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Language in schema.org

From: Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 21:51:00 +0100
Message-Id: <130C397A-1B6B-47E2-B792-63E39FB809ED@jenitennison.com>
Cc: HTML Data Task Force WG <public-html-data-tf@w3.org>
To: public-vocabs@w3.org
Hi,

How should multi-lingual content be handled in schema.org expressed in microdata?

Language is not part of the microdata data model, and microdata vocabularies must provide vocabulary-specific mechanisms for supporting values that have an associated language [1].

The schema.org vocabulary supports publishers indicating the language of the content of a CreativeWork through the inLanguage property [2]. From what I can tell, that's the only language-related schema.org property.

How does schema.org deal with multi-lingual values for other properties? For example, I have a web page [3] which lists items of legislation that are available in both English and Welsh; it has the markup (simplified for this example)

<tr class="oddRow">
  <td class="bilingual en">The A477 Trunk Road (Backe Road Junction to Llanddowror, Carmarthenshire) (Temporary Traffic Restrictions and Prohibition) Order 2011</td>
  <td rowspan="2">
    <a href="/wsi/2011/2469/contents/made">2011 No. 2469</a>
  </td>
  <td rowspan="2">Wales Statutory Instruments</td>
</tr>
<tr class="oddRow">
  <td class="bilingual cy" lang="cy" xml:lang="cy">Gorchymyn Cefnffordd yr A477  (Cyffordd Ffordd Bace i Landdowror, Sir Gaerfyrddin) (Cyfyngiadau a Gwaharddiad Traffig Dros Dro) 2011</td>
</tr>

I'd like to indicate that these two table rows related to the same CreativeWork and that it has two titles, one in English and one in Welsh. There doesn't seem to be a way to do this in schema.org.

One way that could work would be to introduce a http://schema.org/LanguageString (or something less horrendously named) type and use that as an acceptable value for any natural language property, such as name:

<tr class="oddRow" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/CreativeWork" itemref="welsh">
  <td class="bilingual en">
    <span itemprop="name" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LanguageString">
      <meta itemprop="lang" content="en">
      <span itemprop="value">The A477 Trunk Road (Backe Road Junction to Llanddowror, Carmarthenshire) (Temporary Traffic Restrictions and Prohibition) Order 2011</span>
    </span>
  </td>
  <td rowspan="2">
    <a itemprop="url" href="/wsi/2011/2469/contents/made">2011 No. 2469</a>
  </td>
  <td rowspan="2">Wales Statutory Instruments</td>
</tr>
<tr class="oddRow" id="welsh">
  <td class="bilingual cy" lang="cy" xml:lang="cy">
    <span itemprop="name" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LanguageString">
      <meta itemprop="lang" content="cy">
      <span itemprop="value">Gorchymyn Cefnffordd yr A477  (Cyffordd Ffordd Bace i Landdowror, Sir Gaerfyrddin) (Cyfyngiadau a Gwaharddiad Traffig Dros Dro) 2011</span>
    </span>
  </td>
</tr>

Might schema.org introduce a LanguageString class or is there some other method of supplying the language of a property value that's supported by schema.org?

Thanks,

Jeni

[1] http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14470#c1
[2] http://schema.org/CreativeWork
[3] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2011
-- 
Jeni Tennison
http://www.jenitennison.com
Received on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:51:39 GMT

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