If you can't read it, then that freaking list clearly doesn't have you in mind

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/03/14 14:01 +00:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2010/03/14/9976052.aspx

So the other day, the Farsi? Persian? You'll be getting some LIP about it either way blog got a comment from Ctyzanni:

1) Why is the MS download page only available in "Farsi"? (fa) System administrators who do not read the language may need to download and install it for others.

2) Why is there no 64-bit version? I suppose that is for another upcoming post.

Now the second question is one I answered yesterday in Thirteen (13) can be a lucky number.

Not perhaps a great answer.

But it is an answer.

The first question is a bit more complicated, though.

Now we start with that simple principle that has been around MUI since the very beginning right in the MUI language list.

You know, the one where if you can't read it, don't select it!

Now this list is not something localizers ever get to touch - the core product does the work and since the strings are already translated, they aren't exposed to localization.

Then mix the fact that for the download page, the entire page is available to localizers, including the list.

Then you get the following for these eight available so far:

Catalan (ca)

Welsh (cy)

Persian (fa)

Hindi (hi)

Icelandic (is)

Norwegian - Nyorsk (nn)

Serbian - Cyrillic (srb)

Vietnamese (vi)

Now of course these two different models do not mix very well.

If you want to switch languages, you have to know how to read the language you want to switch to in the language that you are currently looking at, or you are screwed.

I am not so intrigued by Ctyzanni's system administrator's case as they are not the primary customer of these download pages (those folks can go more toward the OEM/platform builders resource pages that one would use to build images and such.

But the current behavior is a lose/lose for the whole language list, and a definite regression from if you can't read it, don't select it.

Here is the nice grid of all of these translations in every language (the X coordinate is the language name itself and the Y coordinate is the language it is being localized into):

  ca - Catalan cy - Welsh fa - Persian hi - Hindi is - Icelandic nn - Norwegian (Nyorsk) srb - Serbian (Cyrillic) vi - Vietnamese
ca Català Gal·lès Persa Hindi Islandès Noruec (nynorsk) Serbi (ciríl·lic) Vietnamita
cy Catalaneg Cymraeg Perseg Hindi Islandeg Norwyeg (Nynorsk) Serbeg (Syrilig) Fietnameg
fa کاتالان ويلزي فارسی هندي ايسلندي نروژي (نينورسک)‏ صربي (سيريليک)‏ ويتنامي
hi कैटेलन वेल्श फारसी हिंदी आइसलैंडिक नॉर्वेज़ियन (बोकमल) सरबियन (सिरिलिक) विएतनामी
is Katalónska Velska Persneska Hindi Íslenska Norska (nýnorska) Serbneska (kýrilískt) Víetnamska
nn Katalansk Walisisk Persisk Hindi Islandsk Norsk (nynorsk) Serbisk (kyrillisk) Vietnamesisk
srb каталонски велшки персијски хинди исландски норвешки (нинорск) српски (ћирилица) вијетнамски
vi Tiếng Catalan Tiếng Wales Tiếng Iran Tiếng Hindi Tiếng Ai-xơ-len Tiếng Na Uy (Nynorsk) Tiếng Xéc-bi (Cyrillic) Tiếng Việt

Note the several untranslated strings - not every language has a specific word for every other language. :-) 

Now if the old way of doing this (the one that has been a central MUI behavior in the product since the very first version of MUI in Windows 2000) held, then the ones in red would be the ones that would be on every list, which would have several benefits:

Alas, that is not how it is currently done. But it does feel like a bug, to me (for what it is worth).

What do you think?

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referenced by

2010/08/08 Download languages for Windows

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