Among our friends and clients at Lingoport, we regularly see ranges of confusion, to complete lack of awareness of what Unicode is. So for the less- or under-informed, perhaps this article will help. The advent of Unicode is a key underpinning for global software applications and websites so that they can support worldwide language scripts.
Many companies with complex software start out knowing they need help meeting product globalization objectives, but they are still new to what help they will need and where technology and language distinctions lay. That’s confounded by grey areas that sit in between internationalization and localization.
Just recently I got a call out of the blue from a colleague who leads his own internal internationalization (i18n) team at a well known software company, with many leading commercial products. The discussion particularly related to best practices and turning information into actual plans.
A local leadership conference a few years ago featured a live panel discussion including Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, a Google’s investor and board member. The first question tossed out was: what makes a company great? Mr. Schmidt quickly answered,
There are two kinds of software internationalization you can refer to – built in to the product from the start, and performed on existing code. The kind of internationalization (i18n) this article invokes isn’t the sort that’s designed into a product right from conception. That is less common, though the pull of global markets is changing that tide.