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Controlled Vocabularies Aid Translation and Content Management

From: <editor@content-wire.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 00:55:02 -0400
Message-ID: <380-2200610454552375@M2W012.mail2web.com>
To: semantic-web@w3.org



>> So, how is this relevant to w3c?



Global English is not just a question between British, American English and
Rest of The World English - IMHO

I used the term Global English first on a website in 2001. (Content-wire
about us
statement) -it's still there.
My purist colleagues who loved to argue for hours about spelling and other
language style choices including punctuation - smiled then, saying 'Global
English' whats that then? 

What we meant was: 'not this, and not that' (neti neti)

The question that comes up today, and relevant here - is that the
differences in meaning and interpretations of words are not just cultural
linguistics, but depend individual perspective and background, as well as
on the domain that they are applied to. 

This is why specialist domains require controlled vocabulary, and this is
why for specific and/or critical missions people use CODE language, that
defines meaning to extreme precision and sometimes even quantitative
measurements.

The relevance to W3 is that languages - that includes English - are
conventions.
In this world people have different conventions, and when you want to
minise misunderstandings, shared conventions are agreed and adopted.

The relevance of my question of 'is it a documentation issue or not' may
not be immediate.

>From an organisational viewpoint - ie when getting a job done - as well as
in terms of information systems design - when developing software - such
differences in interpretations should be mapped early, to minimise waste of
development resources later.

Nowadays we work with highly distributed teams on collaborative projects,
that are
loosely coordinated - and communicated online  - so a semantic consistency
-not just linguistic - is key in  ensuring conceptual cohesion.

People dont just come form different linguistic backgrounds, oh no. because
within the same linguistic background, they have different degrees of
literacy - some coders and engs speak excellent java but when it comes down
to English let's admit it is not their thing -

People also have different mindsets, beliefs, value systems, history,
contexts, communicatin abilities, environments, 
This reflects ON how they  use  words, even when using the same language.

And straightening things out is still in W3 mission, right?

In my experience, in systems development such reasoning about conceptual
model is to be faced early, at data/knowledge/information modelling stage.
Documentation is too often still an a-posteriori actitivity in system
developments, and is generally not sufficiently integrated with the early
stages of development.

I would be interested to hear at what stage f their process do other
organisations place the semantic consistency issues -  but when it's left
for too late then a lot of work will have to done again.




Paola Di Maio











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Received on Thursday, 5 October 2006 05:01:27 UTC

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