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Subtitled interaction: complementary support as an alternative to localization

Lepouras, G. and Weir, G.R.S. (2003) Subtitled interaction: complementary support as an alternative to localization. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 59 (6). pp. 941-957. ISSN 1071-5819

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Many computer users face problems in their interaction as a result of the native language employed by the application. The language of the application is often at variance with the native language of its users. This issue is frequently addressed through localization. In turn, localization generates a range of new problems. We propose an alternative to localization that is analogous to cinematic subtitles. This has the potential to reduce the user interaction defects that otherwise arise with localization whilst benefiting users through an additional channel of information in their own language. This paper outlines a prototype implementation and describes our initial evaluation of this approach. We suggest that our complementary 'subtitles' promise consistent support for all applications in the user's computing environment and yield a system that is expandable and much easier to maintain than pre-localized software.