Re: Spanish Locales

From: Michael \(michka\) Kaplan (
Date: Wed Jul 26 2000 - 18:33:10 EDT

My personal feeling is that for most purposes, you can get away with a
single American Spanish (as opposed to European Spanish) that would cover
South and Latin America.

Microsoft (for Windows 2000) renamed LCID 3082's name from Modern Spanish to
International Spanish, which is the only language they localize product into
when it comes to Spanish. However, there are many important differences
between the two and many of my Mexican friends (including the lady who
localizes my web site) definitely can tell the difference, and I have even
had people complain at times about the "Mexican Spanish" being used without
being specified as such.

Even in the Latin American countries, there can be issues. Slogans such as
"Wouldn't you like a car today" are fine most places with "carro" but in
Guatemala they would indeed wonder why you want them to have a pig today.

The general MS feeling on stuff like this is to pick a locale to use as your
base, and then just make sure that you have people who can review to pick up
problems like the usage of carro (use coche instead!) and such. This is what
they do with English and Spanish (where they use 1033 which is US English,
and then either 1034 or 3082 depending on the product, to cover a wide range
of locales (Spanish has a LOT of LCIDs!). They do the same with Arabic,
using 1025 (which is their LCID for Arabic - Saudia Arabia) for all Arabic
locales (there are lots of them, too!).

I think their plan works, within reason. I have friends in Morocco who are
not fond of the Arabic versions of MS products any more than my Mexican
friends are of the Spanish ones. This all boils down to how much you can
invest in a market, mostly.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tex Texin" <>
To: "Unicode List" <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2000 2:50 PM
Subject: Spanish Locales

> I wonder how others are dealing with problems like the
> following:
> I have a Java program for which I also have a translation for Latin
> I know there are differences among the Latin American dialects, but I am
> told this file is ok for all Latin America. At the same time it is not
> for use in Spain, so I have a different file for that.
> I have not found a locale for Latin America. I am reluctant to create
> locales for each country in L.A. as I guess it is too likely I will
> get it wrong, and it also increases the disk footprint of the program.
> I do not want to simply make this translation the default (es), as I am
> concerned I do not know all of the places where the preferred language is
> Castillian Spanish, and for these I would need to make an exception.
> Any good ways around this, or do I need to simply bite the bullet and
> make one variation for every country.
> tex
> --
> If practice makes perfect, and nobody's perfect, why practice?
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------

> Tex Texin                      Director, International Products
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