Internationalization Lessons from UEFA

The UEFA EURO 2012, or the European football championship, is close to the end of group stage as I write this. (That would be “soccer” to U.S. readers.) As usual, I have been delighted to notice that UEFA has done a great job in getting the names of the various international players presented as accurately as possible, both on the UEFA.com website and in the mobile apps they’ve published.

UEFA’s good track record with names has been going on for a long time; I first noticed this when I started to follow the UEFA Champions League in 2000, when I was already working with software internationalization, and knew enough to pay attention to these things.

In this post I’ll examine what it takes to pull off a task like this – which you may also need to do. Continue reading

Summer Specials 2012

It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and at Mobile Monday Tampere tonight we are launching our Summer Specials 2012 offer for developers:

  • Free one-hour visit to your application project
  • Free half-day introduction to internationalization

Get either one or both! See our Summer Specials 2012 page for terms and conditions.

For more information, to schedule a time and to secure your seat, contact us.

The theme of tonight’s Mobile Monday Tampere is multi-platform development, which is exactly what we do: if your project is based on iOS, Android or Windows Phone, we can advise you on how to make it world-ready.

Introduction to Programming, Revisited

Many introductory programming courses start with a very simple first program, the traditional “hello world”. It is intended to teach how to edit, compile and run a program in a new programming environment using a simplified context, and it serves its purpose quite well. Unfortunately, the simple practice used in storing and displaying the text is quite contrary to a basic principle of software internationalization. Continue reading

Hello, world!

The world runs on software, and a lot of it is facing the user. Smartphones like iPhone and Android, iPad and other such devices, and your laptop, show you data, ideas, and content. People work very closely with these devices, which become a very important part of their daily lives. It is important to be able to use your device in your own language, using conventions that are familiar to you.

The use of English in engineering so common that we don’t even think about it. But there are a lot of people in the world who don’t even speak English, or are not comfortable using it, and they could be your biggest market.

So how do you get your software to those millions of new customers? To adapt software to their needs is known as localization. But there is something important that you need to do before you can localize your software, and this is where we can help. Continue reading