Translating an animation-heavy fitness app like Power 20 into many languages requires significant planning. I made the rookie mistake of building the initial iPhone app without thinking through translation. If I want to translate the app now, I’ll have to recreate many of the designs, which is really expensive and time-consuming. What a waste!
In some ways, I started from scratch to replicate Power 20 for Android. The artwork had to be recreated to work with the many screens used by Android devices. This time around, I was able to strip out all text that was previously embedded in the designs, making it far easier to translate the app into other languages.
The translation process is at once simple and complex. It’s simple because all the words used can be quickly spat out in a long list, or “.strings” file, to be translated. Once translated, integrating the new language is as easy as uploading the new .strings file. However, it gets complicated when trying to translate words like “burpee” into many different languages. You need real humans to do the translations, and tech savvy people who can manipulate the string files. There are services that do this, (some starting at $700 per language), but it quickly becomes an expensive endeavor. The alternative is to use a different freelancer for each language, but that can take a lot of time and frustration. I’m going to start by working with individual freelancers, but I’d appreciate advice on how best to go about this.