Japanese internationalization (I18n) can be defined as the process of enabling back end technologies to function or support any language and locale. Localization, on the other hand, deals primarily with the front end or linguistic and cosmetic aspects of a software application or website, including locale-specific content, cultural correctness, translations, and design.
Some of the reasons for internationalizing are to ensure your application or website: supports non-English characters (including double-byte enablement), sorts based on Japanese language rules, is architected by externalizing all translatable text strings (separate text from code), handles different address, time, date, and numerical formats, among other considerations.
The process of Japanese internationalization may include the following four steps:
1) Discovery: includes Japanese internationalization kit preparation and an analysis of current internationalization readiness of the source website or software.
2) Assessment: includes review and analysis of the following:
- Source architecture and source code of website or software application
- Global marketing plans and requirements
- Design development and build processes
- Current I18N and L10N strategies
3) Implementation: includes externalizing text strings for ease of localization, currency/time/dates/numbers issue resolution, double-byte enabling, I18n-friendly build methodology, I18n test plan preparations, localization kit preparation, knowledge transfer I18n education, recommended I18n tools and any required tool training.
4) Testing: includes client driven I18n and DBCS enablement testing, bug reporting/fixing and regression testing.
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