Localizable Silverlight

Sunday, March 16, 2008

In my previous post I discussed Silverlight SEO, and the strategy I’m using to enable search engines to crawl my sites. Even though most of my site is in Silverlight, search engines are able to crawl it because the content itself is actually in the HTML of the page. Then I transform it using some basic JavaScript.

At McCann Worldgroup one of the most important tasks is making a site easy for subs to localize. Most of the time the subs don’t have the experience with Silverlight or the money to pay for localizing an HTML version and a Silverlight version. With this method that I am trying to describe here, the subs only need to localize the HTML. All of these international groups have experience converting US English HTML into their language/dialect. With this methodology they can retain those same techniques to localize the HTML site and the Silverlight site at the same time.

In order to do this though, you need to be conscious of the fact that not all languages have the same length of words as we do in the US. Beyond the obvious problem that many English words have extra characters (colour?) there are words in German that will put a strain on your design. Also Chinese is a bit of a problem, but I don’t have any direct experience with that one yet.

When designing a site for Silverlight (or even CSS/JavaScript) you should keep in mind that what content will fit in your 250px by 300px box looks great in US English may well not work at all in another language.


This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Silverlight Accessibility and Portability

We Know Job One, What is Job Two?