jump to navigation

About me

My name is Elsebeth Flarup, and I worked with various aspects of software globalization in IBM for (gulp) more than 19 years before moving on to Motorola to work as a Globalization Program Manager.

My native language is Danish, and I started out in IBM Denmark translating software from English to Danish, eventually also testing the translated versions and acting as a project manager.

I gradually started working more on the development side – doing localization engineering, TVT management, globalization testing and localization project management for various lab projects, and this lead me to a job based in the US rather than Denmark.

For the past 4-5 years I have moved into globalization architecture, being involved in the end-to-end process of our software projects – from the requirements phase, through architecture and design to development and deployment. This has often involved performing what you could call “globalization audits” – assessing the readiness of various software products to be marketed worldwide and to be translated.

I write mainly about various aspects of globalization that I have come across in my work, but I occasionally sprinkle a few posts about the Danish language and translation into Danish here and there.


1. Mohan Raj - February 22, 2007

I need to store cyrillic character in database and display the same in web pages also.Please suggest me should it go for set the database to UTF8 or is there any alternative to achive the goal.
Your suggestions will be more useful to me, please guide me in this.

2. globalizer - February 22, 2007

You will be much better off by choosing UTF-8 as the encoding throughout your application – in the database and in your web pages. That way you can display characters from any language without changing any settings or performing any special processing.
It is possible to use a legacy encoding for Cyrillic characters, but if you choose that you would have to juggle different encodings for any other characters (except the ASCII set of course).
This article is a good starting point:

3. Eran - June 11, 2007

I’m building an application with Flex for UI and Java as server back end.
I have a problem with decoding/encoding, and i thought maybe you can figure out what to do.
When a user enter for example his name in an input field, and press submit (flex side). I’m sending his name to the server.

I’m doing it by assigning the value of escape(name) into a variable and sending it to the server with a flex method.

Now the tricky thing, for example if the user put his name as the “Hebrew letter ALEF I’m getting the value: %u05D0
now Java method URLDecoder with decoding of UTF-8 can only read \u05D0. if I’m using String method of replace the ‘%’ with ‘\ . the Java refers to to it as a string and don’t give me ALEF.

what should I do?
Thanks in advance….

4. globalizer - June 12, 2007

Hmm, I haven’t actually gotten around to doing anything real with Flex, so I don’t have any personal experience with what you are doing. But from the example you use, it certainly looks as if the values you are getting from the Flex method are not correctly URLencoded (that format would be something like %C3%A7). And the Java URLDecoder does not expect the format “\u05D0” (ASCII-escaped Unicode), it again expects the “%xy” format – see: http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/api/java/net/URLDecoder.html

“Decodes a application/x-www-form-urlencoded string using a specific encoding scheme. The supplied encoding is used to determine what characters are represented by any consecutive sequences of the form “%xy”.”

5. Owen Passey - November 17, 2007

I wonder if you can help me. I played golf with some Danes a few years ago and something they said has stuck with me ever since. On the putting green they’d hit the ball and mutter “Come Noo”….at least, that’s what it sounded it like. Firstly, what were they really saying (and how do you spell it) and, secondly, what does it mean in English.

6. globalizer - November 17, 2007

Yes, I can tell you – and it’s wonderful to once in a while get an easy question 🙂
They were saying “Kom nu” (that’s how it’s spelled in Danish), and you are right, it sounds exactly like you indicated with approximate English spelling. And the meaning? I would translate it into “Come on” or “Go on”, as in urging the ball on. Individually the two words mean “come” and “now”.

7. bibomedia - March 4, 2008


8. Thomas Deschington - March 20, 2008

Davs, Elsebeth

Does IBM hire freelance translators? If so, could you point me to whom I should contact?

You may contact me at [deschington at delase dot com]

9. Spencer Thomas - April 5, 2011

Hi Elsebeth,
Question for you: I came across your blog while doing some research for my own company’s blog (i18nblog.com). I was wondering if you’re interested in expanding your reach through a guest post on our blog? We have a great European influence on our site with two contributors coming from France and Switzerland. You may reach me at sthomas(at)lingoport.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: