Localization, Culture, and Global Communication

Localization, Culture, and Global Communication

Gerhard Chroust (J. Kepler University Linz, Austria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-986-1.ch060


The ‘native language’ (the mother tongue) is one of the most decisive identity factors of a nation. Besides being of political importance, it carries a high emotional value and is strongly related to culture. Due to technology, particularly the Internet and due to individual ownership of computers people have more opportunities to interact and cooperate with others outside their local community (Nakakoji, 1996). As a consequence, software products must be used in different countries. As early as 1960, the first technological steps were made by IBM (Hensch, 2005) in order to find ways of processing and displaying Japanese characters. Initially, the prime concern was an adequate representation of national characters (including diacritical characters of European languages), typically called national language support. In the meantime, an ever increasing number of people are in need of using software products. Technological progress allows communication via pictures and also via colorful, animated displays showing people in their natural surroundings, resulting in software products becoming a part of their daily environment. Computers today execute more complex tasks in closer imitation of human behavior. As a consequence people expect the computer to adapt to their individual culture.

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