L10N guidelines for developers?

Hi all,

A lot of our customers are just starting with localization and are wondering what the best practices for developers are.

Maybe you’re a localization project manager and have a set of guidelines that you share with your developers? Or you’re a developer that’s been working on localization for quite a while and have a good grasp of best practices? Maybe you can refer to available online resources that outlines such best practices, that you found useful?

Feel free to share here, it will be extremely valuable for those just starting their localization journey!


In a nutshell:

  • Use ordered placeholders.
  • No “hard” + “string” + “concatenation”.
  • Always present translators with full sentences
  • Be aware that some translations will need more space on screen. A lot more space.
  • Support plural forms
  • Add comments to give translators some context. For example, is “Copy” or “View” a verb or a noun?
  • Hide code from translators. “%s likes your comment” is bad, “%s likes your comment” is good.
  • Use a bilingual file format (e.g. gettext, XLiff, …)
  • Research how others have done it and don’t reinvent the wheel