Missing internationalization of 1Password

I am a new user (and subscriber) to 1Password, and I do like the product so far. But I am not American, nor am I Canadian; to make things worse, I am a true European with several nationalities, having places in different countries. I am therefore irritated a bit by the very American biased set of categories and behaviors.

  • "Social Security Number", with a small logo reminding me of the US flag. I end up using this category for a number of special "ID"-s that people have in different countries, with different names like 'personal numbers', 'tax numbers', etc. Can we change this category to a more neutral name and logo?

  • Fine to have a passport category. But many countries have a distinct notion of a national identity card. At least as important. On the other hand, the 'driver license' category has extensive questions that clearly reflect the fact that that card is used, in practice, as an identity card in many places. But not in all...

  • The various categories like 'Driver License' uses terms like 'first name' and 'last name'. For a number of cultures these terms, if they are meaningful in the first place, are notoriously not clear. Languages like Hungarian or Japanese, to quote only these two, use the family name first and then the name; just about the opposite than most of the European languages (including English). This type of mixup was very typical in the early days of the Web and in systems like Facebook where this error leads to unclear sorting and identification of people, for example. 1Password should really embrace internationalization in this respect, too. (I am happy to see that the address adapts itself to the 'country', for example, which is a good thing.)

    Also, in many countries the prefix or postfix to the names are important and part of the official names. The Germans are notorious for their Prof. Dr. X.Y.Z., but that is the way it is. That should be possible by default for the identity type categories like passports or driving licenses.

I have not made an extensive 'review' for internationalization, these are just my initial reactions. But it may be worth starting a separate discussion on the issue, gathering the experiences of international users. I would be very curious to see whether, for example, there are specific issues with non-Latin scripts, for example (although I know only Russian, which is not much different in this respect).

1Password Version: 6.71
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: OS X 10.11
Sync Type: Not Provided


  • PilarPilar

    Team Member

    Hi @iherman

    Thank you very much for getting in touch with us and sharing your thoughts about 1Password and how it feels to use it for you. As someone very passionate about languages and whose official name consists on no less than seven words, I can very well see where you're coming from.

    I think that all of the issues that you mention, actually boil down to one single thing: having more flexibility on how categories look like, or even allowing custom categories! That's something that would be interesting to see, and that I hope we get in 1Password some day. As of know, I can recommend you to use the custom fields to add any details that are missing. Please let me know if you'd like some ideas or instructions on how this can look like.

    I'm from somewhere with an Identity Card as you mention, and I keep the number as part of my "Identity" in the item of the category "identity". For the prefix, anyone who needs it can add it as a custom line, I'm aware that it's not the same as having a default section for that but a handy workaround for now.

    About non-latin scripts, we find that most of them work well. I have tested (though I can't speak the languages) for Korean and Japanese and everything in the layout seems fine. The only issue we've found is with right to left languages. We hope we can improve the localizations for those in the future. We do our best to not only literally translate the strings but make them accurate in the language, so if you find any specific examples where strings don't work too well on a given language please let us know and we'll look into it. Fine tuning the translations is an ongoing job.

    We are working on improving 1Password every day, and we really value your input. If you have any questions, doubts or any other thoughts, please let me know :chuffed:

  • @Pilar yes, of course, using the custom fields can achieve everything, and that is actually fine. And yes, having custom categories at some point would be even better. But let us face it: using custom fields is not an obvious step for many of your potential users. While (I presume) you are a professional in computer related activities (so am I), that is not the case for most and, for those, being careful about the defaults that 1Password provides is important. Some of these issues are almost trivial, like using other terms instead of 'first name' and 'last name' (i.e., 'name' and 'family name') may be better suited for some users (although I realize that it does not cover the needs of people from, say, Spanish or Indian origins either...).

    It is worth considering the experiences of other areas. I found the collection of articles of the W3C Internationalization activity very useful in general; see, for example, the article "Personal names around the world". Although the various recommendations are related to web forms, some of those may be relevant for 1Password as well. Maybe that would be helpful. (Full disclosure: I work for the W3C...)

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @iherman: You're right. And the practical problem with custom fields is that 1Password won't know what to do with these so it can't fill them. We've got some ideas for how we might make that possible in the future, as this will be especially important the more customization we add. After all, if it isn't useful, it probably won't get used much — and then we'd be wasting our time implementing it...and wasting users' time without offering a tangible benefit. Love your passion and feedback on this! :chuffed:

    I also wanted to highlight a couple things you brought up as examples, because I think they can help illustrate the challenges here, and also that we're thinking about this stuff. Similar to Europeans, Americans are generally pretty diverse, as almost none of us are originally from the US. But you're right that compared to Europe there's more homogeneity with stuff like IDs and name/address conventions, in spite of the size.

    I'm probably a lot less international than you are, so I bet you can come up with of a lot of others I wouldn't, but I think Japanese is a great example, both with regard to areas we need to improve, but also how multi-faceted an issue that naming conventions alone are. Apart from Western usage being quite common in Japan (English is often used outright, and also borrowed from heavily), I'm aware of at least five frequently used name forms — 姓名、フルネーム、苗字、名前、下の名前 — which are used in different contexts and in different orders, but also interchangeably on many forms, both digitally and on paper (Japan loves paperwork)...not to mention a handful of different identification types (though passports are standard). And there's probably a ton I don't know about, both there and in other cultures around the world. It's a lot to consider, and that's just one example.

    So while I don't think we'll be making substantive changes to existing templates (that could bring with it a whole other set of problems — we'd have to redo a lot of the filling logic that depends on these), these are the kinds of things we'll be taking into account as we develop 1Password going forward. We're really fortunately to have a lot of folks outside of North America (Europe, Oceania, Asia, the UK, etc.) now compared to when we started in Canada over a decade ago, so we'll be drawing on those resources in addition to feedback like this from you and the rest of our awesome customers. Cheers! :)

    P.S: We're huge fans of the W3C here as well. Thanks for all that you do, and for sharing this information and your expertise. <3

  • @brenty, I certainly do not want to underestimate the huge complications that these issues raise for you guys. And I fully understand that a thorough re-engineering of the current templates would bring a whole lot of problems that are better to not to create. I wonder whether a suboptimal solution, namely to produce a set of guideline documents on how users in particular areas may adapt the templates for particular cultures would help, although that may also require a lot of work. However, you (and @Pilar) seem to refer to a future evolution whereby templates may be customized for/by users in general; if my understanding is correct on this, than that, plus some guidelines, may very well be a right solution, leaving the community out there to provide de facto standards for customized templates, for example. But I am probably running ahead of myself on this, I am just a simple user:-)

    I must admit I was not even familiar with the various name forms in Japanese:-)

    I am happy to help if you have any question or simply need a sounding board. I am not a real internationalization expert but my work made me very sensitive to the issue, and I do know some people whose knowledge level in the area is close to infinite:-)

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thanks for the feedback, @iherman.

    seem to refer to a future evolution whereby templates may be customized for/by users in general

    That is indeed the direction we'd like to head, but I can't make any promises at this point.

    Thanks again!


This discussion has been closed.