Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Regionalisation and Internationalisation

As a programmer, I'm frequently faced with the problem of making something work in multiple languages.  

In short, the process is a case of identifying what your app or product displays, or says, then having made the list, you generate the same assets (voices, graphics, text passages, etc) in the new language.  Finally, you enable a way to load the correct language assets when needed - this is usually done by the operating system telling you what the user's preferences are set to and you then find that language in your app, but in the case of non-computer products there should be a switch.

This morning I went through what seemed like hour 17,997 through to hour 18,000 listening to this infernal clock from Fisher Price.  For reasons I don't understand, it seems to only ship in American mode, so the alphabet runs from "A to Zee" not "A to Zed" among other annoyances.  Whilst this was only slightly irritating for the first 2,000 times I had to listen to this, the technologist in me is thinking that Fisher Price were being wholly lazy on the matter in not making a version for the country they were selling this in.

Always make sure you don't irritate your customers doing the same.