Global communications

Microsoft customers live and work all over the world and speak a variety of languages. This section will help you write content for worldwide communication.

It's usually safe to assume your content will be read in many countries and by readers whose primary language isn't English. Some content will probably be translated into other languages or localized.

Translation is simply changing the language of content. Translation is often automated using machine translation.

Localization is the process of adapting a product or content (including text and other elements) to meet the language, cultural, and political expectations and requirements of a specific local market (locale). Localization is done by people who are familiar with the local language and culture.

This section provides guidelines for supporting worldwide customers who use English content and for streamlining localization and machine translation. You'll find a few exceptions to general Microsoft voice and style guidance. This section covers:

Learn more about worldwide audiences

Be curious. If you write for audiences in particular countries or regions, subscribe to local email newsletters, visit local websites, and follow local news.

Use these resources:

Read more:

  • John R. Kohl, The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market (Cary, NC: SAS Institute, Inc., 2008).
  • Edmond H. Weiss, The Elements of International English Style: A Guide to Writing Correspondence, Reports, Technical Documents, and Internet Pages for a Global Audience (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2005).