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really_doing_internationalisation [2014/04/29 15:30] (current)
jim created
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 +====== Internationalisation is harder than you think ======
 +
 +Making your software work in different languages isn't easy. Visiting Madrid in April 2014, I tried to buy a ticket at Sol station for a Madrid commuter train, Renfe Cercan√≠as.
 +
 +OK, so the ticket machine'​s initial display is in Spanish, and my Spanish is pretty much non-existent. But look! There'​s a helpful button that looks like you can change the interface language. ​
 +
 +{{:​other:​mad1.jpg?​600|Initial screen}}
 +
 +Let's see if it does English.
 +
 +{{:​other:​mad2.jpg?​600|Initial screen in English}}
 +
 +Well, almost. It would have helped if it had translated the ticket types too. Never mind, let's take a stab at Adulto Ida meaning Adult One-way.
 +
 +{{:​other:​mad3.jpg?​600|Choose destination}}
 +
 +Right, we're obviously choosing the destination here. Thanks to Google, I now know that the screen title and button labels have switched to Basque. Never mind, choose a destination.
 +
 +{{:​other:​mad4.jpg?​600|How many tickets?}}
 +
 +OK, we're still in Basque at the 'How many tickets'​ screen. Can I switch it back to English?
 +
 +{{:​other:​mad5.jpg?​600|How many tickets? in English}}
 +
 +Yes, I can. At this point I must admit I was looking for instruction on what to do next. Eventually I figured out the machine was waiting for me to deposit money. I'd like a receipt. I can't see how to get one. Is it possible?
 +
 +{{:​other:​mad6.jpg?​600|Printing tickets}}
 +
 +So now the machine is printing the tickets. Even if I couldn'​t hear printing noises inside, my French is well up to the task of translating '​Printing your tickets in progress'​.
 +
 +{{:​other:​mad7.jpg?​600|Thanks and goodbye}}
 +
 +'Take your tickets, and thanks for travelling with us.'
 +
 +I think this is an interesting approach to internationalisation. Force your users to expand their knowledge of other languages.
 +
 +The Australian Federal Government once tried a [[http://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Immigration_Restriction_Act_1901|similar approach]].
  
 
really_doing_internationalisation.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/29 15:30 by jim
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