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Re: Translation control in HTML5

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sun, 03 Aug 2008 20:38:39 +0200
Message-ID: <4895FB2F.9030505@malform.no>
To: Felix Sasaki <fsasaki@w3.org>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Hi Felix,

Felix Sasaki 2008-08-01 07.28:

>   <meta name=notranslate content="code, #logo, .term, :lang(de)">

>    <span lang="en-q-notTranslate">Word</span>
>    <span lang="en-q-original">Word</span>
>    <span lang="en-q-name">Word</span>
> The current draft of IETF 4646 says:
> "Extensions [...] are intended to identify information which is commonly 
> used in association with languages or language tags, but which is not 
> part of language identification." [1]

>> FS: that wouldn't solve the problem (quoted below) Jirka
>> described at
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Jul/0438.html

>> ", how do deal with: <p lang="en">In Germany it is quite
>> common to clink with glasses before drinking and to say <em
>> lang="de" translate="no">Prost!</em> as a toast.</p> 

I view it differently. It *would* help Jirka's case. This is a 
question about having simple *selectors*.

If "Prost!" were the only German word in Jirka's text, then e.g.
<meta name=notranslate content="*:lang(de)"> would be enough.

But if it were possible to say <em lang="de-q-notrans" 
 >Prost!</em>, then you could create a clearer and more targeted 
selector, which would make the author more certain that he did not 
target any other German text he might add to the page.

Other advantages of extending the language tag could be that 
authors would feel that @lang became more useful, and therefore 
used it more often. Remember that in Jirka's case, using 
translate="no", it would be entirely possible that the author 
dropped @lang and only wrote <em translate="no">Prost!<em>.

Since you are one of the editors or ITS, do you not se any 
advantages of being able to use the @lang and @xml:lang attributes 
to select texts relevant for translation? In my view, this would 
also benefit ITS. Or what?

It was said be someone in this group that translate="no" would be 
easy to map (via XPATH I think he said) to "normal" ITS. And I 
should also think that relying on language tags for creating 
selectors would be very compatible across markup languages.

>> I have asked the IETF WG about this (they are developing BCP
>> 47), waiting for feedback.

Since I first proposed to extend the language tags with a subtag 
giving translation relevant information, I have become convinced 
that we should not use @lang and/or the language tag to give 
translation *commands*. The purpose should only be to used them as 
selectors. Thus, if you wrote <em lang="de-q-notrans">Prost!</em>, 
then you have, in principle, not given the command that this text 
should not be translated.

Also, it is good to be able to extend the language tags with the 
relevant information. In Jirka's case, if he had many  German 
words in his text, he could - with today's language tags and if he 
used a selector - choose to use lang="de" for those words that he 
wanted translated, and lang="de-de" for those that should not be 
translated. But would it not be better if the author could extend 
the tag with relevant info, such as -q-notrans, instead?

The task of extending the language tags can per se not be resolved 
in this group. But this group, and the ITS group and others could 
register them, if there is some agreement that it is a useful thing.
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 3 August 2008 18:39:50 UTC

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