Internalization

The Android Software Development Kit offers great built-in support for internalization. It is easy to get started and make your app support several languages. Under the resources (res) folder you create subfolders for values with different suffixes i.e. values-fi, values-de, values-se and the resources you place under those folder will automatically be used depending on the user’s language setting. Values folder, without any suffixes is used if nothing else is specified, so it is the standard folder.

res/
  values/
     strings.xml
  values-fi/
     strings.xml
  values-de/
     strings.xml
  values-se/
     strings.xml

Lint even analyzes code for bidirectional text, to support languages that are written from right-to-left. It is an easy oversight at an early phase of the development process, but one that you will cost you a lot of tricky decisions down the line. If you are heading directly to international markets and releasing your app in several countries, it’s good to keep this in mind. Though designing layouts with a lot of spare room can difficult, often times you need to have your text resources customized to even fit. This means translating the texts, not only based on context, but also keeping in mind those precious Density-independent pixels.

This brings about the arduous task of going through the layouts after each iterative change,  so keeping you language support somewhat limited will save you a lot of time further on.

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