IE 8 Beta 2 – More Languages

3 weeks on, IE 8 Beta 2 is now available in an additional 21 languages, bringing the total to 25. As a comparison, as far as I can tell that’s only one fewer than IE 5.5 and 6 were released in, ever. Another sample Microsoft beta, that for Windows Server 2008, is only available in 15.

As one of the l10n team said the other day, it seems that this is another example of us driving innovation even for people who don’t use our product :-) I wonder if they would be doing the beta in that many languages if we hadn’t raised the bar by regularly simul-shipping in 40-something?

All the usual suspects are there, although they seem to be doing a version of Chinese specifically for Hong Kong, which we currently don’t do. Can anyone comment on what might be different about Hong Kong which requires a separate build?

5 thoughts on “IE 8 Beta 2 – More Languages

  1. AFAIK People in Hong Kong mainly speak Cantonese, while they speak Mandarin in mainland china. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=548

    Much of the time “written Cantonese” is “Mandarin written by a Cantonese speaker”‘

    On the other hand, there’s already two English, two Norwegian, two Spanish and two Portuguese versions of firefox.

  2. Hong Kong folks read about Hong Kong news, so whenever I head there to install Firefox (or other apps) on computers, I get questions about why the Traditional Chinese version syndicates news from Taiwan.

    Their written form of Chinese should technically be Mandarin-style, but colloquial differences have resulted in Cantonese-only words seeping into the written language, these make no sense when spoken out in Mandarin.

    Btw, Hong Kong writes in Traditional Chinese, similar to Taiwan, but different from the mainland and Singapore, where it’s mostly Simplified Chinese.

  3. Taiwan and Hong Kong use similar characters, but the words may vary. It’s something similar to the “color” and the “colour”.

  4. Gerv, what others say above are correct, but I suspect that this *may* also have something to do with the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS). Take a look at the following link for more info:

    http://www.ogcio.gov.hk/ccli/eng/hkscs/introduction.html

    Also, the localisation should be different as Hong Kong Cantonese is not always written in the same style as PRC Mandarin, or Taiwan (province of China) Mandarin.

    As other posters say, it may also be related to default page settings, like what site to use search from, where to get news from, etc. Hong Kong should have Hong Kong-specific sources.

    There’s a lot of diversity within PRC that causes headaches that you don’t have with the homogeneous environment of en-US :)