Web Globalization Strategies
Internationalization and Localization
= interesting, promising
Book Excerpt Online
A very interesting set of excerpts from a book by John Yunker entitled Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies are accessible at this URL. While you can easily get the book online for some $ 39.95 through a link on these very page, the extracted content from Chapter 7 "Internationalization and Localization" is indeed an interesting read that comes absolutely free.
"Internationalization is the process of building a web site so that it can support multiple locales, while localization is the process of modifying that site for a specific locale."
While many examples refer to large commercial companies like Coca-Cola or Volvo, they still apply in most cases to the problems that an NGO or a mom and pop outfit would be faced with.
The article focuses on many of the different aspects that need to be taken into account when attempting to make a site accessible to visitors from different countries and cultures.
The issues of color, language, signs, writing style, terminology, are all taken into account and discussed.
The issue of text contraction and expansion is a familiar one to those of you who have had to design and prepare grids and interfaces for international web sites or even for print publications published in multiple languages. While many of us give this for granted, there are scores of managers and officers who are about to publish across several media and have not dealt with this issue in person before.
In the section "Can they find what they are looking for?" the issue of bandwidth and download times is taken into account together with the one of measurements (I use A4 paper size here, but many of you use Letter, creating some real serious problems for laying properly Web pages and PDFs.
Numerical notation, date formats, currency and other language or culture related factors are well analyzed while providing reference sources and examples when possible.
By all means a valuable read for anyone dealing with web sites that want to become more appealing and accessible to their international visitors.
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