From: Peter Constable (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 13:51:28 CDT
> > A "language" is an attribute of content, and a "language" ID
> > is used for
> > declaration of that attribute.
> > A "locale" is an operational mode of software processes, and
> > a "locale"
> > ID is used in APIs to set or determine that mode.
> Oversimplified, I'm afraid. Consider machine translation software or
> computer-aided translation tools (e.g. translation memories). In
> A "language" is an operational mode of software processes, and
> a "language" ID is used in APIs to set or determine that mode.
The translation memory content has a "language" attribute, and it's
appropriate to declare it using a "language" tag.
Assuming the software is not dealing with things like number formats,
the processing mode could be called a "language" mode or a "locale"
mode. The software infrastructures provided in platforms and programming
frameworks manage these modes using "locales", however, so I would say
that these applications are using locales.
Of course, a "language" tag in the translation memory can be used to set
the processing mode ("locale") of the software. More often than not,
though, I expect that what would be happening is that the "language"
element of the locale is being determined, and then corresponding
content is being retrieved from the translation memory.
So, I disagree: I do not think it is oversimplified. What is too simple
is the way that many people think and speak about it all.
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Microsoft Windows Division
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