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Beware of Defective Localisation

November 13, 2010

About a year ago, we (the German KDE translation team) were facing a pretty serious translation bug. We then fixed it in the Stable branch and went on. But we forgot to forward-port it to Trunk, so it was again reported a few months later.

What was so serious about it was that it told the user, his email was encrypted, when it was not. The word “not” does make such a big difference by nature, so we tend to be cautious about its usage.

But what about a missing dot on the letter “i”?

It seems in the Turkish language it can change the meaning of a sentence dramatically. This article writes about a cell phone SMS software, that did not support the character “ı” (dotless “i”) which caused a lot of trouble, including people stabbing each other.

Well, I had lots of trouble myself once when I tried to have a relationship argument over SMS, so I consider it one of the worst ways to argue about serious issues. But this case shows how important it is to be considerate about the pitfalls of your language.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2010 4:18 pm

    Turkey is a hard case for Localisation:
    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/03/whats-wrong-with-turkey.html

  2. November 13, 2010 4:58 pm

    I would wrote sIkIlInca insead of dotted ones. I heard some more issues related with i or ı, also İ and I

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