- Recognize that language can greatly effect the length of text. For example, "Edit" becomes "Bearbeiten" in German, and "Sort Ascending" becomes "Lajittele nousevassa järjestyksessä" in Finnish.
- Utilize user preferences for the formatting and display of dates, numbers, time, currency, etc.
- Be consistent in your terminology. In addition to being good interface design, it also makes translation easier.
- Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, idiomatic expressions, words that have multiple meanings, and slang.
- Recognize that humor is very culture dependent, and typically does not translate well to other languages.
- Avoid making comparative statements that position your product against the competition. In some countries this type of positioning is illegal.
- Keep bitmaps simple. The more complex they are, the more difficult they are to decipher.
- Avoid the use of letters in bitmaps and toolbar icons. The letters may not exist in the target language, and will often no longer reflect the intended function.
- Avoid pictures of sports equipment, utensils, national monuments, or any symbols that might be unfamiliar to members of other cultures.
- Recognize that the meanings attached to symbols is often culture dependent. For example, an owl is interpreted as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge in the United States, but is associated with witchcraft and black magic in certain Central American cultures.
- Be cautious with representations of animals, religious and mythological symbols, national emblems, colors, people (especially racial, cultural, or gender stereotypes), hand gestures, and body language, which may be misinterpreted or may offend users in other countries.
- Avoid using graphics that represent holidays or seasons, such as Christmas trees, pumpkins, or snow.
- Be culturally sensitive when choosing sounds for use in your program. While some users may find it helpful to hear a beep when they make a mistake, users in Japan may find a beep embarrassing, in that it calls attention to their mistakes.
- Avoid run-time concatenation of strings. Because of differences in syntax and sentence construction, concatenated strings often cannot be properly translated into other languages.
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