Multilingual Software Standards
For a software application to be fully multilingual, it's about far more than just being able to support parallel text, it affects everything from the architectural approach and data management through to sort orders and speech support.
Though Wales is a bilingual country, software applications have typically just used the English language which is inconsistent with both the law and also with the aims of the Welsh Assembly Government, to create a bilingual society where both Welsh and English have an equal status.
Therefore, as part of its overall strategy for IT and the Welsh language, the Welsh Language Board commissioned us to author a standards document in order to provide a common and agreed understanding of what it means for software applications to be bilingual.
The document produced provides both standards and guidelines. The
standards defining the correct and approved means to provide bilingual
support and the guidelines offering a more general discussion on best
practice, approaches and issues to be overcome.
The content covers issues relating to localisation, character sets
and alphabets, candidate architectures, user interfaces, system outputs
(reports and emails), data management and storage, postal addresses and
compliance with existing eGovernment standards.
As part of our consultancy services, this work can be replicated for any
other multilingual environments and we also provide audit consultancy
and compliance guidance services which are geared towards assisting
organisations improve the multilingual capabilities of their software
estate, without incurring significant additional cost.