I’m a native English writer/speaker. Some might debate how well I really know the language, but I am a native. I wasn’t a good student of languages. I struggled with Spanish I, took 4 years of Japanese in college, and wasn’t sure I really learned a lot.
I tried to learn some Spanish when my wife hired someone who had that as a native language and struggled with English. I didn’t apply myself well and struggled. I also tried some Italian when my boss was learning, but again, continuity was an issue. However, the pandemic changed some of that, as I’ve been working on a streak with Duolingo, back in Japanese and practicing with my son, as well as doing French with my daughter. So far, I’m nearly at a year of some daily practice.
What does this have to do with diversity and inclusion? It has a little to do with it, and a new habit I’m going to try and build.
The other day I saw a tweet from @SQLChick: “I learned something cool! You know how Microsoft Docs are localized? We can tell because it’s in the URL. For me, that path includes “en-us/” and if I remove that, the Docs site adds it back when I visit the page. Removing it is better for link sharing with a global audience.”
That’s a good idea. I’ve known this was the structure for MS Docs, but I hadn’t thought about it.
I hadn’t thought about inclusion here.
I often assume most developers know English, at least from the code standpoints. Most languages are implemented in English, and lots of software doesn’t get translated. However, that is changing, and I know companies are thinking about localizing things more and more.
As they should.
So, my challenge to myself, and you, is to grab links and make them local where possible. As an example, I was looking up this link the other day:
If I remove the “/en-us” part, I get this:
If I drop that in a new browser, it reverts to the English version, but if someone has their local system set for French, or Japanese, or Spanish, they get that version. The link works for them, rather then dropping into my language.
It’s not necessary, but it’s polite. Something worth doing a bit more of all the time.