Rules to Better Internationalization

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  1. Do you know why you should Chinafy your app?


    China is a booming market and now is the time to take advantage of this growing user base. If you have a successful application you should bring it to the Chinese market.

    Most Chinese consumers will not make a purchase or use your application if information is not easily available in Chinese.


    ​You can grow and target your audience better using the local social media networks

    You should ensure your application works in China, and that critical application resources are not blocked by the firewall

    You should integrate with local services (such as video streaming)

    Localizing for the market is not just translation​

  2. Do you know how to better localize your application?

    ​​​​​Localization makes your web application ready to work more than one language — and it’s much easier if you do it from the beginning. Just follow these tips to better localize your application for a specific country or region.​

    Figure: SSW LinkAuditor application is available in Chine​​se. 
  3. Do you set your application default language to automatically change to local language?

    If you are localizing your web application to make it available in a varitety of languages, it's better to ​set your application default language to automatically change to local language. e.g. Make the web application default language as same as the browser language.

    ​In order to use your web application in your preferred language, simply set that language in your browser, save/apply the new settings and then launch your application. 


    Figure: Detect your users language preference and display in that language​. ​


  4. Do you always give the user an option to change the locale?

    Localization because absolutely needed when  your application has to be shown to people in many countries. To make your application more friendly, it's very important to always give the user a option to change the locale (e.g. by adding locale dropdown menu on page) and remember this choice for the future visits. e.g. To change the language for your application, you can simply choose the new language from the language dropdown.

    Facebook Like pages
    Figure: Give the user an option to change the locale. ​
  5. Do you use client-side tools for localization as much as possible?

    With the increasing use of JavaScript on the client and HTML5, client-side localization is fast becoming a necessity for displaying messages, text, and resources localized for the user's culture. You can use client-side tools for localization as much as possible so that for the most part, the back end of your service remains unchanged. e.g. If you are using AngularJS, then use the Angular Translate plugin.

    Figure: Using Angular Translate plugin for localization. ​
  6. Do you provide numerous comments in application resources that define context?

    ​​Knowing the context and use of certain strings will help translators choose the right translation from the beginning when you localize your web application to make it available in a variety of languages. Most translation tools will allow translators to see these comments as they translate the strings. To make your comments more friendly, it's better to list in the comment field where this text is used. e.g.

    • ​Text
    • Validation
    • Tooltip
    • Textbox Placeholder​​
    Figure: Use the comment field in the resx to tell you where it is used.​
  7. Do you follow a 'Definition of Implementing Social Media Campaigns'?

    Promoting your application and business via social media can be extremely beneficial, not only for promoting of a business, but for feedback from customers as well. To help implement social media campaigns, try these tips:

    • Target platforms for the countries in which you’ll have either an e-commerce or on-the-ground presence. e.g. Facebook/Qzone, Twitter/Weibo.
    • Understand the specific social media websites and to craft the message for each  language. Always localize, don’t just translate. Google translate just isn't good enough, always give it to a native speaker to translate. 
    • Don't make the text longer than what the shortest supported is (usually Twitter which is 140 characters).
    • Studies show that posts with an image get more traction .
    • Post it to the English site.
    • Then post it to the Chinese site.
    • Great, now you are ready to post to all of the social media platforms simultaneously.
    • Facebook Like pages
      Figure:  Make sure that your social media presence covers the countries you have translated your application into
                    e.g. Link Auditor on Weibo (A local social media, China’s Twitter replacement).  

    We have a service called SSW Chinafy that can help you get started following this rule.

  8. Do you add multilingual support (Angular)?

    How to realize multilingual support in an Angular project?

    There are several ways of implementing multilingual support in an Angular project, the following libraries are popularly used:
    Internationalization (i18n): the standard Angular built-in module to help the application dealing with multilingual. It creates multiple language versions of your application.
    ngx-translate: a library enhanced the Angular built-in feature, it supports not only template translations but also can be used in the code by APIs. 
    angular-gettext:​ the simplest powerful 3rd party library provides the translation support to Angular.
    The following table shows the pros and cons of the 3 libraries:


    Pros (+)

    Cons (-)



    + Better support of displaying dates, number, percentages, and currencies in a local format.

    Better support of handling plural forms of words, and alternative text.

    • It only works with one language at a time, you have to completely reload the application to change the language
    • Only support translation in the template (by using HTML tag)


    • It provides more powerful API support
    • It supports to JSON files by default to store the translation resources
    • It doesn’t provide good support for plural forms and date.
    • Ngx-translate will stop its releases when angular built-in modules catch up the ngx-translate features.
    • The simplest library to deal with multilingual.
    • Supports plural handling in different languages.

    • It compiles the translations during the compiling period, which doesn’t support the change of translation at any time.
    • Only supports AngularJS


    Ngx-translate provides the APIs which you can use to translate the resources in the code:



    By comparing of the 3 libraries we can see ngx-translate provides the best functionality now due to the API support, even though the built-in i18n module will catch up in a certain time, but we still recommend using ngx-translate for multilingual support in your Angular application.