Montenegro: A New Country Brings New Localization Challenges

Last year, Montenegro split up with Serbia, becoming an independent country, as well as the 192nd member of the United Nations.

This has created a bit of a headache for companies and organizations that manage things like maps and locale-dependent software and even those country code extensions that you see on Web sites, like www.apple.fr in France or www.dell.de in Germany, and so on.

The country code for Serbia and Montenegro was .cs. Well, so much for that one. Two new two-letter country codes were assigned: .me for Montenegro and .rs for Serbia.

Michael Kaplan of Microsoft writes about the challenges of providing locale support, particularly language support, for a country in which there is debate as to whether Montenegrin is a unique language or a dialect of Serbian. He also writes that there could be four unique locales for Montenegro, based on character set and language variations.

So long as companies keep changing names, borders, and languages, there will be new and interesting challenges in the field of software and Web globalization.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Montenegro: A New Country Brings New Localization Challenges”

  1. Who would have thought a simple country code change would cause so much activity, and well, money! At HP.com, we are still going through the process of correctly updating the new Montenegrin and Serbian country codes on our Web site including hosting infrastructures, search technologies, metrics standardizations and so on. Not to mention in Europe “me” had been alotted for many marketing URL campaigns dealing with Middle East as a region. Hopefully many loyal HP Montenegrin customer will be gained from this effort ;-).

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