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Re: Translation control in HTML5

From: Dave Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 18:15:41 -0700
Message-Id: <p0624087bc4b812f03fef@[]>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, Chris Wendt <Chris.Wendt@microsoft.com>

At 20:25  +0000 31/07/08, Ian Hickson wrote:
>  > In HTML 5, this could be done with a new attribute "translate", valid on
>>  all elements. Values "yes" and "no". Default is "yes".  By default
>>  attributes are not translatable, alt and title remaining as exceptions.
>>  HTML will not introduce new translatable attributes.
>How about a new keyword for "lang", instead, which means "not
>translatable" or some such? lang="computer-code" or something.

I think that there is a difference between something 'not having' a 
language and 'should not' be translated, isn't there?

I mean, if I quote JFK saying "Ich bin ein Berliner" I should 
probably tag the quotation as being in German, and that it should be 
left that way.  The lang attribute would control (I hope) how a 
text-to-speech reader would read it, for example.

Perhaps auto-translate systems should be more careful, and only 
translate text that's in the overall language of the page, into the 
target, and not the 'call-outs' that are in a different language. 
Then we're just left with the text that still should not be 
translated ("I am not a crook" for example, picking another 

To me, speaking as a rank amateur, overloading lang seems 
dangerous...I am always wary of overloading.

Language codes for computer languages (so that they can, shudder, be 
read aloud etc.) would also seem a good idea.
David Singer
Received on Friday, 1 August 2008 01:19:11 UTC

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