W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > April to June 2001

Re[2]: Business Case for i18n?

From: <Rich.Landess@edwardjones.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 14:32:59 -0500
To: www-international@w3.org, avine@Eng.Sun.COM
Cc: asgilman@iamdigex.net
Message-id: <H000044a08757aea.0992460779.nspdmail-2*@MHS>
This is absolutely the sort of change we are attempting here where I work. They really seem to have a hard time understanding that the first language a product would be localized into is US English, followed by whatever additional languages we need to support. 

Hang in there Andrea, we are changing 281 million mindsets one at a time. It's just going to take a bit...

Rich

> Along that line, I'm wondering what folks are doing about their English
> products.  I'm trying to convince folks that even though the product is in
> English, it should not be designed only for the USA.  That is, locale-related
> formats should be dynamically selected, or user selectable, rather than in a
> localizable resource file.  So for example someone using the English product in,
> say, Germany won't see their dates in MM/DD/YY format.
> 
> }sigh{
> Andrea
> iPlanet i18n architect
> 
> Marco Cimarosti wrote:
> > 
> > Al Gilman wrote on www-international@w3.org:
> > > From time to time I get the opportunity to answer questions
> > > like "Why mark
> > > stuff as in Maori?  Almost nobody can read it, anyway."
> > >
> > > http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2001AprJun/thread.html#709
> > >
> > > In a rapid glance over the Internationalization home page at W3C I found
> > > lots on 'how' to internationalize the Web but I didn't instantly stumble
> > on
> > > the story 'why' that I could cite.
> > >
> > > Some brief and pungent explanation of how "Without i18n, we can just drop
> > > the first two W's in WWW" would be handy for those of us conversing with
> > > those who don't have the intercultural experience to "get it" without a
> > > little light explanation.
> > 
> > You could use the old rhetoric trick of replying with a question.
> > 
> > Ask them the *same* question with "English" in place of "Maori".
> > 
> > Then make a pause to allow your audience to think "But this is not the same
> > thing!", then translate the question in Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese,
> > Bengali...
> > 
> > While the audience is still shocked by your linguistic skills, start writing
> > on the blackboard  some statistics about this language (e.g.
> > http://www.sil.org/ethnologue/top100.html).
> > 
> > First write the English figure, then add other languages and sum them up as
> > you write them.
> > 
> > I am sure that, while English is getting smaller and smaller compared to the
> > running total, your interlocutors will start feeling more and more "Maori".
> > 
> > If you are holding a slide show or discussing by e-mail, you could use
> > Michka Kaplan's "Everybody is Provincial" page as a written version of
> > basically the same story:
> > 
> >         http://www.trigeminal.com/samples/provincial.html
> > 
> > _ Marco
> 
Received on Wednesday, 13 June 2001 15:33:31 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 2 June 2009 19:16:56 GMT