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Localization in Avicenna can be divided into two general categories: localization of the app interface and localization of the study content. Each of them is explained below.

App Interface Localization

The Avicenna mobile app is currently available, for Android, iOS, and web, in the following 13 languages:

If you are interested in helping us translate Avicenna into your local language, we would love to hear from you.

The Avicenna app, for both Android and iOS, sets the language of the user interface to be the same as the system language. Every time the user opens the Avicenna app, the app will check the current system language, and sets the app language accordingly. If Avicenna is not available in the system language, it switches to English by default.

Participants can also choose the language of Avicenna by opening the Avicenna app, going to the Settings → Languages, and then choose their desired language. This will override the language of their phone, and instructs Avicenna to always appear in the language they chose, regardless of the language of their phone:

Participants can choose the language of the app interface through Settings.
Participants can choose the language of the app interface through Settings.

Study Content Localization

Avicenna supports creating studies where the content, for example, the informed consent, survey questions, or notifications, are translated and available in multiple languages. This way every participant interacts with the study using the language they have chosen.

Adding Localization

By default, Avicenna assumes your study is only available in one language. We refer to this as the Base Language. It can be any language. For example, if your participants are predominantly familiar with Dutch, you can consider Base Language to be Dutch. Note that you do not have to set Base Language to anything. Base Language just refers to the language of the content you enter in your study when no language is chosen.

Now you may choose to have your study only in one language, for example, Dutch. In this case, all you need to do is to enter all fields of study in Dutch. Hence, participants will also see the study in Dutch. According to Avicenna, the Base Language for your study will be Dutch.

If you choose to add other languages to your study, you can do so via the Researcher Dashboard. By selecting your study and navigating to the Basics page. At the bottom of the page, you will find the Localization table.

Localization table for a study including no languages by default

As you have not added any localization, you will notice the table is empty. Click on + Add to add a new language. Avicenna supports study content localization for the same languages mentioned above. So, in the dialog that opens for adding a new language, you can pick any of the above languages. Pressing Add will add the language to your study's localization table.

Dialog to add a new language to the study

For example, relatively, you may decide to add English translation for your study as well, for those participants who cannot understand Dutch. In this case, you can add English to your study localization. In this regard, your study has two languages: the Base Language which is Dutch, and English localization.

If your study contains at least one localization, like the last example, the Researcher Dashboard shows a Language Selector option next to all text and, in some cases, image fields across the entire study, as shown below:

Language selector on Edit Study Basics dialog

Sometimes you might find the Language Selector at the top of a dialog or in a section next to the title. In such cases, all available fields in that dialog or section are considered to be translatable. So, you can provide translations for all of them by just changing the localization in that selector, as shown below:

Language selector on Change Study Background dialog

In this case, when you are adding content to a given field, by default the content is considered for the Base language. You can open the Language Selector next to the field and choose one of the localizations, and then enter/select the translation of that content into the new language.


The Base Language can be any language, not necessarily one of the languages listed here. You also can do the localization in any language. So in theory you can add the content of the Base Language in a language like Dutch, and add the same Dutch translation as well. While this is possible, it does not make sense semantically, and will have no impact on how Avicenna shows the localized content.

Displaying Localized Content

If your study is available in multiple languages, Avicenna chooses the right language before showing any content, such as the app homepage, a survey, or a notification. Detecting the language happens based on the following algorithm:

  1. Avicenna checks whether the participant has chosen a language in the app's Settings. If yes, Avicenna uses it as the participant's preferred language.
  2. If no, Avicenna checks whether the participant's phone has been set to a specific language. If yes, Avicenna uses it as the participant's preferred language.
  3. If no custom language is chosen from steps 1 and 2, Avicenna sets the participant's language to Base.
  4. For showing every content, Avicenna checks whether the content is provided by the researcher in the participant's preferred language.
  5. If the content is available in the participant's preferred language, then, Avicenna shows the content in that language.
  6. If the content is not available in the participant's preferred language, the Base version of the content is loaded and shown.

Note that you must always provide the Base version of each content. So Avicenna always can fall back to displaying the Base content.

Removing Localization

To remove a given localization from your study, open the Researcher Dashboard, select your study, and navigate to the Basics page. In the Localization table, select the languages you want to remove, and press Remove. You'll be prompted with a confirmation dialog. If you confirm, the selected localizations and all translated content related to them will be removed.

Note that this action cannot be reverted. If you have entered a substantial amount of localized content, removing the localization will delete all those and will be irrevocable.