[thelist] Re: thelist Digest, Vol 6, Issue 6

Diane Soini dianesoini at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 4 23:04:45 CDT 2003

I've used language translations before. I'm not any kind of expert, but 
I did work on a project where we translated all the UI labels into 
something like 18 languages or so, including double-byte languages. We 
used java for this, but I believe it would work similarly for other 
languages. Basically, for something like English or Spanish where you 
have more than one choice, (en, en_us, en_jm, es, es_mx) etc. the 
browser seems able to select the closest one if you don't have all of 
them. Also, my understanding is that people who do prefer non-English 
languages are pretty knowledgeable about this browser feature and know 
how to use it.

One thing to keep in mind if you are new to it is that some languages 
not only require you to choose the language in the browser language 
settings, but also choose the encoding. You as the developer have to 
keep in mind any code you write that might interfere with that, like 
meta tags setting the character set and/or encoding. You don't want 
your html forcing the browser to use Latin encoding when you really 
need Shift JIS. We cheated and removed those types of tags altogether 
for some horribly non-standard code, but a better way is to make the 
tags dynamic.

I'm sure there must be a list of abbreviations used for the languages 
out there, but I don't have one off-hand. I think I wrote some code 
that would display that header, then changed my browser settings over 
and over to see what the results were and that worked out pretty well.

> Hi gang,
> So, here are my questions:
> 3.  Anybody have any negative sharable experiences with trying to use 
> these
> headers to automatically select a default language?
> Thanks in advance.

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