Don’t anthropomorphize computers—they hate it when you do that. —Author Unknown

Welcome to Compass Rose Technologies. We provide software development services and custom software applications for clients worldwide.

Internationalization & Localization

Woodcut from William Cuningham, The cosmological glasse, 1559.

Providing software in different languages and for different cultures involves far more than just a literal translation. As part of our commitment to usability and accessibility, Compass Rose Technologies strives to integrate software globalization functionality into all our software designs.


In today’s business world, companies can no longer afford to think only about their traditional local marketplaces. Businesses are learning that to remain competitive and be successful they must start thinking in global terms, and attempt to attract global customers for their products and services. The explosion of the Internet was one of the primary forces behind this development; the Web has created a 24-hour economy, allowing customers around the world to purchase good and services at all hours of the day or night. The resulting challenge for software developers is to engineer applications that are user friendly to customers regardless of their native language or geographic location.

Globalization (G11N) is the process of developing a program whose features and code design are not solely based on a single language or locale. Globalizing an application involves two independent steps: internationalization and localization. Globalization aims to address all of the unique challenges an enterprise faces as it expands to the global market.


Internationalization (I18N) is the process of developing code in such a way that it is completely independent of any culture-specific information. Fully internationalized applications can be localized to a particular country or region without any changes in the program code. An application that supports internationalization will have the following characteristics:

  • No code changes are required to support additional languages.
  • Text messages, and icons and images containing text elements, are stored externally to the source code.
  • Locale sensitive data such as dates, times, numbers, and currencies are formatted according to the user’s language and geographic region.
  • Nonstandard character sets are supported.
  • The application is engineered in such a way that it can be rapidly adapted—or localized—to new languages or regions.


Localization (L10N) is the process of adapting an application, ideally one which has already been properly internationalized, to run in a particular locale, country, or linguistic market. This includes displaying all text in the native language, and using native conventions for formatting and sorting. It takes into account such details as national regulations and holidays, cultural sensitivities and gender roles, and local currency. The goal is for the final service or product to appear as if it was developed within a local culture.

At Compass Rose Technologies, we believe in developing all our code with globalization in mind. Even if internationalized code is not one of your requirements at this time, your application will be engineered in such a way that it can be fully internationalized (with minimal cost and effort) should your future needs require it. For more information write to

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