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If you own a blog with a focus on internationalization, and want to be added or removed from this aggregator, please get in touch with Richard Ishida at ishida@w3.org.

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Planet Web I18n

The Planet Web I18n aggregates posts from various blogs that talk about Web internationalization (i18n). While it is hosted by the W3C Internationalization Activity, the content of the individual entries represent only the opinion of their respective authors and does not reflect the position of the Internationalization Activity.

June 30, 2016

Global By Design

The Savvy Client’s Guide to Translation Agencies, now in Persian

Make no mistake. The proposed deal between Boeing and Iran Air for 88 jets is a huge deal, not so much in dollars but in symbolism. Because there are many more Western companies lined up eager to strike similar deals in Iran. While these deals are not without a fair share of risk, there was … Continue reading "The Savvy Client’s Guide to Translation Agencies, now in Persian"

by John Yunker at 30 June 2016 04:41 PM

June 28, 2016

ishida>>blog » i18n

Unicode Converter v8

Picture of the page in action.
>> Use the converter

An updated version of the Unicode Character Converter app is now available. This app allows you to convert characters between various different formats and notations.

Significant changes include the following:

  • It’s now possible to generate EcmaScript6 style escapes for supplementary characters in the JavaScript output field, eg. \u{10398} rather than \uD800\uDF98.
  • In many cases, clicking on a checkbox option now applies the change straight away if there is content in the associated output field. (There are 4 output fields where this doesn’t happen because we aren’t dealing with escapes and there are problems with spaces and delimiters.)
  • By default, the JavaScript output no longer escapes the ASCII characters that can be represented by \n, \r, \t, \’ and \”. A new checkbox is provided to force those transformations if needed. This should make the JS transform much more useful for general conversions.
  • The code to transform to HTML/XML can now replace RLI, LRI, FSI and PDI if the Convert bidi controls to HTML markup option is set.
  • The code to transform to HTML/XML can convert many more invisible or ambiguous characters to escapes if the Escape invisible characters option is set.
  • UTF-16 code points are all at least 4 digits long.
  • Fixed a bug related to U+00A0 when converting to HTML/XML.
  • The order of the output fields was changed, and various small improvements were made to the user interface.
  • Revamped and updated the notes

Many thanks to the people who wrote in with suggestions.

by r12a at 28 June 2016 04:50 PM

June 24, 2016

Global By Design

.uk says goodbye to .eu

Looks like it’s time I update my European Union map, removing a key country code: Brexit underscores a point I’ve made over the years — that country codes are more relevant to users than regional domains, namely .eu. A number of companies use .eu to support regional websites, but Brexit illustrates the inherent risks. A safer approach is to register country codes … Continue reading ".uk says goodbye to .eu"

by John Yunker at 24 June 2016 03:27 PM

June 21, 2016

ishida>>blog » i18n

UniView 9.0.0 available

Picture of the page in action.
>> Use UniView

UniView now supports Unicode version 9, which is being released today, including all changes made during the beta period. (As before, images are not available for the Tangut additions, but the character information is available.)

This version of UniView also introduces a new filter feature. Below each block or range of characters is a set of links that allows you to quickly highlight characters with the property letter, mark, number, punctuation, or symbol. For more fine-grained property distinctions, see the Filter panel.

In addition, for some blocks there are other links available that reflect tags assigned to characters. This tagging is far from exhaustive! For instance, clicking on sanskrit will not show all characters used in Sanskrit.

The tags are just intended to be an aid to help you find certain characters quickly by exposing words that appear in the character descriptions or block subsection titles. For example, if you want to find the Bengali currency symbol while viewing the Bengali block, click on currency and all other characters but those related to currency will be dimmed.

(Since the highlight function is used for this, don’t forget that, if you happen to highlight a useful subset of characters and want to work with just those, you can use the Make list from highlights command, or click on the upwards pointing arrow icon below the text area to move those characters into the text area.)

by r12a at 21 June 2016 07:39 PM

June 17, 2016

W3C I18n Activity highlights

For review: Time & date, Essential concepts

A draft of a new article, Time & date, Essential concepts is out for wide review. We are looking for comments by 22 June.

This article introduces a number of basic concepts needed to understand other articles that deal with time zones and handling of dates and times on the Web.

Please send any comments as github issues by clicking on the link “Leave a comment” at the bottom of the article. (This will add some useful information to your comment.)

Note that some links don’t work because this is in a test location. No need to report those.

by Richard Ishida at 17 June 2016 09:30 AM

June 13, 2016

W3C I18n Activity highlights

New article: Ruby markup

Ruby is the name given to the small annotations in Japanese and Chinese content that are rendered alongside base text, usually to provide phonetic information, but sometimes to provide other information.

This article discusses how to use HTML5 markup for ruby text. It covers what works and what is still aspirational pending more widespread browser support.

The aim of markup is principally to establish the relationships between the base text and the ruby text (the annotations). Information about how to then apply adjustments to the default styling of ruby text which be covered by Ruby Styling, which is still in development.

Read the article.

by Richard Ishida at 13 June 2016 07:16 PM

June 07, 2016

Global By Design

Google Translate: Ten Years Later

I remember when Google Translate went live. Hard to believe it was 10 years ago. I remember thinking that this relatively new technology, known as Statistical Machine Translation (SMT), was going to change everything. At the time, many within the translation community were dismissive of Google Translate. Some viewed it as a passing phase. Very few people said that machine translation would … Continue reading "Google Translate: Ten Years Later"

by John Yunker at 07 June 2016 10:36 PM

May 31, 2016

Global By Design

Q&A with SYSTRAN about its new cloud-based machine translation platform

It has been a decade since Google Translate took machine translation to the masses — a topic for a future post. But most companies will not be using Google Translate anytime soon to power their machine translation efforts. They want more control over customizing the engine, leveraging existing translation memories, and other capabilities that Google doesn’t … Continue reading "Q&A with SYSTRAN about its new cloud-based machine translation platform"

by John Yunker at 31 May 2016 05:45 PM

May 26, 2016

W3C I18n Activity highlights

Updated article: Changing an HTML page to Unicode

The article was edited to make it easier for non-experts to follow. An example of an encoding declaration was added, and a form to check for HTTP headers, but most of the text was also reworked.

See the updated article.

by Richard Ishida at 26 May 2016 06:03 PM

May 24, 2016

Global By Design

Last call for the Website Globalization in Life Sciences webinar

I’ll be presenting tomorrow (May 25) at 1pm EDT on web globalization leaders in life sciences, including best practices and trends. You can register here.

by John Yunker at 24 May 2016 05:07 PM

May 20, 2016

W3C I18n Activity highlights

Publication of the final OntoLex specification: lexicon model for ontologies (lemon)

The OntoLex community group is proud to announce the publication of the final specification of lemon, the lexicon model for ontologies. The aim of lemon is to provide rich linguistic grounding for ontologies, including the representation of morphological and syntactic properties of lexical entries and the meaning of these lexical entries with respect to an ontology or vocabulary. Lemon allows to publish lexica or terminological data on the web as linked data.

by Richard Ishida at 20 May 2016 06:06 AM

May 18, 2016

Global By Design

What do you get for the billionaire who has everything? How about a vanity TLD?

I love this story in CircleID about how the Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li has registered the generic top-level domain .richardli. I have no idea what he paid but the going rate on the application is around $100,000. The official explanation for this purchase is to “protect intellectual property.” But I’d say owning one can be a heck … Continue reading "What do you get for the billionaire who has everything? How about a vanity TLD?"

by John Yunker at 18 May 2016 04:11 PM

May 16, 2016

Global By Design

Now you can register the Korean equivalent of .com: 닷컴

Earlier this year Verisign, the registry that manages the .com and .net domains, began rolling out the localized Japanese equivalent of .com: .コム. Today, Verisign adds another language to the mix, with the rollout of the Korean versions of both .com (.닷컴 ) and .net (.닷넷). This is sunrise period of registration, which is limited to trademark … Continue reading "Now you can register the Korean equivalent of .com: 닷컴"

by John Yunker at 16 May 2016 05:32 PM

May 09, 2016

Global By Design

Web Globalization Leaders in Life Sciences

As life sciences companies broaden their global sights to include new and emerging markets, their global (and mobile) websites have not always kept pace. SDL recently commissioned a report in which I benchmarked a select group of 25 life sciences websites: Abbott Abbvie Amgen Astra Zeneca Baxter Bayer Beckman Coulter Becton Dickinson Boston Scientific Bristol-Myers … Continue reading "Web Globalization Leaders in Life Sciences"

by John Yunker at 09 May 2016 09:01 PM

May 04, 2016

Global By Design

Adobe: The best global consumer technology website of 2016

For the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied the following 15 consumer technology websites: Adobe Apple Canon Dell HP HTC Lenovo LG Microsoft Nikon Panasonic Samsung Sony Toshiba Xiaomi The consumer technology sector includes many of the most globally successful companies. So it’s no surprise that the top four companies are also in the top … Continue reading "Adobe: The best global consumer technology website of 2016"

by John Yunker at 04 May 2016 04:08 PM

May 03, 2016

W3C I18n Activity highlights

For review: Ruby Markup

A draft of a new article, Ruby Markup is out for wide review. We are looking for comments by 5 May.

The article describes how to mark up HTML for ruby support. (It will later be followed by a similar article describing how to style ruby.)

Please send any comments as github issues by clicking on the link “Leave a comment” at the bottom of the article. (This will add some useful information to your comment.)

by Richard Ishida at 03 May 2016 07:22 PM

April 25, 2016

Global By Design

American Express: The best global financial services website of 2016

For the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied 9 financial services websites: Allianz American Express Axa Citibank HSBC Marsh MasterCard Visa Western Union American Express emerged on top with support for an impressive 41 languages; it most recently added Bosnian. Allianz finished in second place in regards to languages. The AmEx home page, shown here, … Continue reading "American Express: The best global financial services website of 2016"

by John Yunker at 25 April 2016 12:02 AM

April 12, 2016

Global By Design

What’s the most multilingual website?

I often point to Wikipedia as one of the most multilingual websites on the Internet. Which is a major reason why Wikipedia finished in third place in the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card. But Wikipedia is not the most multilingual website. For that, I’d have to point toward the Jehovah’s Witnesses website. As only partially illustrated by the screen … Continue reading "What’s the most multilingual website?"

by John Yunker at 12 April 2016 01:26 AM

April 04, 2016

Global By Design

You can now register the Japanese equivalent of .com: .コム

And so it begins. Verisign, the registrar that manages .com domains, has begun its rollout of non-Latin .com equivalents, beginning with Japanese: Now, if you don’t have a Japanese domain name, slapping .コム to the end of your company’s name probably doesn’t make much sense from a branding perspective (though absolutely from an intellectual property perspective). But more and more … Continue reading "You can now register the Japanese equivalent of .com: .コム"

by John Yunker at 04 April 2016 01:35 AM

March 30, 2016

W3C I18n Activity highlights

Unicode Conference speaker submission deadline 4 April

For twenty-five years the Internationalization & Unicode® Conference (IUC) has been the preeminent event highlighting the latest innovations and best practices of global and multilingual software providers. The 40th conference will be held this year on November 1-3, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

The deadline for speaker submissions is Monday, 4 April, so don’t forget to send in an abstract if you want to speak at the conference.

The Program Committee will notify authors by Friday, May 13, 2016. Final presentation materials will be required from selected presenters by Friday, July 22, 2016.

Tutorial Presenters receive complimentary conference registration, and two nights lodging, while Session Presenters receive a fifty percent conference discount and two nights lodging.

by Richard Ishida at 30 March 2016 03:57 PM

March 29, 2016

Global By Design

Say hello to the first .google domain

Google announced the launch of domains.google. today, not a new service but a newly “domained” service. I think it’s fitting that the first public use of .google is applied to its domains business. The question is: What other business lines will begin using .google? And what will .google ultimately resolve to? A search window?  

by John Yunker at 29 March 2016 09:42 PM

March 27, 2016

Global By Design

Chinese marathoners suffer from lack of translation

According to People’s Daily, a number of runners in a South China marathon suffered from more than simply lack of hydration. Try lack of translation. The bar of soap shown above was included in each runner’s swag bag — apparently a number of runners thought they were energy bars. Yes, folks, translation does matter! And even in English, that … Continue reading "Chinese marathoners suffer from lack of translation"

by John Yunker at 27 March 2016 01:43 AM

March 19, 2016

ishida>>blog » i18n

UniView now supports Unicode 9 beta

Picture of the page in action.
>> Use UniView

UniView now supports the characters introduced for the beta version of Unicode 9. Any changes made during the beta period will be added when Unicode 9 is officially released. (Images are not available for the Tangut additions, but the character information is available.)

It also brings in notes for individual characters where those notes exist, if Show notes is selected. These notes are not authoritative, but are provided in case they prove useful.

A new icon was added below the text area to add commas between each character in the text area.

Links to the help page that used to appear on mousing over a control have been removed. Instead there is a noticeable, blue link to the help page, and the help page has been reorganised and uses image maps so that it is easier to find information. The reorganisation puts more emphasis on learning by exploration, rather than learning by reading.

Various tweaks were made to the user interface.

by r12a at 19 March 2016 10:22 PM

March 17, 2016

Global By Design

Intel: The best global enterprise technology website of 2016

For the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied 11 enterprise technology websites: Autodesk Cisco Systems EMC IBM Huawei Intel Oracle SAP Texas Instruments Xerox VMware With support for 23 languages, Intel is not the language leader in this category; Cisco Systems leads with 40 languages. But Intel leads in other ways. Such as global navigation. First … Continue reading "Intel: The best global enterprise technology website of 2016"

by John Yunker at 17 March 2016 03:08 PM

March 11, 2016

W3C I18n Activity highlights

New article: Guiding users to translated pages

This new article addresses the question: If my site contains alternative language versions of the same page, what can I do to help the user see the page in their preferred language?

This article is relevant for pages for which there are complete translations of the content. If your alternative pages have different content, or are regional variants rather than translations, you may need to do things differently.

Read the article.

The article is accompanied by a Swedish translation, thanks to Olle Olsson.

by Richard Ishida at 11 March 2016 11:12 AM

March 07, 2016

Global By Design

Chinese drawing even with English on global websites

Over the past decade Simplified Chinese has grown to become one of the most popular languages on global websites, second only to English. According to the Web Globalization Report Card, which has long monitored languages supported by the world’s leading brands, Chinese was seen on only about six out of ten websites in 2006. Today, … Continue reading "Chinese drawing even with English on global websites"

by John Yunker at 07 March 2016 07:52 PM

March 05, 2016

Internet Globalization News

Globalization for All? Or Just Connections?

This article brings up an interesting issue, in my opinion. Is globalization truly "accessible" to everyone? Are there really more trans-border business opportunities just because small companies have Facebook fans who live in a different country? Or, is it just that "connections" have been made easier? The question is if those "foreign" connections will someday generate new business to those small companies, or will just remain as generators of "likes" - and this is not easy to determine. via www.mckinsey.com Globalization was once driven almost exclusively by the world’s governments, large multinational corporations, and major financial institutions. But now —thanks to digital platforms with global reach— artisans, entrepreneurs, app developers, freelancers, small businesses, and even individuals can participate directly. New research from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) uses novel data to analyze the extent of the connections and their economic impact. Facebook, the biggest of these online platforms, has grown...

by blogalize.me at 05 March 2016 08:18 PM

February 25, 2016

ishida>>blog » i18n

New picker: Egyptian hieroglyphs

Picture of the page in action.
>> Use the picker

I have just published a picker for Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

This Unicode character picker allows you to produce or analyse runs of Egyptian Hieroglyph text using the Latin script.

Characters are grouped into standard categories. Click on one of the orange characters, chosen as a nominal representative of the class, to show below all the characters in that category. Click on one of those to add it to the output box. As you mouse over the orange characters, you’ll see the name of the category appear just below the output box.

Just above the orange characters you can find buttons to insert RLO and PDF controls. RLO will make the characters that follow it to progress from right to left. Alternatively, you can select more controls > Output direction to set the direction of the output box to RTL/LTR override. The latter approach will align the text to the right of the box. I haven’t yet found a Unicode font that also flips the glyphs horizontally as a result. I’m not entirely sure about the best way to apply directionality to Egyptian hieroglyphs, so I’m happy to hear suggestions.

Alongside the direction controls are some characters used for markup in the Manuel de Codage, which allows you to prepare text for an engine that knows how to lay it out two-dimensionally. (The picker doesn’t do that.)

The Latin Characters panel, opened from the grey bar to the left, provides characters needed for transcription.

In case you’re interested, here is the text you can see in the picture. (You’ll need a font to see this, of course. Try the free Noto Sans font, if you don’t have one – or copy-paste these lines into the picker, where you have a webfont.)
𓀀𓅃𓆣𓁿
<-i-mn:n-R4:t*p->
𓍹𓇋-𓏠:𓈖-𓊵:𓏏*𓊪𓍺

The last two lines spell the name of Amenhotep using Manuel de Codage markup, according to the Unicode Standard (p 432).

by r12a at 25 February 2016 05:43 PM

February 24, 2016

Global By Design

The best global automotive website of 2016: BMW

For the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied 13 automotive websites: Audi BMW Chevrolet Ford Honda Hyundai Land Rover Lexus Mercedes Mini Nissan Toyota Volkswagen I want to preface this post by saying that automotive websites have historically been strong on languages but weak on global consistency and global navigation. This year is no exception, though … Continue reading "The best global automotive website of 2016: BMW"

by John Yunker at 24 February 2016 07:23 PM

February 23, 2016

Global By Design

Join me in Santa Clara next month for a web globalization event

I’m pleased to be presenting next month in Santa Clara, California on website globalization best practices. I’ll be drawing heavily on the most recent Report Card. And I’ll also be joined by a panel of web globalization experts. Here are the details: March 22, 2016 11:30 am Santa Clara, CA Bourbon Steak & Pub at Levi’s … Continue reading "Join me in Santa Clara next month for a web globalization event"

by John Yunker at 23 February 2016 03:56 PM


Contact: Richard Ishida (ishida@w3.org).