Chapter 9: Content Localizability Guidelines
When building a product, you have to consider the software and its corresponding documentation as one entity. A world-ready product does not just mean world-ready software; all the supporting documentation must also be made world-ready.
For documentation to be world ready (that is, globalized and localizable), it must meet the following requirements:
Of course, not all content will be localized. For instance, no product is localized into all the languages of the world. Nor are all platforms of a product (such as Microsoft Windows XP) localized into the same set of languages. In addition, many companies throughout the world use software that has not been localized, and many books written to assist in using the software are available only in English. Nevertheless, even if your content remains in English, it still must meet the requirements just listed.
UA content that is globalized properly has two advantages. First, it is easier to be understood in its intended local marketplace as well as in markets that are culturally different but that read the same language. Second, it is ready to be localized with a minimum of difficulty-in other words, the content becomes localizable. Whether your content involves printed or online text, art and multi-media, or a Help system, you should adhere to the best practices presented in this chapter to speed up the localization process and to minimize the potential for inadvertently confusing (or offending) the reader.