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Mobile App Translation that Makes Sense

How do you say the words badge or swipe in Spanish? Mobile apps use new keywords, which didn’t exist in English, until recently. Translating them right is critical for having popular localized apps.

Translating iPhone and Android apps in a consistent and coherent way determines the success of mobile app localization. When end-users see a consistent terminology in all the apps on their phone, they immediately get it. They don’t need to guess and investigate what the developer (or actually, the translator) had in mind. It creates a rich and natural experience for end-users, making them happy to explore and purchase more applications in their language.

As a significant amount of our work is in mobile apps, we thought that we should compile a list of such phrases, brainstorm over their translation and make it available for everyone.

We reviewed dozens of iPhone and Android translation projects and created a new project that contains all those tough nuts. We assigned expert translators and reviewers to discuss the best translation for each phrase and the result is, our very own mobile apps translation dictionary.

Our mobile apps translation dictionary is open and available for anyone – developers, translators, the public in general. There you can find common English keywords used in all kinds of mobile apps localized into Russian, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Japanese, Italian, Spanish, German, French and Portuguese (Brazilian and Portuguese variants). Each word has a description, explaining where it’s used in the sentence.

This is, and will always be, work in progress. As developers invent new keywords, we’re going to add them to this project. If you’re translating a mobile app, you’re also more than welcome to give us feedback about our reference translation. Find the form to do so at the bottom of the page and be part of this venture!

* We want to thank all the great translators who are participating in this project!