LRC Summer School teaches mobile application developers to internationalise their apps
The University of Limerick’s Localisation Research Centre (LRC) has urged Irish mobile application developers to ‘think global but act local’ in order to better exploit the potential of the €14billion mobile ‘app’ market. The annual LRC Summer School, which commences today at UL, sees current and aspiring mobile app developers converge for a three-day intensive introductory course in how to create ‘localised’ apps suitable for international users. The event is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Centre for Next Generation Localisation (CNGL).
“Only around five per cent of mobile apps are currently localised to the requirements of users in specific countries”, says Karl Kelly, Manager of the Localisation Research Centre (LRC). “For many developers the time and effort required to be successful globally as an app developer could be significant. However, this investment will no doubt be worthwhile as mobile devices offer the potential to access a much wider pool of international consumers”, adds Kelly.
Localisation will be increasingly important to mobile app developers as the opportunities to access audiences beyond the English-speaking world continue to surge. The Chinese and Russian markets, in particular, are experiencing vertiginous growth. “Ireland is a world leader in software localisation but to maintain this leadership position, it is vital that developers here gain the technical know-how to create mobile applications that can be effectively tailored for overseas markets. With the LRC Summer School we are helping Irish mobile app developers to take the first steps in becoming skilled creators of localisation-friendly mobile applications”, concludes Kelly.
Sessions will provide participants with an introduction to mobile application localisation and a hands-on overview of the development and localisation practices for the Android and Windows Phone operating systems. This includes using computer-assisted translation tools to semi-automate the language translation process. Developers will learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of taking a mobile application, whatever the platform, to new language markets.
“Localising an app involves much more than just language translation”, says Enda McDonnell of CNGL industry partner Alchemy Software Development, who are delivering a workshop on Android localisation. “Developers must also consider cultural nuances, political sensitivities, social factors and the layouts of mobile pages. The key is to provide a seamlessly ‘local’ experience for the user and to think international from the outset.”