Introduction to the Geocortex Language Tool

The Geocortex Language Tool allows you to localize Geocortex Essentials Manager and the Geocortex Viewer for Silverlight.

Starting in Essentials 3.14, the Language Tool replaces the old method of translation that used the Translation Portal.

Geocortex products are built to support internationalization. One of the important processes in internationalization is the translation of the application's strings into a new language. This task is often time-consuming and error-prone, requiring the use of complicated developer tools like resource editors. Geocortex products use a different, simpler approach that involves an easy-to-use tool called the Geocortex Language Tool.

Unlike other internationalization processes that depend on satellite assemblies containing culture-specific resources, the Language Tool uses a simple XML file that is integrated with the software. This XML file is called a language pack. Language packs have a .lpx or .xap extension.

The use of a language pack means that the software does not need to be recompiled when you add a new language. Currently both Manager and the Geocortex Viewer for Silverlight use language packs for translation.

The Geocortex Language Tool also supports in-place editing—that is, opening the language pack, changing a string or two and saving it. However, it is likely more appropriate to use the tool’s export and import spreadsheet functionality as this is the paradigm most translators are used to.

Invariant Language

The original language in the LPX or XAP file is the Invariant Language. The Invariant Language is English, the language the application and viewer were developed in. The Invariant Language cannot be changed. But other versions of English (American en-US, English en-GB) can be added as a language and the strings edited to suit your needs.

Internationalization/Localization

Internationalization: Refers to a process of adapting and designing computer programs to function in different languages. The term includes regional differences and refers to the design of software so that it can be easily adapted to various languages or regions without engineering changes.

Localization: Refers to the process of adapting software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text. It involves adapting a system for a particular locale and takes into account cultural norms and values. It includes changing the language of the user interface (UI), input, and display, and features such as time/date display and currency.

Languages and Language Codes

To facilitate the process of localization in the context of computers, each language is given a code. There is more than one coding system for languages, but one that is widely used is the ISO 639-1 alpha-2 code which assigns a 2-letter code to each language, for example, en for English, fr for French followed by an optional code that specifies the national variety of the language, for example, en-GB (Great Britain). For a list of language codes, see msdn: Language Codes.

Examples of Two-Letter Language Codes

Language family

Code

Language variant

English

 

 

en-GB

British English

en-US

American English

en-CA

Canadian English

French

fr-FR

French (as spoken in France)

fr-CA

Canadian (Quebec) French

fr-BE

Belgian French

Spanish

 

es-ES

Castilian Spanish (as written and spoken in Spain)

es-MX

Mexican Spanish

es-AR

Argentine Spanish

Chinese

zh-CN

Mainland China, simplified characters

zh-TW

Taiwan, traditional characters

Main Steps

The main steps to localize Geocortex Essentials Manager or the Geocortex Viewer for Silverlight are:

  1. If you are localizing Geocortex Essentials Manager, create a language pack and merge Manager's strings into it.

    You do not need to perform this step for the Silverlight Viewer—the Silverlight Viewer ships with a language pack.

  2. Add the target language(s) to the language pack.

    A target language is a language that you are translating to. If you add right-to-left language and you are translating the Silverlight Viewer, you must configure the viewer to work with right-to-left languages.

  3. (Optional) Export the language strings to a spreadsheet.

    You can either use the Language Tool to translate the strings, or export the strings to a spreadsheet to send to the translator.

  4. Translate the strings into the target language(s).

  5. If you exported the strings to a spreadsheet for translation, import the translated strings from the spreadsheet.

  6. Verify that the application uses the translated strings.

Open the Language Tool

Starting in Essentials 3.14, the Geocortex Language Tool is installed when you install Essentials.

To open the Language Tool:

  1. Navigate to the folder where your Language Tool executable is located.

    In the default Essentials installation, the Language Tool executable is here:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Latitude Geographics\Geocortex Essentials\Default\Language Tool

  2. Double-click Geocortex.Globalization.LanguageTool.exe.

    The Geocortex Language Tool opens.

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