Should we have an Internationalization tag?

We already have a tag, however Localization and Internationalization are distinctly different endeavors. I think this question about the differences sums it up well.

In short Internationalization (i18n) is more closely related to application development, while localization is a bit wider ranging from assets (art, sound, text, etc.), to legal issues.

Examples

The tag doesn't have many questions, currently, but a good number of them are more accurately :

Getting the right currency based on user data: How to get the player's country name to change the currency system in Unity?

Choosing language programmatically: Choosing Language on Mobile Game

How to render Unicode: How do games handle rendering Asian unicode text?

And there are some properly tagged as :

This one is localization because it's asking what colors to apply, but not how to make the game capable of switching the colors: The meaning of colours in other cultures

At least maybe add as an alias, if the distinction is too minute?

• don't you mean an internationalisation tag? :P – cat May 23 '17 at 19:39
• Since few people know the distinct difference between the different concepts perhaps the use of a more general tag is appropriate instead? Or perhaps just make them synonyms (even though they are different concepts) to make it easier on users? – Charanor May 27 '17 at 11:56

In the general case, if

• a tag would apply to questions we actually already have and
• is not redundant with some existing tag and
• wouldn't require drastically altering the usage of some existing, you can create and apply that tag yourself without asking here.

Although it's certainly nice to see the discussion.

An tag seems like a reasonable enough idea to me.

• I agree, there's enough a difference to make a new tag, but I think we're using localization the same as internationalization right now (which is a problem and shouldn't be the case). I also think that we should make the community aware of this new tag as best we can so that we can curate new questions better and maybe offer edits on older questions. – John Hamilton May 22 '17 at 10:26
• I found a recent enough question that it merited swapping tags. And with that also added info for the internationalization tag. I think if/when that's accepted, I'll post an update to the localization tag info to reflect. – Chris May 25 '17 at 17:27

I think there is enough difference between the two concepts to have a tag for each of them.

I think we are pulling at hairs, differentiating between the two; especially for the point of 22 questions, where the referenced material provides a clear and contextual link between the two terms. I more commonly hear the two terms used in replacement for each other, and to be perfectly honest, I was not aware that there was a distinct difference; and there does not seem to be a big one. At least, not big enough to warrant entirely different tags.

Let's take a closer look at the referenced definitions:

"Internationalization (i18n) the process of changing your software so that it isn't hardwired to one language/locale/culture.

Localization (l10n) the process of adding the appropriate resources to your software so that a particular language/locale is supported. It's bigger in scope than just this Wikipedia entry, but it's a good start.

These definitions only provide one clear difference: internationalisation refers to adapting software to be compatible with other languages; localisation refers to adapting software to be compatible with other languages and cultures.

Let's take a look at the next two highest-rated answers (emphasis mine):

"According to Apple:

Internationalization is the process of designing and building an application to facilitate localization. Localization, in turn, is the cultural and linguistic adaptation of an internationalized application to two or more culturally-distinct markets."

"Internationalization prepares your application for localization. For example, you might encode characters stored in your database in Unicode (utf8mb4 instead of latin1), moving strings to resource files, enabling the use of date, time and currency formats, etc.

When you wish to sell, for example, a Chinese version of your app, you'd then localize it by hiring a translator to build the zh-CN resource files, and use a new date/time/currency format."

In fact, using one term to describe the other is a common pattern across a lot of the answers supplied to the referenced question.

It is clear, at the very least, that these two terms are heavily entwined. It is difficult to find a clear definition of one that does not involve using the other.

Furthermore, through the described differences, I fail to see how one might be knowledgeable in one without the other. Especially when the clearest definition of "internationalisation" I can find effectively reads "making ones program more adept to localisation".

At best, they should be synonyms; but given the fact that only one of these tags actually has usage, I have to question whether we really need to create the other simply as a synonym. They say you shouldn't fix something that is not already broken; this feels like we are trying to fix something that doesn't exist, yet.

• An artist could have many questions about creating localized content, and know nothing about the methods used to make an application work internationally. A programmer would be more apt to answer an internationalization question, while a citizen of a particular region a localisation question. Part of the purpose of tags is for people who want to answer, to find questions that relate to their expertise. – Chris May 20 '17 at 4:22