Translation Panacea

Translating an App : What’s so special about it

Translating an App : What’s so special about it

The carrier of content is changed from brochure to website and website to mobile application, or ‘app’. Writing and translating the content for these 3 media is very different from each other.
While translating the app content, we have to watch for 2 major issues, without compromising the target language grammar:

1. Easy and quick language
2. Space constraint

The app content is usually action oriented, something that guides or encourages some action – click, go, read, press, do something, write and so forth. The formal or informal culture of the target language can be very different from the source language. For example, one can write ‘do’ comfortably, while in Hindi, ‘करो’ sounds rude. One has to consider ‘कृपया कीजिये’, ‘कीजिये’, ‘करें’ etc. Also, if any action is prescribed, it has to be translated with perfection, with zero ambiguity or confusion and in very very simple words. Especially when there are sequential actions, or conditional actions are given, one needs to be very careful.

The app has all of 2 inches space on the mobile phone screen. One has to be crisp and absolutely correct and ‘aware’ of the space available. The translation must sound natural, yet has to fit in the space available. In our much appreciated `emotify’ work, 27 characters of More surprising stories for you could be best translated in 38 characters Más historias sorprendentes para usted in Spanish and 39 characters plus d’histoires surprenantes pour vous in French.

We are thankful to Shubh Constro to allow us to share their Tequaseal – Shubh Waterproofing App (downloadable from google playstore) as case study. This is an app that guides the ‘DIY’ waterproofing customers to repair vertical, horizontal surfaces and terrace waterproofing. We translated it in Hindi and Marathi. The content is technical and users range from masonry workers to IT engineers. You will see from the attached screenshots how the technical content is expressed in user friendly, correct and yet, compact way.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu