Internationalization (i18n)

Internationalization, often shortened to "i18n", is the practice of designing a system in such a way that it can easily be adapted for different target audiences, that may vary in region, language, or culture.

The complementary process of adapting a system for a specific target audience is called Localization.

Among other things, internationalization covers adapting to differences in:

  • writing systems
  • units of measure (currency, °C/°F, km/miles, etc.)
  • time and date formats
  • keyboard layouts

The work of the Unicode Consortium is a fundamental part of internationalization. Unicode supports not only variations among the world's writing systems but also cultural variations such as currencies and time/date formats.

See also