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HTML, XHTML, and CSS Bible, Fourth Edition by Steven M. Schafer

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Chapter 15. Internationalization and Localization

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Internationalization and localization

  • Web internationalization

  • Translating your Web site

  • Understanding unicode

Even though this book is written in English, chances are it will be translated into other languages. From a Web site perspective, if your site is only in English, you may eliminate a huge portion of your potential world market. This chapter takes a look at some options for improving your reach to the world's population.

Internationalization and Localization

Most Web pages are written in English, but only 5 percent of the world's population uses English as its first language. Many Web sites are responding to this reality by implementing localization, which is the process of creating several mirrored Web sites in different languages. By simply including Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Swedish, and Portuguese into your Web site, you're suddenly speaking to a clear majority of the world's population. Obviously, this isn't an option for small sites or for companies or organizations that haven't yet developed the resources for reaching an international audience, but localization is something you should consider as soon as it is practical.

The actual implementation of this practice can be very straightforward — create different URL "branches" for your site, one branch for each language. For example, if you need to support English, German, and Japanese, your home page URLs might resemble the following:

http://www.on-target-games.com/en/index.htm ...

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