Localisation, language, Welsh in work and non-work

Yes, we spell it “localisation” round ‘ere. *

Quick addendum to the previous post about the difference between this blog and a fully bilingual website…

It’s amazing how many people get localisation and language wrong. Even Amazon and so on.

If I were creating a truly bilingual website then I would translate every single post, page, category and tag.

I would have two user-selectable language interfaces, which would be served based on browser language selection where possible.

The browser choice could be overriden by visible options for English and Cymraeg. There would be language-specific RSS feeds. If done correctly, the number of RSS feeds would double when the second language is added.

While I’m on it, there would not be any country flags on the interface. A massive bugbear of mine! A flag does not stand for a language. Never ever. **

If I were starting my own consumer-facing organisation or company in Wales, I would consider it important to offer both languages. (I would like to start doing this for work-related things where possible.)

For large companies in particular, usually this is possible but we sometimes get excuses (about demand but usually about cost) which add up to zero really. It’s about people feeling – and being – welcomed in their own country! There is help and expertise available for this, with design, “best practice” and so on.

If done well, it’s obviously a good PR move which can give an edge over competitors and boost your bottom line.

Besides, language itself is wealth.

* Or “lleoleiddiad”. But I couldn’t make a self-referential gag out of that.

** For example, I’ve seen the Union “Jack” flag stand for the English language. Can Jamaicans click this? Or is this some kind of joke on USA web visitors who might want English language, as if we’re now calling the Declaration of Independence into question? It’s hopeless to use the Welsh flag to stand for Cymraeg, it’s a country and not everyone living here uses it. Flags do have their uses though. Please join me in saluting the flag of the North Caucasian Emirate.

3 sylw ar “Localisation, language, Welsh in work and non-work”

  1. Most of those universities seem to have fixed it – except Llanbedr which has removed the English flag but retained the Welsh…?

    I saw it the other day on something Cardiff-related.

    Designers! Resist that graphical compulsion when it fails to serve the need!

Sylwadau ar gau.