Beginning iOS App Localization

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Information about Beginning iOS App Localization

Published on February 19, 2014

Author: bigsprocket



Slides from Kyle Davis's iOS App Localization presentation at the Houston iPhone Developer Meetup Group

! Kyle Davis, Head Geek BigSprocket Beginning iOS Localization

When Was My Last? My first localized app. ! Currently: Spanish, French, German (and, of course, English)

Example Project - “Events” Small app, unlocalized “Localize” to English Localize to Spanish


Unlocalized Strings are hard-coded, and spread throughout the app System-localizable elements are in English, even when simulator is in Spanish

Preparing for Localization Use system items (UIBarButtonSystemItem, UIDatePicker, etc) Use Auto Layout Tell Xcode you’ll be localizing the project Use NSLocalizedString

NSLocalizedString Instead of @“foo”, use NSLocalizedString(@“foo”… Looks for a string with the key “foo” in the file Localizable.strings, in the language folder If it doesn’t exist, it looks in the Base folder If it doesn’t exist there, it returns “foo”


Localized to English ✓Auto Layout ✓Added Localization in Project file ✓Added NSLocalizedString macro ✓Used genstrings to create base localization ✓Ready for Translation

Personal Design Decisions No NIB localization Strings Factory You may decide to do things differently.

Language.lproj Any file with localized content .strings, .xib, html, text image, sound, video Standard file loaders understand it imageNamed: pathForResource:ofType:

Language Resources Friends Google Translate (sparingly, and only if you have to) Third party professional translators AppleGlot

Third Party Translators Apple maintains a list at

AppleGlot Reads translation glossaries and substitutes text directly back into nib files Supports incremental translations I did not use it … … but Apple also supplies their glossaries, which are damn handy


Localized to Spanish ✓ Use language glossaries to find translations ✓ Use 3rd parties for things not covered by Apple already ✓ Use date formatter templates for locale differences ✓ Use InfoPlist.strings to localize app name

Almost There! App Store Metadata Description Screenshots Keywords

NSLocalizedStringFromTable NSLocalizedStringFromTable(@“key”, @“table”, @“comment”) Reads from table.strings Save time and money No need to have 3rd parties translate Apple’s text Reuse your tables on the next project

Tools I Didn’t Cover ibtool - localize your nib files .stringsdict - rules-based handling of special cases, like plurals twine - fix some of the broken parts of the process

Links Apple Internationalization resources Florian Kugler on string localization Ole Begemann on Automating Strings Extraction from Storyboards/Nibs Twine

Links Slide deck Final project source When Was My Last?

Kyle Davis @bigsprocket @kylebits

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