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A proposal for a new item in the list of Checkpoint 4.1

From: Michele Diodati <michele@diodati.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 19:57:47 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c301e6$3c3e0830$0b00a8c0@oligo>

Hi,
I am a web developer and a teacher interested in doing web contents more
accessible. I read the WCAG 2.0 Working Draft 8 January 2003 and in
particular http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/#clear-and-simple:
"Checkpoint 4.1 Write as clearly and simply as is [appropriate /
possible] for the purpose of the content"

I would suggest a new item for the list "Partial list of items being
explored for inclusion as success criteria or advisory recommendations".
The item would be something like this: "Reduce at bare minimum uses of
foreign words and phrases".

Items 11 and 12 in the list seem to partially cover the problem I am
pointing at, but I think a new item, with a specific formulation of this
problem, would insure a more accessible use of native and foreign
languages when writing contents for the Web.

Maybe the use of foreign words and phrases isn't very common when
writing in English. Unfortunately, Italian writers of web contents
(specially when writing about informatics and economics) use very often
English words and phrases in place of Italian words and phrases. I
suppose that this habit has a psychological origin, perhaps an attempt
to  deceive the users, giving them, by means of use of foreign (English)
words and phrases, the false impression of a great professionalism.

Anyway my experience as a teacher demonstrates that this habit is a
great damage for accessibility. For example, a whole class of students
had great problems trying to understand the text in the home page of an
important Italian telephone company, because of the continuous and
unnecessary recurrence of English phrases in the middle of paragraphs
written in Italian. (All the students were graduated!)

Even though I haven't a direct experience of it, I suppose that
paragraphs written in a mixture of two (or more) languages are a great
problem also for dyslexic people. Also I suppose that this habit isn't
specific of Italian writers of web content about informatics or
economics. So I decided to write to w3c-wai-gl@w3.org about this, hoping
my suggestion will be somehow useful.

Thank you for your attention and excuse me for possible English
mistakes,

Michele Diodati
<michele@diodati.org>
------------------------
http://www.diodati.org
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Received on Sunday, 13 April 2003 13:55:53 GMT

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