Re: US vs. UK English

Subject: Re: US vs. UK English
From: Svi Ben-Elya <svi -dot- ben-elya -at- AKS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 14:53:04 +0200

If the software is prepared properly, using message files, the technical
aspects of localization are not that difficult. The bulk of the
localization can often be performed by a dealer in the target country.
There are of course various pitfalls that you learn along the way, but it
is not all that difficult.


On 5/10/99 2:24:43 PM Bob Gembey wrote:
>Boy, if all those English get sore because we don't localize American
>English into British variants, how about all those in non-English speaking
>countries who have to suffer because the product they want to use is only
>available in English, to begin with.
>In an ideal world (and with the financial resources of Microsoft, or even
>of Apple, who make British and American versions of their desktop --
>"trash" becomes "dustbin"), it would be possible to provide products not
>only localized to a specific country, but maybe even to dialects or
>minority languages within that country? Can you get Windows 95 in Welsh,
>Gaelic, Catalan, or Frisian? I know that there's an Arabic version of
>Windows, but is it the Arabic spoken in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, or
>Algeria or Morocco? How about the Byelorussian, Ukranian, versions, or is
>there only a Russian one? And then there's Georgian and Armenian, and who
>knows what else?
>So, before we start looking for the Mancunian or Scouse version of
>software, or for that matter, the (US) Georgian, Brooklyn or Boston
>editions, let's sit back and be realistic.
>It's not a question of laziness, but of cost -- translating a manual into
>another language is costly enough -- usually modifying the software is
>a greater expense. So, most companies will choose for what they consider
>the most economical and financially responsible. Now, if, in spite of the
>fact, that most non-native English speakers learn British English, most
>software is produced in American English (or, more correctly, either
>created in America or intended to succeed on the American market), then,
>although ISO has not put its seal on it, it's a de facto standard. For
>better or for worse, if it looks like it, smells like it, feels like it
>tastes like it, it probably is it, whether we like it or not.
>I'll consider making a British English version of my product, after I've
>been able to afford German, French or Spanish localizations. I think that
>they may have a harder time understanding my product than the English do.
> Then again, I could be wrong on that ... ;-)


Svi Ben-Elya
svib -at- aks -dot- com
chase -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il

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