Guideline A: User interface

A9: Commands & responses



Treating commands and responses as UI

Some applications provide users with a facility to enter direct interactive commands with their associated keywords through a "command line interface" or "CLI". Examples of plain English words often used as CLI commands are: START, QUIT, COPY and MOVE. Applications provide CLI commands because in some instances, users prefer CLI for repetitive tasks or for automation using scripts, which may be difficult using a graphical user interface.

Some applications provide both CLI commands and equivalent functionality via the GUI. In this case it may not be necessary to look into translatability of the CLI commands if the equivalent functionality is available via the GUI and is translated.

There are applications that do not provide GUI equivalents for CLI commands and their associated keywords. If the commands are in common use in the industry it may be preferable to retain the original English forms. For example, the "Exit" command is commonly used as "Exit" in both Spanish and Chinese. Other examples of commands commonly used in the industry are those used in networking protocols such as CONNECT and DISCONNECT.

It is important to note that there are commands (and keywords) used that are not part of the English language (such as STARTSERVER MODE12). Such commands (and keywords) are specific values and identifiers (such as part numbers) necessary for specific purposes and are not translatable. There are also commands that are used in DOS batch files or script files. If the end user is not physically entering the command, the commands in script file are not required to be translatable.

Guideline A9


Translatability of inputs such as commands, keywords, and responses becomes necessary if the following conditions are met: they do not have a GUI equivalent, are not in common use in the industry and they can be found in the English dictionary.

Example: A CLI may interact with the user and prompt for a response based on the current user language preference. The command line might use “yes” (for English), and the program can actually prompt the user with appropriate options, such as "oui" (for French).