D2: Ensuring the compatibility of language and culture
Ensuring the compatibility of language and culture parts
There is a growing trend for companies to distribute their data-processing functions across various regions of the world. As a result, products may be required to process data coming from the USA, Europe, Asia, Middle East, or any other part of the world, and to communicate with the users in the language of their choice. Providing multicultural support for one region must not interfere with nor affect the multicultural support for other regions. In addition, support for a particular region must not force any reduction of the product's functionality.
Design the product with independent NL parts.
This guideline is similar to, but different from, the previous guideline. Guideline D1 mandates the isolation of language-sensitive and culture-sensitive parts from other parts, while this guideline aims at the coexistence and compatibility of language and culture functions in all of your product parts.
Example: The support of Arabic should not preclude the support of French. Many products must operate in a multilingual environment, in which the user can switch effortlessly between Arabic and French, or use both languages simultaneously.
Example: A server product operating successfully in the Japanese environment may need to support a request to sort French names and to accept Korean data input.
Ensure that the application code has a mechanism to identify the language preferences and the country or region of the user.
Need assistance with your globalization questions?
- Guidelines quick reference
- A: User interface
- B: Writing for an international audience
- C: Respect for culture and conventions
- D: Product structure in a globalized environment
- E: Input and output interfaces
- F: Coded character sets
- G: Introducing Asian ideographic scripts
- H: Languages with a bidirectional script
- I: The cursive Arabic script