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Why localization and internationalization is important

This article is mainly covering the Open Source movement and its local heroes. But this quote really caught my eye:

“An English-only or even an English-mainly policy necessarily condemns most people, and thus the country as a whole, to a permanent state of mediocrity, since people are unable to be spontaneous, creative and self-confident if they cannot use their first language,”

Most Americans probably won’t even think about this at all. The ones that probably really get it are ones that have spent some time abroad and have to use a computer that has been localized or speak another language at home. All of a sudden you can’t read the menus and dialogues and many of the interactions with the computer. You’re a little lost in what to do. Now imagine trying to ‘get work’ done in this environment. This is what many many people deal with when having to deal with a non-localized computer. On top of dealing with computing for the first time they are forced to use a language they have no internal sense of.

Link to story

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