Internationalization in Java

Internationalization is the process of designing an application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Sometimes the term internationalization is abbreviated as i18n, because there are 18 letters between the first "i" and the last "n."

➯ An internationalized program has the following characteristics:

➯ With the addition of localized data, the same executable can run worldwide.

➯ Textual elements, such as status messages and the GUI component labels, are not hardcoded in the program. Instead they are stored outside the source code and retrieved dynamically.

➯ Support for new languages does not require recompilation.

➯ Culturally-dependent data, such as dates and currencies, appear in formats that conform to the end user's region and language.

➯ It can be localized quickly.

Localization, on the other hand, is the process of adapting software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text. The term localization is often abbreviated as l10n, because there are 10 letters between the "l" and the "n."

The primary task of localization is translating the user interface elements and documentation. Localization involves not only changing the language interaction, but also other relevant changes such as display of numbers, dates, currency, and so on. Other types of data, such as sounds and images, may require localization if they are culturally sensitive. The better internationalized an application is, the easier it is to localize it for a particular language and character encoding scheme.

Here's a sample program, before and after Internationalization:

Before Internationalization

Suppose that you've written a program that displays three messages, as follows:


public class NotI18N {

    static public void main(String[] args) {

        System.out.println("Hello.");
        System.out.println("How are you?");
        System.out.println("Goodbye.");
    }
}
   

If the programmer decides that this program needs to display these same messages for people living in France and Germany. In order to get these messages translated, the prgrammer would need translators, but that would be another overhead getting translators and then teaching them to program or do it manually. It is rather easy to use Internationalization.

After Internationalization


import java.util.*;

public class I18NSample
{

    static public void main(String[] args)
    {

        String language;
        String country;

        if (args.length != 2)
        {
            language = new String("en");
            country = new String("US");
        } 
        
        else
        {
            language = new String(args[0]);
            country = new String(args[1]);
        }

        Locale currentLocale;
        ResourceBundle messages;

        currentLocale = new Locale(language, country);

        messages = ResourceBundle.getBundle("MessagesBundle", currentLocale);
        System.out.println(messages.getString("greetings"));
        System.out.println(messages.getString("inquiry"));
        System.out.println(messages.getString("farewell"));
    }
}
   

It is clearly visible that the text of the messages is not hardcoded. In order to compile and run this program, following files will be needed:

● I18NSample.java

● MessagesBundle.properties

● MessagesBundle_de_DE.properties

● MessagesBundle_en_US.properties

● MessagesBundle_fr_FR.properties

References : Oracle | Oracle share on :        :  

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