What is internationalization?

by Vinaya HS on June 6, 2006

in Technology

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internationalization (in-tuhr-NASH-uh-nuh-ly-ZAY-shun) noun

  1. The act or process of making something international or placing it under international control.
  2. Making a product or process suitable for use around the globe.

This 20-letter word is often abbreviated as i18n when used by software engineers. Making a program useful in another country requires more than just replacing error messages from a new language. In software development, internationalization means designing a program so that it can be easily customized for various languages, scripts, units, currencies, and date/time formats. The counterpart of i18n is localization (l10n) which is adapting a program for use in a particular locale. In other words, internationalization makes a piece of software easy to localize.

Source: Anu Garg's A word a day mailing list.



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