The number of iPhone, Android, Symbian and other smartphone application in the markets increases very rapidly. Many of these applications are very small in size. Selling of these application usually does not require a web site or extensive marketing material because the applications are sold in iPhone, Android and other software stores. Thus there is a big amount if applications than can be localized to new languages by translating 500-1000 words or even less.
When an application is easy and cheap to localize, it is profitable to localize it even very small languages. Thus very many localization project includes translating 500-1000 words to 10 or more languages. When there are more languages in a localization project, the significance and work associated with localization project management increases greatly.
This kind of development might mean that the significance of translation price diminishes. When the translation price is in the range of USD 50-100 no big savings can be achieved by optimizing translation cost. Instead, it is probably wise to pay well for an excellent translation if this saves e.g. project management cost and shortens time-to-market. Thus highly skilled translators may have better chances to invoice higher price for their skills.
From translator's point of view the decreasing size of translation projects sets requirements for both skills and client acquisition. When several small applications are translated, the translator may need to master different terminology for each application. In addition, when single translation project is small, the project and client acquisition cost is higher in relation to the actual translation cost. On the other hand, not many companies develop only one application and there may be translation work available in the other applications of the same company.
In any case smartphone localization changes the market, which creates new opportunities for skilled and adaptive translators. There is also more information available about Android localization. This information applies mostly also to other smartphone eg. iPhone localization.
Niko Papula is the CEO of Multilizer, a Finnish software company specialized in localization solutions and translation tools. To read more about versatile localization tool called Multilizer, please visit http://www.multilizer.com/.
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