Identifying localizable text

  1. Determine which elements of the application need to be translated. Good candidates for localization include the following...

    • Graphical user interfaces: window titles, menus and menu items, buttons, on-screen instructions

    • Prompts in command-line interfaces

    • Application output: messages and logs

  2. Assign a unique key to each element for use in message catalogs for the application. The key provides a language-neutral link between the application and language-specific strings in the message catalogs. Establishing a naming convention for keys before creating the catalogs can make writing code with these keys much more intuitive for interface programmers.

 Usage scenario

Suppose you are localizing the GUI for a banking system, and the first window contains a pull-down list to be used for selecting a type of account. The labels for the list and the account types in the list are good choices for localization. Three elements require keys: the list itself and two items in the list.

Create message catalogs for the language-specific strings.


See Also