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.