Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Has Skype been properly localised?

I use Skype a lot and I especially like to make use of the Hidden Skype Emoticons.

What I find curious though is that these hidden Skype emoticons haven’t been localised. I realise it’s close to impossible to do that but if you offer an application which has been localised, shouldn’t the emoticons be localised too?

Let me explain. If you want to use the normal Skype emoticons, all you do is click on the emoticon block in the typing window or type the symbols on your keyboard e.g. :). This is simple for everyone to do. However, when you want to use one of the hidden Skype emoticons, you have to type the English word in-between brackets e.g. (snooze) or (call) or (talk).

People who speak a language other than English will have a difficult time remembering the words for these emoticons. Even the acronym for the “working from home” emoticon (“wfh”) is difficult for a non-English speaker to remember. How could a non-English speaker make up a logical acronym to fit into their language?

Granted, few people know about these hidden Skype emoticons but maybe Skype should think about a way to localise these emoticons.

I do know that these hidden Skype emoticons aren’t from the official Skype website, however, if you want to type one of the standard emoticons in the standard Skype emoticon box without clicking on the image, you still have to know the English word in some cases e.g. (beer). (No, I’m not drinking on the job). Maybe this is good for language learning but who knows.

So what do you think?