The English language is very compact, so translated text usually ends up taking up more space (30% on average for longer strings, 100% or more on short strings (a word or short phrase)). This can present problems if translated text is inserted into dialog boxes that were designed for an English product, because there is not usually sufficient space in available to fit the translated text. The common solution to this problem is to resize the dialog box so that the translated text fits properly, but most times this isn't the best solution.
Instead, by careful design of the dialog box by the developer, the same dialog box resource can be used for most if not all languages without the need for costly and time-consuming re-engineering. This paper tells you how to design 'global' dialog boxes.
Refer to the User Interface Text Guidelines for Microsoft Windows User Experience Guidelines for additional information regarding localizing text.