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Does a project management tool which is built for software developers need multi language support?

Supporting multiple languages can break the user interface, because most languages need more space than english. It also makes the source code more complex.

I thought, all developers need to know english. But we got some requests from spanish speaking people.

Is it a good idea to implement multi language support to a developer tool?

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This feels more like a business model question than a UI one. Do you want to make your Spanish users happy? Then support Spanish! Whether it's difficult or not to build a UI around that shouldn't have to impact your business' decisions. –  Rahul Sep 14 '10 at 10:05
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3 Answers 3

I would imagine it would depend on the tool, the users and the context.

Have you tried observing/asking your potential users?

My general experience of dealing with development teams working in non-English speaking countries is that it certainly helps to have as much as possible in the native language. Especially with things like project management, issue tracking systems - since they'll often have large chunks of stuff in the users native language.

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I think it very much depends on your market and business model. If you're charging for the product, and there's a significant market for it in say, Latin America, then it might be worth providing a version in Spanish. I say "might" because you need to consider the costs of translation, localisation and user support in the target language.

BTW, I don't agree with the statement that "most languages need more space than english". Do you have any evidence for this?

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No evidence, but I have experienced this in applications translated to german. –  Witek Sep 14 '10 at 12:35
    
Do most languages need more space than English? See: english.stackexchange.com/questions/2998 –  Antony Quinn Nov 10 '10 at 14:39

In this day and age, every program should be translatable. You don't have to do it yourself, but at least provide a way for your user community to do it.

As for your assertion that "supporting multiple languages can break the user interface", it seems like something wasn't designed right. wxWidgets, Qt, and Interface Builder on the Mac can all handle with ease windows and dialogs that resize to accommodate text of varying lengths. I'd be surprised if other toolkits can't do the same.

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Having written a program that was meant to be translatable, then actually going through the effort to translate it, I can vouch for the fact that until you translate the program you will certainly have bugs regarding layout, which are only exposed by a translation. Sure, these can be addressed, sometimes fairly easily, but they will be there. –  Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Sep 15 '10 at 13:26

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