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HANDS-ON: RUSSIAN > FIRST THOUGHTS

FIRST THOUGHTS

Logistically, creating a web page in Russian isn’t much different from creating a web page in Spanish or French, which is why the workflow isn’t repeated in this chapter. Linguistically and technically, however, the localization process can be very challenging. If you don’t speak Russian, the language can be a little intimidating. French and Italian, for example, largely rely on characters that English speakers are already familiar with, but Russian uses an entirely new script: Cyrillic. The Russian alphabet contains 33 Cyrillic characters, most of which are based on Greek characters. The Cyrillic script is used by more than 50 languages, including Georgian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Bulgarian. There are, however, minor differences in the exact character sets used by each language. For example, Ukrainian and Russian share most of the same Cyrillic characters, but not all; therefore, they have historically relied on different character sets: KOI8-R for Russian and KOI8-U for Ukrainian.

Because there are no Cyrillic characters in ISO 8859-1 (the Latin 1 character set), a new character set is required. However, selecting that character set and manipulating the characters present many technical challenges for English-speaking web developers:


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