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2008年4月25日

Ready for Localization?

Is your software or document ready for localization?
It usually is not that simple to localize anything. Giving you "Hello world" and ask you to localized it into several languages might already have some problems to be resolved first before localizing it.

People who speak English may not be aware of that the nouns have gender in several languages. People who wrote technical document in German might not be aware of that other people might not be able to know how to translate it properly due to it's too specific in a particular area.

Imagine if you receive this word "Entropy", how should you translate it properly if there is not enough context to be reference?
"Entropy" is a physic term and widely used in physics, thermodynamic, and some other fancy area such as image processing.
If you are familiar with PhotoShop, then you probably know the term "entropy" appeared there. Translator will need to look up many different areas' dictionaries and might also need to consult some professors in order to translate it properly.

Imagine I now send you "%s Power" and then ask you to translate it into French, the translated result may not be good due to I did not give you enough information. See below examples (translated results from Google Translate):
Maximum Power ==> La puissance d'attaque
Minimum Power ==> Moins d'énergie
Efficient Power ==> Puissance efficace

So, how can you translate it properly if I only give you "%s Power"? If I only give you that, that means it's not ready to be localized. Actually it's an I18N issue that the codes are trying to manipulate strings, which should not happen if you are going to localize it into several languages.

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