Internationalisation Tips

practical tips on building an international presence

What is internationalisation and localisation?

By Isofarro on June 25th, 2014 - No comments

When we talk about sites that can support multiple languages we talk about internationalisation (and it’s short form i18n). We also talk about localisation (l10n), and locale, language, and countries. What is internationalisation (i18n)? Internationalisation is the process of taking an application and making it work for more than one locale or language. For an […]

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Localising templates

By Isofarro on August 24th, 2011 - No comments

Most of the time the HTML for a site doesn’t need to change as you localise an already internationalised site for a specific locale. Though your website needs the flexibility to specify locale-specific markup, so it is well worth having a system in place that allows that. And implemented properly, a mechanism for specialising templates […]

Internationalisation Gotchas

By Isofarro on March 29th, 2010 - No comments

The amount of work required to internationalise a website is woefully underestimated, and sometimes, the codebase is compromised to the extent that many features or capabilities are impossible to deliver with the existing code. In many cases, complete ground-up rewrites are needed to separate cleanly the business logic from the localisation requirements of countries. Mostly […]

The dynamic sentence creation anti-pattern

By Isofarro on March 5th, 2010 - One comment

The natural internationalisation stumbling block, particularly for technical people, is that localisation isn’t just about translating static text strings. Surprisingly, many developers and programmers fail to consider that sentences in one natural language cannot be simply translated one word at a time to another language. Differences in grammar Every human language has its own grammatical […]

Translating dynamic text strings

By Isofarro on March 24th, 2009 - No comments

Translating text dynamically generated at request time is more complicated than static non-changing text. Depending on the reason why the text needs to be flexible at request time means taking a different approach. In the last post we looked at simple static text replacement where the text doesn’t change from request to request. But as […]

Replacing static text strings with references

By Isofarro on March 24th, 2009 - No comments

The first major step to localising a website or web application is to translate all the static text strings into the preferred language. Static text being text that doesn’t change from request to request. The typical approach to translating this text is to replace every piece of static text with a variable reference that points […]

Avoid text image buttons

By Isofarro on January 27th, 2009 - No comments

Localising sites should not be about recreating the same images over and over with different text and then spending days fixing layout bugs as each locale needs a different widths to comfortably fit in each text label.

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