Do we need to localize keyboard shortcuts?

When I’m talking regarding keyboard shortcuts to things like Ctrl-S or maybe one key shortcuts like ‘A’ (used to Archive an email on Gmail). On the opposite aspect the method, called hotkeys or the underlined letters in menus or different GUI controls are clearly one thing that ought to be localized and that I not going to argue regarding this.

I have did some analysis to check however, some different firms are handling the shortcuts once people are using different languages and different keyboard layouts. Here are a brief list of my results:

  • If doable, the shortcut isn’t modified
  • If a key not available on a particular layout we must always attempt to use constant physical position
  • There needs to be no link between practical application language and keyboard patterns. It’s a mistake to consider that application language might match the keyboard format. I’ll reveal just a good example: in Romania over 95% of the computer systems are using US keyboard layout and the other 5% are using among the 4-5 various Romanian keyboard layouts.
  • Some individuals are using several keyboard layouts – generally, they are in fact power users and we can’t ignore them
  • Keyboard patterns can be converted anytime
  • Characters are secure to be used only when they are Latin

Physical position rules

I think that the actual physical position of the key is a lot more important than the letter written on it. Below are my arguments:

  • Human brain is understanding the shortcuts by hand movements (notice Pavlov’s dog experiment)
  • It is appropriate for the usage of multiple keyboard models

However, it’s not always so easy: we can’t assume that the French users would switch the usage of Ctrl-Q with Ctrl-A (Quit vs Select All) simply because they are using different layouts. Therefore, a fundamental rule would be to stick with the format for letters and numbers. However, attempt to use the actual physical position for other keys.

Anyways high, likely those individuals using multiple layouts would select alike layouts (derived from the similar root).

One-to-one key matching

Since the number of keys is similar we need to find a way of remapping the keys so that all shortcuts working on US to be workable on different layouts. When I’m talking about keys, I’m referring to the hardware keys.

Do we need to localize keyboard shortcuts?

Question: How do I create OS X tell me that the key pressed by the user was ‘q’ while current format is Arabic?


  • We are not allowed to consider it’s a ‘q’ because the key code is similar, probably it’s a Arabic DVORAK keyboard!
  • The shortcuts should not be hardcoded (user can edit them)

On Windows it does work 98% using virtual key codes and you can use them to obtain this info, but on OS X the key codes (actually Apple call them sometimes virtual key codes) they are some kind of scan codes. For the rest of 2% you need to do some small hacks with the OEMs.

Do we need to localize keyboard shortcuts?


15 Tips to Translate your Website

While making a website for a new language market, getting all the required videos, flash and programming is no small deal. However, right executions, approach and planning are a must if you wish to take your website across shores, ideally aiming to attract audience from different languages.

15 Tips to Translate your Website

To make sure that you do the job of translation rightly for the website localization, here are the top 15 tips you need to follow in translating the website:

1.     Align your Business Strategy and Website

Ponder on the infrastructure of your business to make sure that it supports all multilingual objectives. Make sure you include items like:15 Tips to Translate your Website

  • Sales fulfillment systems
  • Payment processing
  • Local customer support
  • Local marketing
  • Local legal requirements

2.     Strategize the Navigation of Multilingual

To help people find your site globally, you need elements like:15 Tips to Translate your Website

  • Clear user navigation
  • User settings
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Geo-tagging

3.     Use Content Management System

As you add languages, managing content becomes complex. You need a global ready CMS to manage the website.

4.     Use CMS for the Following Features

  • Supporting targeted languages15 Tips to Translate your Website
  • Workflow and filtering of new content
  • Re-import and export content in a local friendly format, for example. XML

5.     Use the General Standards

Use coding standards like HTML in getting the most of local benefits.

6.     Text Contraction and Expansion

The code and design of your website should15 Tips to Translate your Website make sure that it supports different texts lengths.

7.     Graphics and Flash should Be Ready

Flash and graphics play key role website. Wrong features of graphics and flash would slow down your website as well.

8.     Consider local. Regional and Global Site Content

Make sure that you are aware of the content that 15 Tips to Translate your Websiteis used globally and it be easily translated in all countries you are planning to reach.

9.     Plan for Maintenance and Updates

Make sure that you update the languages on daily basis. This would require high automated potential between the provider and the CMS.

10.Build Matching Source Website

If you plan to localize a specific part of the website, it is advisable to build new partial
website before-hand. This will allow you sign-off and review the local content by the local means, along with the partial part of the website would function well.15 Tips to Translate your Website

11.Add Multilingual Search

Make sure that you optimize your search so that the international audience feels no trouble.

12.Additional Business Preparations

Keep in mind that the language different customers are the additional audience, which mean additional clients for you. In case of success, be prepared of expansions.

13.Design the WebPages Properly

When your content is translated to another language, make sure that the design and the space of the content does not unattractively change.15 Tips to Translate your Website

14.Use the General Unicode

Use the type of Unicode for applications that handle the content and encode files that have localizable texts.

15.Always be Ready to Invest More

For getting language translation services on your website may vary from the amount of language you wish to add. Make sure you are always ready for the expenses.15 Tips to Translate your Website

Use these tips to get the translation of website correctly because in this global village, we can’t tolerate any language barrier especially when we enter into the internet world.