- Language localisation
Language localisation [The spelling "localisation", a variant of "localization", is the preferred spelling in the UK and other Commonwealth countries.] is the process of translating a product into different languages (see
language translation) or adapting a languagefor a specific country or region. This article focuses on the latter.Many languages, especially world languageswith a large number of native speakers, have spread geographically and are nowadays used in many countries and regions. Thus, different national varieties of these languages have evolved. Linguistic differences include pronunciation, spellingconventions and grammatical patterns. It is important for companies to take such differences into account, for example, when creating websites for specific regional markets.
English language localisation
The two largest countries (in population) where English is spoken natively are the
United Statesand the United Kingdom. There are numerous differences between American Englishand British English—spelling conventions ("color", "center", "program", "localization" vs "colour", "centre", "programme", "localisation"), pronunciation, words with different meanings, vocabulary and slightly different grammar patterns particularly in the use of tenses. Localisation in this context usually refers to creating country-specific websites or publishing different editions of a book. For example, it is very common for books by British authors to be edited for the U.S. market. U.S. editions are often co-published in Canada, while UK editions are often co-published in Australia. English language localisation has become very common for open source software, where users can choose between different locales.
Spanish language localisation
There are significant differences between the varieties of Spanish spoken in
Spainand Latin America. In general, different varieties are mutually intelligible, and the spellinghas been standardised by the Real Academia Española. However, there are variations in pronunciation and word usage. Argentinian Spanish(es-AR) and Mexican Spanish(es-MX) are typical representatives of Latin American varieties of Spanish among neighbor countries.
Portuguese language localisation
The differences between Portuguese from Portugal (called
European Portuguese) and Brazilian Portugueseinclude pronunciation, spelling conventions, grammar and usage. Compared with Spanish and English varieties, the differences are much larger. Books from Brazilian authors like Paulo Coelhoare heavily edited for the Portuguese market.Fact|date=February 2007
Chinese language localisation
Chinese encompasses a large number of dialects. The standard dialect (Mandarin), which is promoted by the Chinese government and the government of Taiwan, is now universally used in publications and on websites. However, there are two different character systems: simplified and traditional Chinese. Simplified characters are primarily used in Mainland China, traditional characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
Language tags and codes
Language tags can be used to indicate different national varieties of a language. There is one primary subtag that identifies the language (e.g. "en") and an optional subtag in capital letters that specifies the national variety (e.g. "GB"). The subtags are linked with a hyphen (although in some contexts it's necessary to substitute this with an underscore [ [http://sources.redhat.com/cgi-bin/cvsweb.cgi/libc/localedata/SUPPORTED?rev=1.102&content-type=text/x-cvsweb-markup&cvsroot=glibc List of currently supported locales by the gnu libc library.] ] ).
Language Tag and Code Examples
* English: "en-GB" (British English), "en-US" (American English), "en-CA" (
* Spanish: "es-ES" (Castilian Spanish, Spanish as written and spoken in Spain), "es-MX" (Mexican Spanish), "es-AR" (Argentine Spanish), "es-CO" (Colombian Spanish)
* Portuguese: "pt-PT" (
European Portuguese, Portuguese as written and spoken in Portugal), "pt-BR" (Brazilian Portuguese)
* Chinese: "zh-CN" (Mainland China, simplified characters), "zh-TW" (Taiwan, traditional characters), "zh-HK" (Hong Kong, traditional characters)
Language codes specified in
ISO 639-2use a three-letter nomenclature to identify each language, such as eng for English, or tvl for Tuvalu. However, these are not valid as language tags if the language also has two-letter code in ISO 639-1.
Notes and references
Internationalisation and localization
American and British English differences
Spanish dialects and varieties
* [http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php Library of Congress List of ISO 639-2 (alpha 3) Language Codes]
* [http://www.gala-global.org/ Globalization and Localization Association (GALA)]
* [http://tlt.psu.edu/suggestions/international/web/tips/langtag.html Developing Tips: Language tags]
* [http://www.w3.org/International/articles/language-tags/ W3C: Internationalization - Language tags in HTML and XML]
* [http://www.localizationworld.com/ Localization World Conference]
* [http://www.localisation.ie/ Localisation Research Centre]
* [http://www.mozilla.org/projects/l10n/ Mozilla Localization Project]
* [http://commonsenseadvisory.com/members/res_cgi.php/070502_Q_Top_20.php Ranking of Top 20 Language Service Providers]
* [http://www.epicsound.com/resources/gamelocalization.html 14 Ideas for Better Game Localization] - tips and ideas on how to improve the localization process for video games
* [http://www.wsl.co.il/glossary.htm#loc Localization definition]
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