Re: New Default Language paragraph

=?iso-8859-1?Q?Martin_J=2E_D=FCrst?= (mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch)
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 15:42:44 +0100 (MET)


Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 15:42:44 +0100 (MET)
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Martin_J=2E_D=FCrst?= <mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch>
Subject: Re: New Default Language paragraph
In-reply-to: <20650.876817204@dale.uninett.no>
To: Harald.T.Alvestrand@uninett.no
Cc: ietf-charsets@INNOSOFT.COM
Message-id: <Pine.SUN.3.96.971020153211.245Z-100000@enoshima.ifi.unizh.ch>

On Tue, 14 Oct 1997 Harald.T.Alvestrand@uninett.no wrote:

> How about this text?
> 
>     4.5.  Default Language

I think this is a lot of progress!


>     When human-readable text must be presented in a context where the
>     sender has no knowledge of the recipient's language preferences
>     (such as login failures or E-mailed warnings, or prior to language
>     negotiation), text SHOULD be presented in Default Language.
> 
>     Default Language is assigned the tag "i-default" according to the
>     procedures of RFC 1766. It is not a specific language, but rather
>     identifies the condition where the language preferences of the
>     user cannot be established.
> 
>     Messages in Default Language MUST be understandable by an English-
>     speaking person, since this is the language which the greatest
>     number of people will be able to get adequate help in interpreting
>     when working with computers.

This sentence is somewhat skewed. First you say "understandable by an
English-speaking person", which looks like a deliberate attempt to
avoid saying "it must be in English", to make this politically even
more acceptable. Then however, you go back to "this is the language",
which is immediately read as "English is the language".

So you should probably say:

    Messages in Default Language MUST be understandable by an English-
    speaking person, since in this way, the greatest nuber of people
    worldwide will be able to get adequate help in interpreting the
    messages when working with computers.

Note that I also put in "worldwide" to make it clear that that's
what we care about, and not some local situation.
Also, I have put in a "the messages" to have an object for
"interpreting". Norvegian, or Harald in particular, seem to
like implicit references.


>     Note that negotiating English is NOT the same as Default Language;
>     Default Language is an emergency measure in otherwise unmanageable
>     situations.
>     In many cases, English text is reasonable; in some cases, the
>     English text may be augumented by text in other languages.

You should probably change "English text is reasonable" to
"English text only is reasonable" to prepare your point.
And again, if you are at it, you should probably say
"In many cases, using English text only as Default Language is
reasonable;". In an international context, such references
easily get lost.


Regards,	Martin.




--Boundary (ID uEbHHWxWEwCKT9wM3evJ5w)