Does anyone anywhere get this right? There’s a few examples of unnecessarily bad design, but what’s a good example? There are multilingual developers writing software, no?
The games industry for a number of years did a lot of good work (or tried to, anyways) supporting multiple languages. The author seems a little more concerned about multilingual input, though, and not so much display.
I know so many Linux distros that just punt on multilingual support. I think it was either Alpine or Void that expicitly doesn’t include multilingual support and there are others that even go farther and declared English as “the standard language.”
I seem to recall early versions of MacOS X at the Unix (Darwin) layer supporting only English. Like, Finder and such would be in French or Spanish, but if you launched a terminal error messages and command output would be in English. I don’t know if they’ve fixed that lately.
Even today in systems that support multiple languages, support is often lacking for right-to-left text for languages like Hebrew and Arabic, and complex text layout for languages like Hindi are also often missing.
Never mind that even if the underlying system supports it, application programs often don’t make use of the available interfaces and systems and as such end up either only supporting English or only supporting languages written left-to-right with relatively simple text layout.
OpenBSD has also gone English only, though the translations were never great or anywhere near complete. But this wasn’t a decision forced down by the English only speakers. There’s a lot of multilingual developers in the project, but it’s hard work. So that’s what I’m curious about, if the author can name some great examples. We have a lot of open source software, and a lot of it is developed outside of Cupertino, so you’d expect the 50/50 English/Dutch users like the author to have at least fixed that, no?
I’m Russian; we use Cyrillic for input, so, as long as the software provides a switch — most unlocked Android phones do, although the locked ones are often artificially limited to “official” languages of the country they are sold in — I’m happy.
However, as far as voice or autocorrect goes — sure, there could be some instances of certain words that uniquely belong to one language or another, but how exactly does the author see the ability to distinguish the language by just a word or two?
However, there is also this, which makes it impossible to use Android in non-English interface if you still want to make any sense of the descriptions in the app market:
It’s been happening for years, and there is no way to turn it off.
I’d like to add that the lack of locale support both in Void (the non-glibc variant) and Alpine is due to the musl libc, which probably was designed for a different set of usecases. Embedded and server i guess.