So the info in the appdata file is passed to DEP-11, Ubuntu Software
fetches already localized strings from the latter, and there is a time
factor. Did I get that (approximately) right?

That would explain why all my efforts to make Ubuntu Software show
something different when running under a Swedish locale failed. The
summary is shown in Swedish for me too, but the name and description are
in English. That does not change whatever I do to manipulate software- and/or /usr/share/metainfo/software-properties-
gtk.appdata.xml. (I even edited the English description, and that didn't
make a difference either.)

But if that is how it works, is it at all possible to apply translations
from .mo files at runtime?

What you want to achieve sounds highly desirable to me. But it would be
nice if we could confirm somehow that it will work without inline
translations before we let dh_translations strip them.

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  dh_translations should handle AppStream metadata also

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