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RE: the need for marking up change of language

From: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 18:28:35 +0100 (MET)
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <20442.1070558915@www28.gmx.net>

I don't want to be perceived as destructive, but there are at least two
other aspects (although very specific) which make any semantic emphasis of
language changes difficult and/or not practical:

Case 1 is the use of content management systems which enable technically not
inevitably experienced editors to create and publish texts -- it will get
difficult or even impossible a) to create simple and usable mechanisms to
emphasize other language words and b) to maybe coach and above all motivate all
editors to use these mechanisms.

Case 2 are old or 'dead' languages -- is e.g. the entire Latin vocabulary
treated as part of each language? Is it treated separately (and has to be
marked up as ISO 639-1 conform 'la')? Are there problems with user-agents reading
Latin text? It might be very difficult to remove the at least rhetorically
important Latin vocabulary from more or less sophisticated texts.

I really like the enthusiasm in this discussion, as I appreciate all
altruistic intentions on this list, but I never felt that sceptical facing this
challenge. If it is recommended (not mandatory) to emphasize terms in another
language, I can live with it -- otherwise I fear the day when having to write

    <p xml:lang="en"><span xml:lang="fr">Résumé</span>:
    My <span xml:lang="la">conclusio</span> implies a reasonable use
    of language to make sure all people over the world are satisfied with 
    what I'm saying. Maybe someone has problems with my firstname, 
    since <xml:lang="de">Jens</span> might be difficult to spell in some 
    languages; even <xml:lang="de">VW</span> now has problems to
    define a correct language to its brand. But since <em>they</em>
    prohibited spelling misttakes, all the rest seems fine.</p>

All the best,

Jens Meiert
Interface Architect

Received on Thursday, 4 December 2003 12:28:37 UTC

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