Internationalization, sometimes shortened to I18n, is a design and a development of a product or document content that enables easy localization for the target market, that may vary in culture and language. It is the first step of Globalization process, which contains Internationalization and localization.
This business process is critical for any company producing multilingual products. In this process is important to consider all the markets the product will target, and make the needed adjustments early in the product development and design. For international success of business and products, internationalization is critical.
For specific areas there are certain functionalities that are necessary, such as Right-to-Left support for Arabic and Hebrew locales, local currencies, dates, addresses and time formats.
When done right, i18n makes following localization projects much easier, faster and less expensive. It is essential that internationalization is complete before the localization.