About Internationalization and Localization

Localization is the process of translating your app into multiple languages. But before you can localize your app, you internationalize it. Internationalization is the process of making your app able to adapt to different languages, regions, and cultures. Because a single language can be used in multiple parts of the world, your app should adapt to the regional and cultural conventions of where a person resides. An internationalized app appears as if it is a native app in all the languages and regions it supports.

The App Store is available in over 150 different countries, and internationalizing your app is the first step to reach this global market. Using iTunes Connect, you specify whether your app is available in all territories or specific territories. Then you customize your app for each target market that you want to support. Users in other countries want to use your app in a language they understand and see dates, times, and numbers in familiar, regional formats.

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At a Glance

Xcode supports incremental localization of your project. First you internationalize your user interface and code during development. Then you test your app using pseudolocalizations and different region settings. When you are ready to localize your app, you export the localizable text using standard file formats and submit them to a localization team for translation into multiple languages. While you are waiting for these translations, you can continue developing your app and perform additional localization steps yourself—perhaps add language-specific audio and image files to your project. Then import the localizations into your project and thoroughly test your app in each supported language and region. During the next iteration of your app, you only translate changes and add additional languages.

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Learn About Language and Region Settings

Start by familiarizing yourself with the language and region settings available to the user.

Internationalize Your App

Prepare your app for localization by separating language and locale differences from the rest of your user interface and code.

Localize Your App

Export and import the localizations using standard file formats.

Xcode doesn’t translate text for you. For links to third-party localization vendors, see Build Apps for the World.

Test Your App

Test your internationalized app, using a variety of techniques, during development and after localization.

Before you localize your app:

After you import localizations:

See Also

The following documents provide more information about related topics:

Before you submit your localized app to the App Store or Mac App Store, add territories and localize your metadata using iTunes Connect: