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Driving Global Developer Engagement: Creating Multilingual Content for Developers


9 min read

Written by


Romina Kohei

Published on

25 Jan 2023

More companies are looking to expand their reach by creating multilingual content. However, when it comes to developer-focused content, this can be a challenge. Understanding the differences and needs for creating impactful and useful developer content can ensure you get your message and intentions across regardless of the languages your developers speak.

What’s developer content?

Developer content is software and app development material. This includes tutorials, technical and reference documents, articles, manuals, reference guides, videos, and other learning materials. It’s designed to help developers learn new topics or technologies quickly to be more productive in their roles. Developer content can also be used to share best practices and provide instruction on using new tools and techniques. Ultimately, dev content helps developers create better products faster.

Why you should create multilingual dev content

Creating multilingual developer content is essential for the modern digital era. With the rise of AI and ML, developers must be able to comprehensively understand how your products are intended for use. By providing documents, tutorials, videos, and other learning materials in various languages, developers can ensure that all users have access to the necessary and accurate information.

According to GALA (Globalization and Localization Association), there’s a wealth of evidence that adapting your developer content to the local language requirements, tastes, and cultures of your target market pays off.

According to studies:

  • 56% of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.
  • 74% of multinational enterprises believe it’s important to increase revenues by reaching global audiences from global operations
  • 95% of Chinese online consumers prefer products and websites that are in their own language

When you add up those numbers, localizing the experience for your markets will allow you to create a local ecosystem by providing regional support. Targeted content for local communities tends to have higher performance, more engagement, and a great return on investment when compared to generalized global content.

When you invest in multilingual documentation during app development, you help ensure clarity and consistency and avoid information being lost or misconstrued in translation. The effects of not doing this can lead to broken features or other issues with your product in your target user’s languages

Ultimately, creating multilingual developer content creates an opportunity to promote universal communication, trust, and understanding in the tech community.

Why you should have simultaneous release for all locales

By simultaneously releasing information in all locales, you can ensure consistent and accurate data is presented to your users. Simultaneous releases reduce the ability of various market players to gain an edge by manipulating your information before your other markets receive it. Additionally, consistent and quicker dissemination of information results in better customer experiences overall, as your customers across all markets receive access to the same data at the same time. By deploying a unified timeline for information releases, you can set a schedule to achieve quality, with consistent and reliable insights for your stakeholders.

What challenges you may face when developing multilingual content

Creating dev content in multiple languages presents many challenges. Global communication will inevitably have complexity due to language nuances, cultural differences, and the translation process itself. Localized elements such as geographic terminology, tone of voice, and idioms can be specific to a particular country or region and can’t be ignored when effective communication is a must.

The way you communicate with your developers is a crucial element in how they perceive your products, down to your content’s tone of voice and even your brand colors. Whether you’re developing for the web, mobile, desktop, or more specialized platforms like AR/VR or IoT, it’s important to create content that resonates with the platform in question. Are there specific APIs to consider? Languages and frameworks? Device capabilities? UX trends?

Each platform has its own considerations, so it’s good practice to tailor your content accordingly. With the right approach, you can create the best developer experience possible. For example, US English developers prefer direct, explicit messages contained in shorter strings of text, Japanese developers prefer bullet points, and German developers prefer text in paragraph format.

Preferences about the logical path of navigation within an application vary with culture.

The standard of communication changes between the industry and even the platforms your developers are working on. Understanding the differences and norms used on SDK, API interfaces, or iOS vs. Android is essential. Keep in mind the native idioms and the preferences for specific acronyms over others because ignoring this can quickly turn developers off your content and maybe even your brand altogether.

It’s also important to remember that managing multiple translations of your content can become costly and time-consuming. Still, businesses can prepare for these challenges in advance and minimize disruption downstream.

Overcoming multilingual content development challenges

Challenges in programming can come from various sources, but when it comes to developer content in different languages, there is good news. Using reliable translators specializing in software development can provide the local context and accuracy needed for effective content. They may offer coding and language advice, allowing you to better understand the code and technology in question. Drawing on the expertise of your team members can also help focus your coding efforts and troubleshoot any potential problems before they arise.

Individualized strategies for translation and localization can help overcome potential language and cultural barriers. The next step is to think of ways to adapt the content, so it reads well in each language – this might mean reworking certain words or phrases and maintaining a consistent tone. Finally, ensure you use the correct terminology for each language – there’s no substitute for local knowledge. With a little extra effort, you can craft a clear and enjoyable experience for all users.

Still need a little help for developing your multilingual content?

Creating developer documentation in multiple languages can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By following the tips in this post, you can create high-quality multilingual developer content that will help your software reach a global audience. And if you need help localizing your developer docs, we’re here for you.

Our team of experts has years of experience translating and creating effective developer content in multiple languages. We have the right mix of tools and processes, but beyond that, we understand the programming languages in use and technologies being launched.

We do our best to understand your needs, challenges, and goals, aiming to simplify and improve your customer experience. So, whether you’re just getting started or looking to take your existing localized docs to the next level, we can partner with you to make sure your message is communicated effectively – in any language.

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