Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Localized error messages

If you are not a native English speaker it is very likely that you're using a localized operating system. I'm currently working on Windows 7 Enterprise with system language set to Polish.

The disadvantage of this is that when I develop any .net code on my machine and an error occurs the error message I'm getting is localized. This is supposed to help me understand the error cause but it's actually doing the exact opposite. After an error message is translated into Polish it's usually totally meaningless to me. This is mainly because most of documentation is written in English and many technical terms are simply hard for direct translation.

Also, when I search the web for the error message I got there are obviously much more results for the English version.

Another downside is that I can't directly share the error message with my foreign team mates as they wouldn't understand it.

Lately I discovered a web page that can unlocalize the message for me: It allows you to search for the message or browse the catalog. It also offers some browser plugins for faster unlocalization.

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