[thelist] usernames and other contact info in local languages

Nadeem Hosenbokus nadeem at nadeemh.com
Wed Feb 4 12:57:50 CST 2015


I live in a country where everyone speaks at least three languages (!)
except some British ex-pats who stubbornly refuse to learn any other
language ;-)

Almost every website I build has to be in at least English and French as
sometimes also in Mandarin, German and once in Russian too.

I have to check the following:
	- that my pages have a UTF-8 meta charset
	- my database tables use UTF-8 collation
	- my database has UTF-8 collation
	- the database connection has utf-8 collation (I think that this is
usually going to be the same as the database collation unless you are
specifically given an option for it in the hosting)

Depending on your exact code and data sources (e.g. .csv import) you might
need to use PHP's utf8_encode function or equivalent.

You mention that you have some error-handling to prevent specific characters
from entering into the database - what exactly are you checking for?

I check input data for SQL keywords like 'select', 'union', 'exec', etc and
then convert them into something else. For example, select becomes @sel@ and
that's what get stored in the database. I convert it back when the data
comes out. I do this check on all data entry regardless of language. I also
have a list of string are always removed completely from data input like
'<?', '<script>' and '<iframe>'.

I tend to find that if a site is in only one language, then the user might
input in either English or French (knowing that the person who is going to
read the data is local and speaks both). For sites that have multiple
languages, the input *tends* to match the site's language but not always.

You should be aware that "name" is sometimes understood by French speakers
to mean "surname" - you may see people whose names appear to be in the wrong
order on Facebook because of this. If your site is only in English and you
have a single "name" field you might only get a surname from native French
speakers. Specifying "first name" and "last name" (not "surname") is usually
fool-proof but you'll still get people who only read the label on the first
field and put their names in the wrong order. I'm sure that there are
comparative cases in other languages.

I don't know exactly what you are looking for but I hope that something
above helps in some way. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the big sites


Nadeem Hosenbokus
(230) 5766 9169

-----Original Message-----
From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org
[mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Bob Meetin
Sent: 04 February 2015 19:35
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] usernames and other contact info in local languages

This might sound like a silly question. However, I have a registration type
form which is to be used internationally.  For the time being I'm using
GoogleTranslate to allow the visitor to enter data in their language.  In
the context of English I have some error-checking in place to keep the
visitor from entering unwanted characters. The data is saved in a mysql

Regardless of language selected since my keyboard is not configured my
entries are in English. I'm wondering what this is going to look like and
how it will work in a very different foreign language. French, for instance,
useds lots of accents, Russian more characters in the alphabet, Thai its own
alphabet, Japanese a completely different system.

If folks attempt to register in their language will they be entering data in
their language and that information gets stored in the database such that if
I cruise the user list I'll see some real interesting stuff or is this an
intance in which visitors are forced to sign up for accounts in the default
language of English?

How do social networks like Google +, Facebook, etc handle this?



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