A lot of Richard's material and material by other members of the W3C Core I18N WG are quite useful. Have a look at http://www.w3.org/International/

Some additional thoughts. You're approach really depends on the number of languages you need to support and the diversity of languages and writing scripts. The greater the diversity and the number of languages the more care you need to take with your internationalization architecture.

You need to make sure that all the components of the web site is handling all languages and encodings correctly.

if you are lucky you'll be working with all the easy languages (European, Japanese, Chinese and Korean).

Otherwise, some additional points to consider:

* Preferred layouts of pages may change between languages. Cultural preferences will vary between dense and compact layouts on one hand to open and spacious layouts on the other. What constitutes good and optimal de sign is culture based.

* Your user interface needs to be mirrorable.

* Best to avoid CSS rules containing text-align: justify;

Proper justification really requires CSS3 support, and certain browsers have bugs rendering justified text and break complex script rendering.

* For most languages line breaking will be handled automatically (depending on the language and the operating system version in use). For some languages you may require makeshift or manual line breaking techniques.

* If you are supporting multiple languages and writing scripts within one site, consider using language specific styling using the language pseudo selector. IE can not use this CSS selector, but useful javascript libraries offer mechanisms for simulating support.

* Generic font family declarations are meaningless for some writing scripts.

Olly Hodgson wrote:
On 11/1/07, Andrew Harris <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
I'm asking for any gems of wisdom - links or first hand advice, mostly
technical, but anything that deals with the pitfalls in building
arabic websites would be great.

I found Richard Ishida's @media07 presentation, "Designing for
International Users: Practical Tips" rather enlightening. The audio
and slides are available from


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