Under The Bridge Under The Bridge

Tag: localization
Translation Tragedy

Oh noes! Remember that localization tool Linguan that we reviewed a while back with the delicately restrained conclusion of

buy it NOW. NOW! NOW! NOW!

Well, not enough of you listened to us, it seems:

It is with a heavy heart that today we’re announcing that we are looking for a buyer interested in acquiring our Mac localization tool Linguan … When sales didn’t make us rich as expected it turned out that there wasn’t enough income to allow for ongoing improvements…

As it stands right now Linguan produces annual sales of around 10000 Euros. This is also the minimum asking price we are hoping for. For anything less BytePoet’s CEO stated that he they wouldn’t agree to sell for but rather keep it as a reference project for their own use.

If we had a little more cash and time sitting around, we’d take them up on that. Seems there must be some translation company out there that’s foresighted enough to see the value in having a fully-toolchain-integrated submission service for Xcode developers, and would be willing to underwrite development or give you a referral percentage or something like that. But you’d also imagine Messr. Drobnik & co. wouldn’t have missed exploring that option, wouldn’t you. Well, if anyone out there is looking for a career in building development tools, we thoroughly recommend this as your first acquisition, it is unquestionably the best tool available to help you organize for an immensely valuable service!

Speaking of translation companies, once you have gotten your translation needed strings sorted out, what do you all use for a translation service? The project we’re working on now does 12 (yes, twelve) languages with Tethras who are a pretty common choice and we haven’t heard any complaints. But here’s some others who profess iOS-specific competence:


Babble-on, who have a great localization tutorial. And like the Glossary here too.

DYS Translations

ICanLocalize, also have a decent tutorial



OHT Mobile

Smooth Localize



Not overly iOS-focused options that we’ve noted positive feedback on somewhere or other:



Glyph Language Services

Other roundups:

The Apptamin Localization list

Apple’s Third Party Localization Vendors list (also note the mothership resources list)

Or, if you want to crowdsource your translating, check out


Did we miss your favourite here? Or, more importantly, any listed here that you would warn against? Let us know!


iOS Localization Tutorial: Localize Your Apps to Support Multiple Languages

Localization of Xcode iOS Apps, Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

jeroentrappers / LocalizationPOC: “Localization proof of concept for iOS. Let’s you change the language on the fly.”

Lin: A Localization Manager for Xcode 5

TraductoPro Releases a New More Convenient Way to Submit to the App Store

Rephrase.io: “Install our free plug-in to Xcode and request localisations for your strings without leaving the app you’re in.”

Yoink’s Revenue a Month After Localizing

Best iOS app localization service?

The Ultimate Guide To Mobile App Localization

Tips: Localization

Heh. This fellow with, apparently, way too much time on his hands went digging around in AppKit and found out that there’s an undocumented call _NXKitString that lets you cheat on your localizations by accessing AppKit.framework’s tables directly.

Now, we really really don’t recommend you ever ship anything using that, but it is interesting to note the source of these tables:

To see what’s there, navigate to the following location:


From there, you can navigate into the English.lproj directory, for example, where you’ll see a list of string table files, all of which have the suffix “strings”. These represent the allowable table names that you pass to _NXKitString. So, “Preferences” maps to Preferences.strings and so on.

So not only can you save yourself some pennies on your own translation costs by digging through there, far more importantly, for any particular string that happens to be there, you can get The Official Apple-Approved translation … as opposed to the real howlers completely inconsistent with the rest of the system that your commissioned translators have a way of throwing at you, one finds on occasion. Because they always claim yes we are completely familiar with Apple conventions in all the languages you want … but that does not always turn out to indeed be the case.

While we’re discussing localization, if you have 23 localizations to spit out RIGHT NOW! like some of us do, here is a new addition to our Invaluable Development Tools list, LangSwitch:

The only boring and time-consuming solution is to thoroughly test the new UI in every localization before releasing. This is especially time-consuming as you have to change the language settings in System Preferences every time you want to change the localization.

Also, another downside of this is that it changes your whole computer (well, just your session, but whatever…). I personally don’t really like to use a computer in Chinese…

That’s where LangSwitch comes in… It gives you a simple GUI way to switch the localization for only the app you’re testing. It displays only the localizations avaiable for your app. Here’s an easy way to test your different localizations without the hassle.

Is that sweet, or what? Works just as described, and somehow manages to maintain the designated localization even after an Xcode Clean All and rebuild. Not completely sure just how it’s managing that, but it’s certainly a useful trick!

And here’s a useful little tip for the use of genstrings if you like, as we do, to organize your source in folders; this command will recurse two levels down your hierarchy to pull out all your source strings:

genstrings *[hmc] */*[hmc] */*/*[hmc]

To finish off, here’s a few other recent useful posts regarding localization you may wish to also read over if this happens to be a concern of yours at the moment:

ibtool: Localization Made Easier