English .po files

I think I talked about this before, but I don’t remember when, and a quick search through my blog didn’t find anything (it might be because there are way too many posts that I can remember of).

Anyway, when I talked about i18n, I’m sure I at least put a line on the possibility of creating .po file for English language, may it be neutral English or either American or British English, but in any case, this is easy to do, and it’s a reason to leave nls useflag enabled even for people who care nothing about languages that are not English.

This is a pretty neat way to handle proper English grammar, considering that a lot of authors simply use other languages and thus is unable to always write proper English, to the result that often you find broken C locales that don’t really sound like English (I know, neither my blog sounds like English :/).

So, why do I talk about this now again? Well, there’s an interesting reading on Michael Kaplan’s blog (basically the only MSDN blog I follow), that might be interesting to read to people that would like more proper English messages.

I think this is one of the things that are easily ignored when thinking about internationalisation, but the differences between the language spoken in a part of a country and the one spoken in another are often big enough to make them almost different languages, so thinking on a larger scale (different countries), it does make sense to consider them different languages… although I admit I have no idea whether Swiss Italian is any different from our, and how.

I’m not a linguist, at all, even my Italian advanced grammar is quite bad (although good enough to please my Italian teacher during high school, and not get him more angry at me, as I wasn’t even studying history :P), but I admit curiosity in the matter, and michkap’s blog is a good reading for that, I would suggest it to anybody who’s interested in i18n, even if it usually talks about Windows and other Microsoft products (of course), as it provides hints and insights that should be consider also when designing Free Software.

Update (2017-04-28): I feel very sad to have found out over a year and a half later that Michael died. The links in this and other posts to his blog are now linked to the archive kindly provided and set up by Jan Kučera. Thank you, Jan. And thank you, Michael.