Terminology

Software Translation Terminology

These terms are used when discussing the creation of international software applications and Websites.

Internationalization

Abreviation: i18n

A numeronym based on the 18 letters between the “I” and “N” in internationalization, a lower case “i” is used to distinguish it from the numeral “1”.

Also Known As: Globalization (g11n), and Enabling.

Internationalization is the process of designing and developing an application to be language and locale neutral, so that it can be adapted to any language or region without having to make any changes to it’s code.

Localization

Abreviation: L10n

A numeronym based on the 10 letters between the “L” and “N” in internationalization, an upper case “L” is used to distinguish it from the numeral “1”.

Localization is the process of adapting an application for a specific language or culture. This can include text translation, modifying sounds, modifying images, and formatting numbers, dates and currencies to be culturaly relevant.

Localization is carried out after internationalization, so no changes to the application’s source code are neccessary.

Locale

locale is a set of conventions related to a geopolitical place or area. A locale would include language and cultural preferences, such as:

  • spelling
  • character encoding
  • keyboard layout
  • date and time formatting
  • number formatting
  • currency formatting
  • systems of measurement
  • paper sizes
  • sort orders