Inaccurate localization can make you bust out laughing

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/09/22 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

Remember when I posted (in the beginning of the year) Inaccurate localization can cause problems?

Well, we ran across a not quite as dangerous issue just the other day with the Brazilian Portguese localization of Vista (currently in progress, just as with other localizations). The question that came in to Kieran:

There's a keyboard layout named BR (does not exist) that's showing up in the localized version (PTB). Do you know anything about it?

Kieran forwarded it on to me if to ask if I had any thoughts.

I looked at it for a moment, confused. Then suddenly I realized what it was and had to laugh out loud.

Did you spot it to? If you need a hint then you can see what it looks like on an English system:

The localizer had accidentally translated US to BR! :-)

I talked to Kieran afterward and mentioned how much this seemed like a blog post waiting to happen, and she said that she was about to say the same thing. It is one of those great stories like the one in the comments of this post that are just funny to people involved in international....

Anyway, like I said, this is not as dangerous as the Welsh street sign, and obviously it will be fixed in the shipping version. But I have found that if you take the stuff that I laugh about that at least 40% of it will make my readers laugh, too. And I am betting that this one falls in that 40%....



This post brought to you by (U+0dbd, SINHALA LETTER DANTAJA LAYANNA)

# Ben Bryant on 22 Sep 2006 12:10 PM:

Funny, but does BR mean something like "us" as in "we"?...

# Michael S. Kaplan on 22 Sep 2006 12:29 PM:

Nah, I think they just assumed that the context of the string was the localized country abbreviation -- context is everything in localization. :-)

# oyghan on 25 Sep 2006 6:32 AM:

Is it possible to add Uyghur language locale information to Windows XP and earlier version?

# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Sep 2006 11:11 AM:

No, it is not -- custom locales are a feature that has not been added to Windows until Vista....

And this is completely off topic here, Oxghan. Last warning....

referenced by

2012/09/06 yuavtxhawbpabraukojsawv yuavntxivzograukoj mus {my first thought? I'm loving it!}

2012/05/11 Inaccurate localization can make you forget why you did something!

2008/02/21 We're back and we're embarrassing ourselves? (aka Making your localizer's life easier, Part 2)

2006/09/25 'Cette phrase en français est difficile à traduire en anglais'

go to newer or older post, or back to index or month or day