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Internationalization & Localization : Indian Perspective and requirements By : Swaran Lata Country Manager,W3C India Office 6,CGO complex, Electronics Niketan New Delhi E-mail : Internationalization and localization are subsets of globalization Localization

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internationalization localization indian perspective and requirements

Internationalization & Localization : Indian Perspective and requirements

By :

Swaran Lata

Country Manager,W3C India Office6,CGO complex, Electronics NiketanNew DelhiE-mail :

internationalization and localization are subsets of globalization
Internationalization and localization are subsets of globalization


Taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/ region and language) where it will be used and sold"

Process of generalizing a product so that it can handle multiple languages and cultural conventions without the need for re-design.


localization vs internationalized
Localization Vs Internationalized
  • Designing and developing in a way that removes barriers to localization or international deployment.
  • Providing support for features that may not be used until localization occurs.
  • Enabling code to support local, regional, language, or culturally related preferences.
  • Separating localizable elements from source code or content, such that localized alternatives can be loaded or selected based on the user's international preferences as needed.
  • It can be localized quickly.
the internationalization approach to globalization
The Internationalization Approach to Globalization

Gather Information Globally

Enabling :

the same code supports multiple regions or cultures

Externalize :

makes localization for specific languages, regions

Customize :

add culturally specific functionality, presentation, or content to an application.

Test and Support globally


complexity of indian scenario
Complexity of Indian Scenario
  • India is Multilingual Multi script Country with 22 languages and 11 scripts; population over 1 Billion
  • Less than 5 percent of people can read & write English. Over 95 percent population is deprived of the benefits of English-based Information Technology

Issues regarding Indian Languages

    • Orthography – Spelling issues
    • Pronunciation – may be directly mapped but not always
    • One script-many languages
    • Many languages – one Script

Quality Assurance

Language Technologies

  • Testing methodologies
  • Metrics for Linguistic Testing
  • Certification by Government for
  • linguistic compliance
  • Machine Translation
  • Optical Character Recognition
  • Speech Technologies
  • Cross Lingual Information Retrieval


  • Certified Localization professionals
  • PG Specialization in Localization
  • PhD Programmes

Locale Data

  • Presentation of dates, times, numbers, lists, and other values.
  • Collation and sorting
  • Alternate calendars, which may include holidays, work rules, weekday/weekend.
  • Currency
  • Tax or regulatory regime


  • Encoding Standards
  • Multimodal input device standards
  • Fonts & Rendering Engines
  • Transliteration & Translation

Education & Outreach

  • Guidelines
  • Best Practices
  • Case Studies
  • Consultancy
  • Showcasing of Tools
  • & Technologies

Localization Tools

  • Project Management
  • Translation Memory
  • Translation Tools
  • Natural language for text processing: parsing, spell checking, and grammar checking etc
  • Automatic Testing Tools

Linguistic resources

  • Parallel Corpora
  • Speech Corpora
  • Lexical resources
  • Ontologies
  • Dictionaries
  • Thesaurus
  • Reference Terminologies

Shipping issues

  • Minimizing Time lag
  • Benchmarking w.r.t. English version
  • Political sensitivity
  • Pricing issues

The Tree of Localization Complexities

internationalization activity in w3c
Internationalization Activity in W3c
  • The W3C Internationalization (I18n) Activity works with W3C working groups to make it possible to use Web technologies with different languages, scripts, and cultures.
  • It is to ensure that W3C's formats and protocols are usable worldwide in all languages and in all writing systems.
  • The Internationalization (I18n) Activity statement explains concepts relating to internationalization, as well as the current situation and the role within the W3C of the Internationalization Activity.
w3c internationalization resources
W3C Internationalization Resources
  • Internationalization of Web design & Applications
      • Character Model for World Wide Web
      • Authoring Techniques for XHTML & HTML
      • Authoring CSS
      • Unicode in XML
  • Internationalization of Web Architecture
      • Language tags and Local Identifiers
      • Internationalization Tag Set
  • Internationalization of XML
    • Best practices for XML Internationalization
  • Internationalization of Web Services
      • Language tags and Local Identifiers for World Wide Web
activities to be undertaken by w3c india office
Activities to be undertaken by W3C India Office
  • Internationalization
    • Internationalization Tag Set
  • Web Design and Applications
    • Styling
    • Html
    • Xhtml
    • Wai
  • Web Architecture
    • XML
  • Semantic Web
    • OWL and RDF
  • XML Technology
    • XML associated standards
  • Web of Services
    • SOA
  • Web of Devices
    • Mobile Web Initiative
    • Voice
  • E-Government
    • Use cases

Web Architecture

Web Design & Applications

Semantic Web




Web of Devices

Web of Services

mobile web

Challenges :

  • Adopting right encoding scheme
  • Availability on handsets
  • Usability of Mobile Web Browser
  • Web support of all Indian languages
  • Study on specific requirements for Indian languages for W3C Mobile Web Best Practices
  • Must support standards and specifications
  • Access to all handset features
mobile web12
  • Issues on Mobile Web
  • Character Encoding
  • Bandwidth and Cost
  • Presentation Issues
  • Input
  • Device Limitations
  • Lack of standardization
  • Fonts
  • Backward Compatibility
  • with Legacy Devices
  • Lack of standardization
  • Rendering Issues
  • Messaging Issues
  • Lack of availability for all characters.
  • There is no guarantee that a message encoded will be displayed properly at the receiving terminal.
  • Issue of Multiple Script -one language not addressed.
  • Standardization of glyph support, syllable composition logic is also an important aspect and is dependent on the implementation level of handset manufacturer.
  • Legacy Systems
mobile web13
  • Issues in Mobile Keypads
  • Multi-tap issues
    • Too many taps per key for each char No way to know which char is on which Key
  • Dictionary Based issues
    • Difficult to learn and operate for the target segments.
    • Different spelling for मुर्ती ,मुरती, मूर्ति even मुरथी, many permutations. Which is the one to be mapped
mobile web14
  • Suggestions
  • In terms of internationalization, operators must support appropriate character encoding on the signaling channel which would allow all characters of the world to be represented.
  • Need of investigation and study of major issues for enabling Mobile web in Indian languages
  • Standardization of mobile media also required to be addressed taking into consideration of specific requirements of each of Indic languages.
  • Road Map :
    • Character encoding as per Unicode Standard
    • Enable Mobile Web in Indian languages
    • Initiation of study for Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 with respect to
    • requirements for 4 Indian languages : Hindi, Bangla , Marathi, Tamil
pronunciation lexicon specification

Issues :

Roadmap :

Initiation of study for PLS 1.0 with respect to requirements for 3 Indian languages : Hindi and Bangla, Tamil

cascading style sheet
Cascading Style Sheet

Issues : :

  • Drop Letter in Indian languages
    • Issues for Indian Languages with respect to first character used in Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Telugu and Gujarati etc
cascading style sheet17
Cascading Style Sheet
  • Underlining of characters
    • There is some examples of Indian languages in which Matra’s are not readable due to underlining of characters
cascading style sheet18
Cascading Style Sheet
  • Vertical arrangements
  • Formatting issues :
    • Horizontal justification
  • Bullets and Numbering
cascading style sheet19
Cascading Style Sheet
  • Indentation of character
  • Challenges :
  • Implementation of CSS standards developed by W3C regarding Indian languages
  • Standards however need to be provided to those developing CSS so that by default user could have the facility to use bulleting in his own Indic languages.

Roadmap :

Initiation of study for CSS 2.0 specifications with respect to requirements for 5 Indian languages : Hindi, Bangla , Punjabi , Kannada , Tamil

e government
  • Issues :
  • Some applications are Completely in English.
  • Some applications have static content in local language but forms in
  • English.
  • Some applications are multi-lingual but only in limited languages (e.g.,
  • English and only one local language) .
  • Use cases :

Use Case for Land Records

  • As all type of data related to land, available in these land records
  • They are used for various planning processes although the manual maintenance of this land record does hinder in effective collation and analysis of the data contained in them.
e government21
  • Challenges :
  • To enable e-governance applications in Indian languages.
  • Compliance with W3C standards.
  • Roadmap :
  • Major E-Gov Application in Indian languages need to be studied for

improving access to Government through better use of the web.

    • Target languages : Hindi, Bangla, Marathi ,Telugu, Tamil
common locale data repository
Common Locale Data Repository

Screen shots of CLDR Updation :

common locale data repository23
Common Locale Data Repository
  • Some of the Screen shots of CLDR Updation :

CLDR Bengali

common locale data repository24
Common Locale Data Repository
  • Some of the Screen shots of CLDR Updation :
  • CLDR Malayalam CLDR Assamese
common locale data repository25
Common Locale Data Repository
common locale data repository26
Common Locale Data Repository
  • Draft locale data for Bengali :
common locale data repository27
Common Locale Data Repository
  • Draft locale data for Assamese :
common locale data repository28
Common Locale Data Repository
  • Draft locale data for Malayalam :
web accessibility initiative
  • Initiative in India :
    • “Guidelines for Indian Government websites” by NIC , Govt. of India
  • STQC Implementing WCAG 2.0 Accessibility through Website Quality Certification
  • Centre for Internet and Society developing authorized translation of WCAG 2.0 Guidelines

Challenges :

    • Make Web content accessible to people with disabilities w.r.t Indian languages
  • WCAG 2.0 Guidelines for success criteria vis-a-vis selected recommendations relevant to Indian context
  • Roadmap :
  • Meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines & techniques w.r.t Indian languages
  • Initiation with Hindi, Bangla, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil
internet domain names idn s
Internet Domain Names (IDN’s)
  • Issues
  • Spoofing issues- Homographs
    • Characters looks similar in address bar

eg. 1. क &फ

कमल फमल

    • No two scripts should get mixed
    • Normal generic rules have to be there with some added restrictions as per language demands are required
  • Spelling Variants



Browsers related Issues

      • No backward compatibility
      • Conversion from Unicode to Punycode is available in IE7 and onwards
      • Firefox directly converts Unicode to Punycode
      • Some rendering issues in different browsers for different Indian languages
  • Vertical conjuncts

DN Draft policy for Indian Language

script grammar
Script Grammar

Language experts from state government examined the Script Grammar of Bangla , Marathi, Gujarati, Konkani and Maithili. Some of the screen shots are shown below:

Script Grammar – Bangla

script grammar34
Script Grammar

Script Grammar – Gujarati

script grammar35
Script Grammar

Script Grammar – Marathi

  • Multiplicity of Languages
  • Evolution of Orthography
  • Lack of Standardization
  • Enabling Mobile web in Indian languages
  • Initiation of study for a W3C recommendations with respect to requirements for Indian languages
  • Adoption of W3C standards in terms of Internationalization
  • Indian Websites should be fully W3C Complaint
  • E-Gov Application in Indian languages need to be studied for better use of the web.
integrated challenges for w3c india office
Integrated challenges for W3C India Office
  • Language Tag
      • Initiative in vetting / modification / developing Language Tags in all 22 official Indian languages as well as regional dialectical variation of Indian languages.
  • CLDR
    • Six Languages in CLDR Hindi , Nepali, Bengali , Assamese, Malayalam and Gujarati are finalized. Other languages are in process


  • Revised Inscript Keyboard Layout – Enhanced to incorporate additional characters as per Unicode 5.1. C-DAC, IBM, Microsoft & Redhat involved in this initiative.