How To Get Started With iOS App Translation

If you want to localize your iPhone or iPad app, it might be easier to get started than you think. Find translation resources here.

Now that Sensor Tower App Store Optimization Tools are available for all App Store languages, you have no excuse for not testing other App Store markets, if your app is not country specific and if it is something that you have been wanting to do. If you thought that it might be too complicated to translate your app, this post will show you some options that can make it easy and affordable.


lt="Babbleon for internationalization

Babble-on provides app translation services for everything from an entire app, to just specific screens. They can translate any App Store language and have several high profile clients. If you are looking for other localization formats like Android, Windows 8, Ruby, .NET and others, they can handle those too.


lt="Localize with OneSky

The OneSky cloud-based platform allows you to order translation services, manage your own internal translators or crowdsource your translations. You can use one method or a mixture of two or more. They support over 30 popular localization file formats and currently offer translation services in 47 languages.


lt="Translate with LocTeam

LocTeam has been around for awhile and is based in Barcelona. They specialize in iOS and OS X translations, but they are also expanding into Android apps. Their other services include software, website, publishing and document translation services.


Applingua will translate iOS, Android, OS X and Windows Phone 7 apps. They test on-device to eliminate any live environment oversights and only use translations from native speakers.


lt="Mentez service for Spanish

This company provides a very niche solution. Mentez is for developers with social games that want to target the Latin America market. They help translate, manage, monetize and promote an app.


lt="ICanLocalize translation company

ICanLocalize specializes in website, iPhone and Android translations. Their pricing model is based on the number of words translated and starts at $0.09 per word for translation and $0.13 per word for translation and a complete review of the app. They also have a handy Instant Translation service that can help you get a fast, ad hoc translation of short texts, starting at $0.11 per word.

Hire Independent Translators

lt="Independent Contractors for translation

If you would rather work with individuals, then you can try websites like oDesk or Elance. The upside of working with individuals is that it might cost less to get the same translation done, compared to working with a company.

The possible downside is that you may have to hire and fire several different outsourcers in order to find one that is reliable and you work well with. Although the same could be said for translation companies, these companies generally have dedicated customer service representatives and a pool of translators that they can draw from, leading to a more uniformed customer experience and better response times.

Ask Friends

Also take a minute to think about your friends or friends-of-friends. Do you know someone who is bilingual? Maybe a co-worker or a friend's spouse? They might be able to do the full translation or at least double check the work of a translation company, as a favor or if you just buy them lunch. Sometimes we overlook resources that are right under our noses, so give it some thought and ask around. You might be surprised at what you find.

Other Online Resources

Finally, let's look at some resources that can help you localize your app, for free.

The Missing Apple iOS Localization Term Glossary by Babble-on is a great reference for iOS developers.

lt="Reference for iOS terms

Translate House has compiled a great list of localization resources. It is more for translators, but it will give you a broader picture of how localization works and lead you to some excellent resources.

ICanLocalize has a simple and straightforward tutorial on how to localize iPhone apps. If you have never done it before, this is a good place to start.

Applingua offers glossaries for iOS and OS X for anywhere from free (with a tweet) to $0.99 (pretty much free). They currently offer German, French, Italian and Spanish.


If you are looking to expand into other App Store countries, but are apprehensive about translating your app, then we hope that this post will help you get started on researching your options. Translating your app can have a huge payoff and it may be easier than you imagined.

Are there any translation services or options that we didn't mention, that you like? Let us know in the comments below.

Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?

Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: October 2013

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