Loca what?


I've been meaning to get a blog started for some time, but XP SP2 has been taking a lot of time lately. Now that's pretty much done though, so allow me to introduce myself.

I'm Jesper. The Swedish Windows localizer. I work in Windows International. We're the ones who bring Windows (and more) to the world. No, really.

The localization team in Windows International has in-house localizers for over 20 languages. We manage and perform localization of all kinds of projects, from small utilities such as SMS Sender to slightly larger projects such as this, and for an increasing number of languages. The most recent release is of course Windows XP SP2, which is on its way to Windows Update right now.

What's cool about this job and this group is that we get to see a wide range of products and we get broad exposure to each product. In Windows, I translate everything from event log messages that help you trouble shoot AD replication, to aeronautical terms hidden somewhere in DirectX. We encounter loads of different products and while we don't become experts on each, over time we get a pretty good overview over the range of products Microsoft has.

Another great thing about the job is the combination of linguistics and technology. It's not always easy to translate software; you're often working without context, with new terminology and with ambiguous source text. Therefore, we spend a lot of time researching terminology, discussing translations with terminologists "back home", playing around with software to make sure our translations make sense in context and bugging developers to correct spelling here and changing a term there.

Fun stuff indeed.

This will have to do as an introduction. In upcoming posts I'll talk more about how our products get localized and new stuff coming out of this group. If you have any suggestions for topics to cover - anything related to localization or localizability - feel free to give me a shout.