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[Bug 12417] HTML5 is missing attribute for specifying translatability of content

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 15:02:08 +0000
To: public-i18n-core@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Qm5ce-0006zo-4Z@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=12417

Arle Lommel <fenevad@gmail.com> changed:

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--- Comment #19 from Arle Lommel <fenevad@gmail.com> 2011-07-27 15:02:05 UTC ---
Very interesting discussion. I can state, as a representative of the
Globalization and Localization Association (GALA), an international
organization for organizations involved in localization and translation, that
such a feature in HTML 5 would be quite important for GALA members. Having this
feature available in a standard format from the start would be an aid to
everyone from content creator through to the end consumer of the content.

Since HTML is increasingly the output format of choice for many systems
(including authoring systems), a standard attribute would be a major
improvement for everyone involved. A significant portion of web content will be
translated at some point in its lifecycle, whether by human translators or by
machine translations, and having the ability to explicitly state what should
(or should not) be translated, would be tremendously important for improving
quality and assuring that translated output makes sense. Since it is impossible
to know in advance what methods will be used for translation, the current
non-standardized situation poses a significant obstacle to indicating this
information in a consistent and predictable way.

As others have mentioned, texts often contain a mix of translatable and
non-translatable content, and knowledge of what should and should not be
translated is vital for rendering texts in other languages. As Jirka mentions,
a number of organizations are already indicating this information, albeit in
inconsistent and non-standard ways. That they are doing so in advance of a
standard way to tag translatability shows that this feature is needed by large
content creators and is not a fringe use case.

I would second the comments by Richard and others that this is not a function
of language tagging, but rather of instruction for processes. This function
should be able to be indicated totally independently from indicating the
language of the text. The two are related, but distinct, issues. And Yves'
comments represent an excellent summary of the various options. I would second
him that a language subtag is the least desirable of the options considered.

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