[lg policy] A Call For Diversity in Mobile App Languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 28 14:46:40 UTC 2015


A Call For Diversity in Mobile App Languages
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[image: GettyImages_475454123]
<http://languagemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/GettyImages_475454123.jpg>The
mobile app market reached over 1.3 million available applications in July
of 2014 and continues to be a booming business medium. Still greatly
expanding, the Japanese app market surpassed the United States as the
biggest in the world last October, beginning a trend of mobile application
globalization.

According to a recent survey conducted by the mobile division of One Hour
Translation, an online translation agency, only 49.7% of mobile apps are
available in the users’ native languages. The survey was conducted jointly
with Google Consumer Surveys and was based on a representative sample of
800 people, 100 participants from 8 different countries, which included the
US, Canada, the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan.

Although the average between these eight groups was 49.7%, results varied
greatly between them. Over 70% of respondents reported all of their mobile
apps being available in a native language in the US and the UK, while over
60% reported in Canada and Australia. In non-English speaking countries,
the numbers begin to drop. In Japan, Italy, and Germany, just over 30% of
respondents answered that all of their apps were available in their native
language, and in the Netherlands, only 14%.

The CEO of One Hour Translation, Ofer Shoshan, suggests that the
implications of this survey are clear; “Apps should be more effectively
targeted to each specific market. People clearly prefer apps in their
native tongue. Localiz[ing] applications […] is a simple and effective way
to increase their user base.”

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