TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
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 ... ;-)
svib -at- aks -dot- com
chase -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il
Aladdin. Securing The Global Village
Ashlag 22, Haifa, Israel
Tel: +972 4 872-8899 Fax: +972 4 872-9966
Visit us at our Web site! http://www.esafe.com