Wikimedia Language engineering/2011 announcement
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One of the conclusions of the strategic plan was that much of the future growth of our projects will come what is called the "global south". There are many challenges to overcome and opportunities to realise. The Localisation team will deal with those technical issues that prevent many languages from realising their full potential.
Many of the key people of translatewiki.net make up the Localisation team. This means that the whole area of internationalisation and localisation will continue to get the attention it needs. Localisation of the user interface is the most important single factor for improving the usability for an editing and reading community. The localisation and internationalisation effort has brought many features to MediaWiki like the support for plural in sentences and the grammatical gender and LocalisationUpdate to ensure that the work of its localisers makes a difference.
With the start of the Wikimedia Localisation team, other technical issues that prevent our projects from flourishing can be tackled. There are issues with text input, or displaying characters on a screen. This can be a problem in the wiki text, in SVG images, in timelines or on a specific mobile device or off-line. Things may work for the Cyrillic script but not for the Arabic script. Issues like these are what the Localisation team will deal with and consequently, when things work out well, its methods will be adopted by all the MediaWiki developers and this will result in an environment where the communities of any language will be equally able to work on their project.
Important to the functioning of the localisation team are the language support teams. They are people who know their language really well and who provide expertise by assessing and completing the information in standards like the CLDR and by assessing the quality of the support we provide for their language.