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Glossary » internationalization


or i18n (the letter “i” followed by 18 letters, followed by “n”); the design or modification of software for an international audience.

Three approaches to internationalization are common:

  • globalization: making a monolingual interface more accessible for non-native speakers and international use. For instance, to make a website more accessible, use straightforward language avoiding jargon, make sure phone numbers include international country codes, and convert measurements to international units.
  • multi-lingual interfaces: allow users to choose a translation into their own language.
  • localization: customize the user interface for each local region in which it will be used, by using the local language and taking advantage of local conventions, assumptions, and common defaults.