Tips for Creating Bilingual Software and Web Sites

I got an email last week from Chris Wood, one of the authors of “Bilingual Software Standards and Guidelines in Wales.”

I realize that this may not sound like the most exciting read, but I recommend downloading a copy (hey, it’s free!).

I’m reading it now and have found that it includes good advice for anyone involved in Web or software globalization. Most of the concepts carry over to any bilingual application.

And there were some interesting little nuggets about Welsh that I wasn’t aware of. For example, here is the appropriate way to alpha sort the following three words:

– label
– lori
– llefrith

The third word appears like it should be bumped up a notch, but the “ll” is actually one character: a diagraph. Digraph letters that occur in the Welsh alphabet include: ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, th. When sorting, the “ll” falls after “l.”

It’s often assumed that languages that use the same basic letters all sort the same way. Not so. You’ll find these little quirks in a host of Latin-based languages.

You can download the guide here

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.