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SAP HANA Cloud Platform is on a mission to open further data centers around the world – the newest one opened in Shanghai on December 1 and I heard the one in Tokyo is just around the corner. One of the major goals of SAP in this respect is to allow developers to use our platform services more easily. To find out about people’s preferences, the HCP colleagues even set up a language survey. It is anonymous and takes about 5 minutes, feel free to participate.

Working in a language department, I keep asking myself how much it helps to have the user interface and documentation of the HCP in particular and of software in general translated to one’s favorite language. Will this ensure a more intuitive, smoother and easier handling of the software and result in a higher user experience and a better adoption and more enthusiastic usage of a tool? I heard about Eclipse being available in Klingon, so I’m sure the Klingon users are having fun!

Personally, even though I’ve been working in a language department for more than 8 years and German is my native language, I have to admit that I mostly keep my UIs in English. If someone would ask me why, I’d probably answer that it’s easier to find online support or to get help from colleagues if I can describe the field names of the UI in English. In general, I guess it just doesn’t bother me enough to take the effort to adjust the settings.

Funny enough, I’m also pickier with terms in my native language. This may have to with the fact that one gets so used to terms in English so that the German translation seems weird. One example for German readers: “Weckern” as translation for “Snooze” sounds really strange to me, and not only early in the morning…

I guess one’s working environment is also a really big influencing factor. At SAP Globalization Services, where we have virtual teams in more than 22 locations and most meetings are held in English, you speak, think and even dream and wake up (and snooze…) in English. Often, we switch to a kind of “Denglish” when talking to one another in German: “Ich werde dieses File aus meiner mailbox downloaden, sharen und dann den content mit dem team wegen der Customer Engagement Initiative alignen.” No wonder we get strange looks and raised eyebrows from non-SAP friends!

However, I can imagine, in other departments, in smaller companies, in specific industries, if you haven’t studied languages, or if you are a real big fan of a certain language, having the software and docu available in your own (or your favorite) language makes things a lot easier and more fun. If this is the case, take part in the language survey.

It will help SAP HCP make the right decisions for the users all over this (and other) worlds….
SIbI’Ha’ qaleghqa’ je yItIv!

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