Software Multilingualism is the capability for software packages to be enabled to support multiple languages and to manage information in more than one language at a time.
Despite there generally being a good understanding about what is required, the ‘state of the art’ lags significantly behind this. Most software packages are monolingual (generally with English as the dominant language) and those that do support multiple languages usually only support one at a time.
Though this may have been acceptable in the past, there are some powerful drivers that are changing the demand for multilingual capabilities:
- Globalisation. Markets and communications are no longer local.
- Internet. The Internet is no longer a platform for content-only websites; it has become a strategic communication and transactional platform without cultural or geographical boundarie.
- SharePoint Multilingual Kit (SMK) - a suite of enhancements and components for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS2007) to provide a switchable user interface, multilingual content management and multilingual document management.