iOS Abbreivating long localized strings?

samdev

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 16, 2011
126
0
I'm thinking about adding some localized strings to my app, however, the localized version
of the string may be too long for a particular GUI that was designed for a short English word.
The GUI is not a button or something that can be easily resized. Space is limited.

If I can't fit a particular word into my GUI, would it be reasonable to somehow truncate
or abbreviate the localized word? I don't know anything about abbreviating a foreign word.
Or perhaps just leave it as English? Making the text smaller would just look crappy.

I can't decide what to do. :confused:
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,552
4,612
inter-prandial
If you're truncating words to fit a GUI layout, you're doing it wrong. The whole thing -- layout, text, etc. -- is normally changed to suit a particular language. That means the nib, any text used by the program, etc.
 

forum user

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2008
202
0
Ask a translator, that what they are for.

A professional translation service (or the person behind it) will do more than simply translating word by word into the foreign language. Translation is the first pass, second pass is to verify the GUI and to check for the things you mention. As they know the foreign language the tend to come up with good suggestions.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,579
4,019
Localize the nib or storyboard itself. Adjust the button size for different languages so that everything fits without abbreviations.
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,981
447
The Centennial State
Adjust the button size for different languages so that everything fits without abbreviations.
And what if it can't fit without abbreviations? For example, some German counterparts to English words can be rather long. What do you do if there is no room in the layout for the entire word?
 

samdev

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 16, 2011
126
0
And what if it can't fit without abbreviations? For example, some German counterparts to English words can be rather long. What do you do if there is no room in the layout for the entire word?
Rather than using a direct translation, I usually have to use an alternative meaning to get the
shortest possible word. For example, "on/off" doesn't seem to translate nicely to all languages,
so I have to change the meaning to "yes/no". This gives me the shortest translation with little
change to its meaning. I think Apple's solution was to change the words into bar/circle symbols.

Anyway, if I still don't know what to do, I take a look at what other apps have done in
similar situations. And there are already many button-word examples you can find on the iPhone
after changing the language settings. I grabbed some of those words for my own app.
 
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