Jumpstart Localisation goes smooth
A training of trainers on Localisation was organized by the IOSN South Node between April 6th-8th.
Mid of March to the first week of April was a busy time for the IOSN South Asia Node. The node organized its second event “Jumpstart Localisation”, a training of trainers on Localisation at CDAC, Electronics City, Bangalore from April 6th-8th. Taking into account some last minute bailouts, in all, there were 16 people who attended the training. Mrs. Kendra Derousseau flew 6540 miles from Vanuatu in the Pacific Islands to attend it. Most of the trainees arrived on the 5th and were put up at Samrudhii Suites, very close to Electronics City. The next morning they were taken by bus to the venue. Mr. R.K.V.S Raman, Senior Staff Scientist, CDAC, Electronics City was to be their trainer for the next three days. Mr. Raman has been involved with Localisation and Language Computing for the past five years. He has also been involved with Speech Synthesis & Recognition and his allied interests extend to Human Computer Interaction and Semantic Web. The trainees were handed out kits along with the IOSN Localisation Primer (http://www.iosn.net/l10n/foss-localization-primer/). The trainer started with the terminologies and resources required for anyone wanting to take up Localisation (l10n). He then cited the evolution of some Indian languages, history of different encoding schemes, the Unicode Standard and well known Localisation efforts. Another important aspect that was touched upon was Cultural Localisation. Mr. Raman mentioned an example in Tamil where in a word, the same letter could have different pronunciations hence conveying a totally different meaning. Kendra who spoke French gave a similar example and on both occasions, the laughter was uncontrollable. Her knowledge of French came as a boon as we took up its peculiarities like accents which wouldn't have been covered otherwise.
On the second day, we moved on to Fonts, types and differences. The Sri Lankan, Mr. Anura, had lots of questions during this session as he came from a paper industry background. The session that followed was on various Text Flows, Input Methods, Keyboard Layouts, Rendering Engines, tools used in Translation, importing translations from other applications and migrating translated applications to newer versions of software. During all this time, Mr. Safal from Nepal was the quite one.
What saw keen interest from the trainees was probably the third day session on Internationalizing applications and approaches followed. The various functions used for internationalization (i18n) in Java and C were also covered. The final session took us through CLDR charts and overview of Font Designing. Bangladeshi Mr. Khandakar Mujihidul Islam took particular interest in that one. He also spent a considerable amount of his time testing the limits of his camera's memory.
Inputs provided from members of Swatantra Malayalam Computing and Debian Kannada Localisation who were present were also helpful. Malayalam and Kannada are languages spoken in the Indian states of Kerala and Karnataka respectively.
After the training, the trainees were taken on a one day sightseeing trip to Mysore. In store were palaces and temples and even a zoo. A tired group bid their goodbyes the next day.
In order to ensure that the group stays in touch and continue
localisation efforts as well as solve each other's problems, a mailing
was created. It was deliberately given a generic name so as to include
more people from the Asia Pacific hence bringing with them wider
expertise and a broader spectrum of languages. The list can be accessed