Frontiers in Computer Education Wang (ed.)
© 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-1-138-02797-8
Research on internationalization and localization of user interface
ZhengXu Zhao, He Bai, LiLong Han & YunXiu Meng
Shijiazhuang Tiedao University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China
ABSTRACT: Multi-language software is one of the main goals of software internationalization since there are
various languages and writing types around the world. This paper introduces the concept and the main features of
software internationalization and localization via comparing and summarizing some technologies of multilingual
user interface in application software.
Keywords: Multi-language; Internationalization; Localization; User interface
With the deepening of the international cooperation,
exchanges between domestic and international corpo-
rations become more and more frequent. In order to
make the software enter into the international market
faster and easier, the idea of software international-
ization has been gradually put on the agenda. It has
contributed to the development of multi-language, and
people are paying more and more attention to the
development of multi-language, which has become
the mainstream of the application of international
software. There are many methods to achieve soft-
ware localization. Most of software support user to
choose multi-language interface, which can greatly
improve user satisfaction, reduce the cost of the soft-
ware, and make the products more available to the
international market
. The core of software inter-
nationalization lies in the information processing
of different languages. To put it simply, the mech-
anism of software internationalization can process
the text information from all over the world. Thus,
the software is not subject to any restrictions of
any types of languages. Users only need to con-
duct simple set up or modification and they can see
the user interface being displayed in their prefer red
The internationalization of operating system, win-
dows system, and programming library are crucial in
the design of international software, among which
the internationalization of GUI (short for Graphic
User Interface) is the key. The inter nationalization
of user interface not only needs to correctly show
the words in any languages, but more importantly
it also needs to cater for demands and habits of
different users. Therefore, GUI system should pos-
sess the abilities to adjust to different styles of user
Except the difference in language, countries often have
their own set of numbers, dates, currency and so on.
To meet the requirements of users from different reli-
gions and cultures, the software needs to be further
modified so that it can display and process the native
language, meanwhile supporting the different repre-
sentations. Since this kind of modification requires
the changes of a great number of source codes, it can
cost huge amounts of labor materials and financial
resources, and it will also result in problems in the
maintenance and upgrade of the software. Therefore,
based on internationalization, people have come up
with new method of software localization.
2.1 Concepts
Internationalization (I18n for short, where 18 stands
for the number of letters between the first I and last
n), is the process of designing a software application
which can potentially be adapted to various languages
and regions without any engineering changes. This
way it can be used among a great number of countries
and regions around the globe. Further more, soft-
ware internationalization is a method for development
without making any assumptions about the software
system, including encoding style, users’ writing habit,
data display and religions, etc.
Localization (L10n for shor t, where 10 stands for
the number of letters between the first L and last n),
is the process of adapting inter nationalized software
for a specific region or language by adding localized
components and translated text. Specifically, it man-
ages to makes the software comply with the language
and writing habit of the local cultural.

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