Tips for Internationalization on the Web

Below is a synthesis of issues to be considered to improve “internalization” on the Web.

* Coding: for content, databases, etc., Unicode is recommended for use whenever possible. It is better to declare the encoding of content. Usually, the encoding limits us to using certain scripts or languages. Unicode is the “encoding” that allows us to handle most of the scripts and languages.

* Language: we also suggest that you declare the language of the documents to be published and indicate the internal changes of the language. Information on the content language is important in terms of accessibility, style, search, edit. The more and better content is labeled, the more useful the applications that detect the language will be.

* Images, animations and examples: so that the content is really communicated and the message is passed on to the “target” audience, it is necessary to “speak the same language.” Not only in terms of text but also in regard to images, colors, objects, culture, etc.

* Navigation Bar: very clear navigation bars in the target language should be included on each page to localize sites or pages. In cases where there is a page or site in a language other than the target, you must provide another option in a form that the user can see.

These are just some examples of ways to optimize the internationalization of the Web. In future articles we will continue examining these issues.

For questions about the “Localization” or “Internalization” of web pages, visit our “Translation Services” page.

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