[theforum] internationalizsation

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sat Nov 22 14:24:38 CST 2008

On 22 Nov 2008, at 20:07, ekm at seastorm.com wrote:

> re: languages.  I think, let's move forward on planning for
> internationalization, at least until we get stuck somewhere.  Such  
> as, how
> can drupal handle this kind of effort.
> I learned a lot at my little panel discussion.  Trying to get the  
> panel
> coordinator to cowrite an article w/ me... I believe the current  
> jargon is
> "localization."

i18n and l10n 're actually different, but meh

fwiw, even the version of Drupal we have has support for multi- 
language throughout the interface - pretty much every single label is  
a string that can be rendered in pretty much any language, with it  
displaying according to user preference.
(actually we're using it already for more evolt-friendly versions of  
one or two terms)

I understand Drupal6's support is better by far.

Not sure if it needs an explicit preference or uses the info the  
browser already provides, but we *do* need a set of translations to  
make it happen.

> The idea is a lot like progressive enhancement.  Concept of starting  
> with
> a "base site" (*not* an "English" or "American" site.)  Then your  
> subsites
> are localized.

So you have a base site, and rather than subsites, thde site localises  
per preference of the user.

So for articles, you have a base version of the article marked as  
being whatever language, and you progressively add translations.

> 1. languange != culture

More correctly: A culture is more than a language, but viewing the  
world through a specific language gives one a very different outlook  
(I have a few 1st language Gaelic speaking friends, whose outlook is  
very coloured by that different linguistic experience. Hell, even  
Orwell knew that changing the meaning of words changed the  
population's ability to speak about concepts - just look at whether  
one is allowed to discuss principles that in Europe would be called  

> 2. language != nationality

:-) Having worked with swiss and belgian colleagues, I know *that*  
one :-)

> 3. we have to start somewhere and move out
> It would be retarded (do you use that term in the UK?) to translate
> evolt.org into Dutch first thing.

No need to translate the site (and Dutch was just an example) - start  
with an article.

> Smarter would be the languages that have greater numbers / more rapid
> penetration rates:
> - Chinese
> - Spanish
> - Arabic

Smarter still would be languages strongly represented in evolt members  
which may correlate differently. And check whether we have support for  
double-byte/RTL languages.

> off the top... there are stats for this out there somewhere...
> Spanish, for example, is its own can of worms.  Castillian? Mexican?
> Argentinian?

No worst than British/American English.

> But these are challenges that if we can face at evolt, will
> put us ahead of the game in professional life (well, I'm thinking of
> myself here.)


> I'm very intrigued by (I forgot his name... he had the girlfriend he  
> was
> doing business with... in China) and have thoughts of trying to  
> recruit
> him into admin.

Zhang Weiwu


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