Microsoft Touts 50 Display Languages in Windows Phone 8

The platform features various optimizations for local use in some countries

By on December 19th, 2012 08:21 GMT

Windows Phone 8, the latest mobile operating system version that Redmond-based software giant Microsoft released on shelves, brings along support for far more languages than its predecessors did.

Windows Phone 7.5, last year’s OS release, came to the market with support for 22 languages, but that number has more than doubled in the meantime.

The new platform version from the company comes with support for 50 display languages, all of which can be seen in the image below.

According to Microsoft, the task of making the mobile OS available in more languages than before has proven an easy one in some cases, though things got complicated when complex scripts entered the scene.

“Some, such as Thai and Hindi, do complicated things when letters combine. For example, the shapes of Hindi letters can change in surprising ways depending on adjacent letters,” Microsoft’s John McConnell explains.

“Perhaps most challenging are the languages that are written right-to-left, specifically Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian.”

To resolve any issues that might have appeared when trying to localize the platform for these languages as with any other language, Microsoft took a new approach, called mirroring.

For that, they looked at every screen in the platform, and redesigned each of them to fit the needs of people in those specific markets.

Furthermore, the company focused on the addition of support for even more languages in the core of the OS, although they are not among the display languages in Windows Phone 8.

“To achieve this, we added many fonts and upgraded much of the core code for email, Internet Explorer, SMS, Office, and more to handle complex scripts,” John McConnell continues.

The text prediction capabilities of the platform were revamped as well, with features such as word prediction, auto-correction, and auto-accent. 40 languages in the list of supported ones enjoy some form of advanced support.

At the same time, Windows Phone 8 comes with expanded support for speech recognition languages, including dialects in countries such as Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India (English), Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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