 24/7 project managers, and any format for string resources.
We also make advertising and educational videos and images, teasers, explainers, and trailers for Google Play and the App Store.
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