A new year, a new blogger! Today’s post is all about me! I’m taking the plunge in the Mojo so let me introduce myself! I’m Eric Paquin, International Project Manager and totally new to the art of blogging (please be patient)! So, what can I bring to the Mojo? I’ll focus on the international perspective. Being a French Canadian (aka Québécois) living in Ireland (I’ll spare you the long story ;) ) it gives me an interesting viewpoint on all things international (well… most)!

Mac head since 1989 (but also a PC user)… I’ve been working in localization for over 10 years. I was a tester in Corel – they had their localization centre in Dublin then. And I have been in the Ireland branch of MacBU for the last 7 years, first in test and now as a project manager.

In the past, one thing I was never good at was using French products (on Mac or PC) as historically (many moons ago), it used to take near 6 months after the release of the English product - not only for Microsoft products - to have the privilege to install it in French in Canada… Then once I started to install French products, I was really confused being used to the English terminology.

Things have change and for the last 3 years, my primary Mac at work is fully French! Talk about putting my software where my mouth is ;) It helps me understanding issues that our international users might run into. It also made me realize that most software I use have issues when you run them in another language. Especially highlighted when you have a configuration like this (in System preferences/International):

  • French Canadian CSA keyboard
  • Ireland (French) international format
  • GMT / 24 hour clock

About localization in Dublin… (I won’t cover the whole process - Schwieb has already given a good overview). Who are we? We are a team responsible for 6 languages (namely French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Dutch). For Office 2004, each of these languages contained an average of 100000 new and updated words (translation we could not recycle from previous versions) in the software. To add a new language like we did for Dutch and Italian, it means 300000 words and another 750000 for the help. We released the software in various flavours – Standard Edition, Student and Teacher, Volume Licensing, Word and Excel Standalone in some languages, Entourage standalone for Volume Licensing, Test Drive. Altogether, for Office 2004, we were responsible for signing off on 23 CDs for Office and 15 for VPC (Virtual PC). We also localize Messenger, RDC (Remote Desktop Client) and all the various software updates

That’s a lot… We couldn’t do it without automation and working with vendors on the translation part and some of the testing… In a future post, I’ll give an overview of the problems this causes, how we work around these and a quick overview of some of the tools we use.

I have a few more ideas for future posts but I would also like to hear from you if there are any particular international topics you’d like me to get into a little more… These include:

  • Differences between European markets and the US – is it day and night or more like 13h and 1PM?
  • International Features I’d like to see (and hopefully you do to!)
  • Communications with our European customers
  • And, pourquoi pas, “Le Mojo” – an occasional post in French?

Until the next time…

Au revoir!