English localisation

Dan   Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:17 pm GMT
I'm annoyed that many international companies don't pay attention to different varieties of English any more.
For example, companies like Nokia and Samsung often use American English as a standard and don't care about British English localisation.
For example:
In my opinion, every instruction booklet that comes with a gadget should be written in the respective local variety of the English language. (of the country where it is sold.)
The same with websites: Some company website even claim to offer a "UK website", but if you go there, the content is identical compared with the US website. If companies create global websites in many different languages and offer content in very "small" languages like Norwegian, why don't they localise the English content for Commonwealth countries?
John   Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:28 pm GMT
I really feel that the title of your thread should have included the other spelling "localization". As an American I feel very annoyed!
Stan   Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:51 pm GMT
You know, you have raised a very interesting point and an excellent observation. I think your concern only re-enforce the several arguements I have seen on this forum; issues on the battle between American and British English. If you took part in those threads you probably would have understood a lot more.

The bottom line and the often conclution of those threads is that there really can be only one true international language there are differences between the American and British English, most learners of the English language are hardly ever concerned about that; and due to America's status in the modern world, the language that is becoming the international language is indeed the American-English, not that of the British. And more than often, those companies you mentioned above do what they do unintentionally, and mainly as finance and business practices dictates.
Stan   Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:54 pm GMT
...And one more point, I think you should have used LOCALIZATION rather than LOCALISATION; most dictionaries even leave out "localisation" completely, even the Merriam-Websters.
Flemish J   Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:03 pm GMT
Thanks for bringing this up, because I actually had a question about this: is the "-ize" spelling correct in General American English? And does it consistently replace the British "-ise"? Thanks a million.
Dan   Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:13 pm GMT
I'd like to illustrate my point. Websites for the American market always use the correct localization - American English. But often, American English is also used on UK-based websites.
Example of good localization:
Lexmark uses the British spelling "programme" on the UK website.
Example of bad localization:
On the "UK and Ireland" website of SAP, the company offers "Defense & Security" solutions, even though the word is spelled "defence" in the UK and Ireland.
Stan   Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:23 pm GMT
<< is the "-ize" spelling correct in General American English? And does it consistently replace the British "-ise"?...>>

I won't say "In General American English," I believe it's just common, and NO it doesn't consistently replace the British "-se"
Kirk   Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:55 pm GMT
This "-ize" issue has come up a lot here before but I'll give a summary. Despite what many people now believe, "-ize" was the original British form for words with the suffix "-ize," a suffix which is ultimately derived from the Greek "-izo/-izein" This includes many words like "realize" "localize" and "baptize." However, in the past century or two the "-ise" form has become popular in British usage to the point that many people now consider "-ize" a newer Americanism when American and Canadian usage actually continues with the established traditional British one. However, traditional British sources such as the Oxford English Dictionary still cling to and prescribe "-ize" despite majority usage to the contrary these days. The OED does not even list "-ise" as a valid variant, interestingly enough.

All this should not be confused with words that have "-ise" but are of different etymological origins. Words with some suffixes such as "-prise" "-mise" "-tise" and "-vise" are almost never (but with a few exceptions) derived from Greek "-izo/-izein" but Gallic/Latinate "-pris" "-mis" "-tis" and "-vis."

Thus, for better or worse, North American usage has the following etymologically accurate spellings:


And, for better or worse, more recent British usage has the following, where the etymological difference between the two forms has been leveled:


It's really not a big deal but that's the history behind the differences.
Dan   Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:10 pm GMT
I don't care about "realize" or "realise", both spellings are fine with me...
What I don't like:
Reading (on a UK website) that I can choose my "favorite color" for my "cell phone" ...
Stan   Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:42 pm GMT
<< What I don't like:
Reading (on a UK website) that I can choose my "favorite color" for my "cell phone" ... >>

Like I stated earlier, I do not think it was intentional, but most people (and organizations; companies) these days are insensed by the difference between the "brands" of the English language, provided a common message is passed. It is up to people like you (unfortunately, it would take a lot more people) to make your concerns heard. You might be shocked that not a lot of people in the U.K make the same observations as you do, they probably just don't care.

Any company would cut costs and save money if decides to merge all regional websites into one with a common language i.e just an ENGLISH site rather than having [NORTH AMERICA], [UNITED KINGDOM], [AUSTRALIA], [NEW ZEALAND], etc. It would save money. The point is that if a common "brand" of the English language is to be selected, due to mainly POLITICAL and ECONOMICAL reasons (not excluding a little arrogance), the American English would likely be chosen.
Flemish J   Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:29 am GMT
Thanks, Kirk!
Kelly   Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:34 am GMT
Oxford dictionary recommends LOCALIZATION.
Localisation looks misspelled.
1980xena   Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:37 am GMT
not ''united colours of benetton''

You shall respect the trademark
Even in UK, it's spelled UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON
Guest   Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:46 am GMT
What is the problem with American English on websites? I myself would personally know the difference between 'defence' and 'defense or 'colour' and color. It's not like we would need a fricking translater.

Frankly complaining over a missing 'u' in color must show you guys have no life but to bitch about over little minor crap instead of seeing more important crap exists in the real world.
Guest   Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:03 am GMT
<< is the "-ize" spelling correct in General American English? And does it consistently replace the British "-ise"?...>>

I'm sorry are you trying to say that 'ize' is a form of American English? Actually this was replaced with 'ise' in Britain some time ago while the Americans preserved the 'ize' spelling. Now these days there are calls to return to the orginal spelling of 'ize'.