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Design your app with translation in mind to improve localization

Make sure that your app is designed to accommodate the variations in language, sentence structure, characters, and number presentation that you’ll encounter when localizing.

Why it works

Designing your app from the outset with the nuances of localization in mind saves you time and money when you come to expanding into new markets. It also ensures a positive, mistake-free experience for your users.

Best practices

  • Design a single set of flexible layouts. For example, add 30% extra space to UI elements to accommodate other languages.
  • Use alternative layouts for localizations with caution, as they tend to increase maintenance effort. Even though Android makes it easy to declare sets of layouts and other resources for specific languages, locales, screen sizes, and more.
  • Support right-to-left layouts and text by using the full native support for features such as layout mirroring in Android 4.2 and later.
  • Use system-provided formats for dates, times, numbers, and currencies so your app automatically matches the user’s selection.
  • Include a full set of default resources, those resources not marked with any language or locale qualifiers, so your app won’t crash.
  • Store default resources without language or locale qualifiers. Whatever the default language used in your app, make sure that you store the associated layouts, drawables, and strings in default resource directories, without language or locale qualifiers.
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