Lions and Tigers and {Vars}, Oh My! Protecting Translators from the {Cleverness} of Software Engineers

Track: Technical | T5 |
Friday, October 28, 2016, 9:00am – 9:45am
Held in: Fontaine EF
Peter Harris - Intuit
Host: Donna Parrish

Programmers love variables – both in their code and in their text. They may write something like “You selected three {items}” where {items} could be customers, patients or any type of noun they may choose depending on which page it appears. In English, this sort of trickery works brilliantly. But it’s an absolute nightmare to translate. How can we allow programmers and designers to keep the flexibility of variables without driving our translators crazy? Learn how Intuit is handling this problem.

Takeaways: Understand the problem with text substitution (a common trick in software interfaces), and why it makes going global a lot trickier; learn how to solve the problem at the source, without any specialized training or tools for translators; and gain insight from a software company facing the unusual challenge of creating software that works differently in every locale.