The impact of translation on mobile applications

The impact of translation on mobile applications
21 . November . 2019
  • Digital Marketing
  • Mobile Applications

The app developers sometimes have a very specific target audience, and consequently a native language, defined.

However, questions like “what’s the impact of translating apps on the volume of downloads and revenues?” are often asked. Are there any languages that boost the number of downloads?

In September 2012, Distimo submitted a study resulting from the analysis of 200 apps to try to answer these questions. Having concluded that:

  • English is the most important language in terms of free downloads. Over 90% of Apple Store’s free downloads, in the top 200 for iPhone and iPad, in the 12 largest countries (in market terms) support English.
  • In addition to English, German has become a language with great predominance in many parts of the world. In terms of revenue from iPhone applications, German-supported applications occupy second place in countries such as Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia.
  • The importance of applications supporting multiple languages has increasingly been noted, as the number of free downloads and the global revenue generated by applications who don’t support English have grown recently. Adding the native language to an application has a greater impact on the number of downloads and revenues. However, this effect is more notable for iPhone than for iPad, Germany being the only exception, as the applications available only in German have a higher number of downloads and revenues for iPad than for iPhone.
  • China is the only country where applications that support English did not dominate the top 200 of free apps, in August 2012. In this country, 79% of the applications in the top 200 support the Chinese language.
  • Both the number of free downloads and global revenue is mainly obtained by applications supporting the native language in Asia (namely Japan, China and South Korea).

By Rita Vilaça