We aspire to reach customers from around the world with our products. People speak and work in different languages depending on where you are in the world. To make it easy for people to be able to use our products in a language of their choice, we localize our products and the documentation that goes with that into a number of languages. I have always said that we run into a scale issue no matter how much energy and resources we put into this. To me, one way to truly reach scale here is to enable the community to localize into their favorite language which will certainly augment what we do and provide broader reach for our products to customers around the world.
Community localization uses a combination of machine-translation and post-editing by community members to extend the reach of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework to new languages and locales. Full community localization for Visual Studio includes two pillars – a Visual Studio Language Pack for software and an MSDN Translation Wiki for documentation.
I am pleased to announce that as of today, Brazil is the first of what I hope will become new geographies in which we can provide such a community localization offering.
In March, we released the first Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions Language Pack in Brazilian. The Language Pack, which is a free add-on that installs on top of the English version of the product, provides partial localization into Brazilian Portuguese of about 70% of the user interface.
Today, we are announcing the release of MSDN Translation Wiki v2 for Brazilian Portuguese which provides an infrastructure for users to edit machine-translated content and add comments, code snippets or content to the Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 documentation. This is hosted on MSDN2 and therefore it is fully accessible through F1 within the Visual Studio 2008 Integrated Developer Environment. This also provides a light-weight, inline sentence-level editing experience that propagates user edits automatically throughout the site.
With MSDN Translation Wiki v2 and the Visual Studio Language Pack we are empowering developers in Brazil by offering a fully integrated solution for those who want to be able to use Visual Studio and read the related documentation in their native language.
It is great to see us partnering with our Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) and some of the most prestigious academic institutions in Brazil in these community localization projects: MVPs have helped us define the core Visual Studio terminology through a community glossary forum; computer science students from Pontifícia Universidade Católica and Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica helped improve the quality of a portion of the content by tech reviewing and post-editing the most popular topics after they were machine translated; students from the Engineering school of the Universidade de São Paulo translated and tested part of the Visual Studio Language Pack. MVPs and Microsoft Student Partners and other community members will help us as moderators on the Translation Wiki site, reviewing and approving translation edits and suggestions.
I am very excited to see such great progress made in Brazil. My international team is now looking at expanding these and new language solutions to several other markets for the next version of Visual Studio. If you interested in participating to these community localization projects and assisting with translating into your native language, please contact Cristina Nardini of the Community Localization Team.