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Internationalization Services

Internationalization Solutions to Support Your Global Products

Organizations often struggle to decide when to start internationalization. Is it best to do internationalization at the end of an application development cycle or at the initial stage or run it in parallel with development? If one understands the internationalization process and its criticality to global marketing, these questions are easy to answer. The short answer is: Internationalization comes first. Everything else can come later.

What is this service exactly?

What is internationalization?

What is internationalization?

What does internationalization involve?

What does internationalization involve?

I18n solution from Braahmam and Prudle Labs

I18n solution from Braahmam and Prudle Labs

Internationalization is the process of making one source code work for all languages so that it accommodates any operating system or browser language. It enables your program to be easily adapted to any region, culture, or language.

Internationalization is abbreviated as I18n as there are 18 characters between the first and the last character.

It is an essential process as there is no one way in which everyone in the world uses date, time, or address formats, let alone speak the same language. I18n is about getting the finer details right, so that the bigger picture is clearer and makes sense.

Around the world, people have evolved their own conventions or practices to do things: whether it is how they number their streets or how they address each other. For a company entering a new market, not getting these small things right is the easiest way to be singled out as a “foreigner” who does not know their way about the local market and perhaps does not care either.

You don’t want to be that company. You want to get everything right. I18n is the way you do it.

Date/Time:

08-06-20

Look at the above numbers in a date. You could think of many ways to read the date, and they could all be right, but just in different places around the world.

For instance, if you read the above date as 8 June, 2020, it’d be absolutely correct in India. In the US, it’d be read as 6 August, 2020, while in Japan it’d be 20 June 2008.

Not only do date formats vary, but so do the numeral separators in the date. This is how dates are written out in the following locales, and there could be more variations as you add more countries:

2020-08-06 (Canada)

08/06/20 (Brazil)

06/08/2020 (UAE, Ireland)

08.06.20 (Germany)

Time is denoted in 12-hour clocks in some places and in 24-hour clocks in others. It’s also written with different separators.

Numbers

Numbers are also written in varying formats. Take a look at the below:

123,456,789.00 (US)

123.456.789,00 (Germany)

123 456 789,00 (France)

123’456’789.00 (Switzerland)

12,34,56,789.00 (India)

 

Currency

Not only are the currencies different in various countries, but so are their display formats. For instance, Germany uses the currency symbol after the amount.

Mail address

Many countries follow their own address formats. And the minutest details matter. Given below is the address format for the United Kingdom:

Line 1: First name + last name

Line 2: Street name

Line 3: Postal town/city

Line 4: county – not always needed

Line 5: Postal code

Line 6: Country name

However, this will vary widely from country to country.

Getting date, time, number, and mail address formats right may not sound like a big deal, but imagine an e-commerce website not being able to deliver goods to its customers, because it did not record their addresses right. Many a time, if your forms are not internationalized, the customer may not even be able to place the order.

Or, if your products display their prices in the wrong formats, they may be thought to have outlandishly high prices or deemed to be too cheap, depending on which decimal indicator is used.

Sort and search

If your app has a lot of sort and search functions built into it, make sure that your users from anywhere in the world will be able to use it and get the desired results. While some may type in block letters, others may input search terms in more than one language. Some users may prefer to navigate through your app by voice, too.

Hard-coded strings

Do not leave content in source code. If strings are hard-coded into the source code, it can be difficult to extract them for translation and localization. Remember that sometimes you will have to extract content from thousands of lines of code and then have to do this for every language. It will create many source code branches and result in a waste of the developer’s time.

Hard-coded strings should be externalized to a resource file and keys should be used in the code to avoid these issues.

Unicode or double-byte or multi-byte character support

In most languages, one character is represented by one byte, which is how computers see them. However, some languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) need two or more bytes to represent one character.

If you’d like to offer many languages on your website, you must support unicode, double-byte, or multi-byte encodings.

Bi-di support or right-to-left support

Some languages such as Chinese can be written either vertically or horizontally. Middle Eastern languages are written from right-to-left. In all these cases, users must be able to input text easily in their languages.

Punctuation marks should appear in the right places, numbers must run in the right direction with the text, and visuals and user interface elements must be placed appropriately.

Embedding text in image

This is a strict no-no, just as placing content in the source code is. It creates a lot of pain to developers and translators alike. If text is hard-coded into image, translators may not see it and as a result, it may appear in the source language on translated websites and apps. It makes for a jarring user experience.

GUI elements

All languages may not take up the same amount of space, whether be it because of the size of their characters or because of word length. German, for example, takes up to 30% more space than English. The English “cancel” translates into “Abbrechen” which is three letters longer than the English word. Hence, plan for text expansion.

In Indian languages, there are combination characters and these sometimes break up in the graphic user interface (GUI). The Thai language does not have separators or word delimiters. For example, the Thai translation of ‘writing’, การเขียน, might be regarded as a single word (kānkhīan) or as two (kān khīan). Hence, it’s often difficult to break up such words without losing meaning.

Your i18n manager must be able to take care of all such and other issues that may be specific to different languages.

Whether it is building a localization strategy, using internationalization best practices or defining and implementing localization processes, our partnership with Prudle Labs ensures that our business-focused approach delivers great results for our clients.

Working with Prudle Labs, Braahmam provides various internationalization, localization, and translation services to ensure that global products are shipped to the market on time simultaneously in English and localized languages, with high quality and on budget.

We provide these internationalization services:

  • Analysis of I18N source code to find all possible internationalization issues
  • Fix most I18N issues automatically using the Prudle I18N plugin
  • Review the product UI or wireframe
  • Provide the I18N plan with timelines
  • Develop the I18N and QA checklist
  • Review source strings
  • Define I18N QA strategy
  • Perform internationalization testing to ensure that the product is localizable
  • Provide translation in over 100 languages. See all languages supported.

How our internationalization solution stands out:

The internationalization module available through the collaboration of Prudle Labs and Braahmam has many advantages for clients. It’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning empowers it to automatically flag all types of I18n issues.

Our AI system is also trained with the different conventions used in different locales. You don’t have to sweat over the address formats used in Norway, for example. Specify the locale and our i18n solution will automatically convert date, time, number, and address formats to suit Norwegian users.

We also leverage machine learning to identify false positives, so that manual work is limited. A false positive is an error as interpreted by the software, but depending on the context it may or not be an error. This often requires human intervention and can hence be resource-intensive to fix.

Users also have a high degree of visibility and control and can go into the program and view and fix issues and un-flag them. This way, they can do a self-audit of issues.

 

Call to Action

Planning your next product release? Contact us early in the planning so we can support your internationalization efforts on time and on budget. Contact us about our internationalization solutions.

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