Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (l10n)

You might have seen these keywords in Project Design Docs. Lets understand their significance.

Internationalization (i18n)
Internationalization is often written i18n, where 18 is the number of letters between i and n in the English word (I……18 letters……n).

Internationalization is the design and development of a product, application or document content that enables easy localization for target audiences that vary in culture, region, or language.

Localization (l10n)
Localization is sometimes written as l10n, where 10 is the number of letters between l and n.

Localization refers to the adaptation of a product, application or document content to meet the language, cultural and other requirements of a specific target market (a locale).

Example 1: (Developing a Web Portal)
While developing you can keep all your text entries into a DB or in a Flat File instead of hard-coding to the views (HTML/JSP). If you doing this way then you keep a provision to change you locale without changing the code. This way you follow Internationalization and when you deliver you product to end-users with their local language then you are doing Localization.

Example 2: (OS)
I18N: Suppose your OS is English(US),You can just change the OS language to Japanese/Chineese and can Install application in either Japanese/Chineese support.

L10N: Your OS must be in the same locale as the on Japanese OS you can install Japanese language supported application.Here every thing will be in the same lacale.


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