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Re: the need for marking up change of language

From: Masafumi NAKANE <max@wide.ad.jp>
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 13:06:31 +0900
Message-ID: <87ad67gb7c.wl%max@wide.ad.jp>
To: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
Cc: thoeg@get2net.dk, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

On Thu, 4 Dec 2003 14:15:57 +0100,
"Yvette P. Hoitink" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl> wrote:
> Marking up foreign sentences would fall into the 'must do' category for me,
> whereas marking up occasional foreign words would be a 'should do' or even
> just 'could do' depending on how easy it is to recognize the word when
> pronounced in the main language of the text. "Sitemap", even when pronounced

In general, I agree with this.  I think this is true especially for
Western languages.

In East Asian languages, and when they are represented using Unicode,
it is extremely important to identify the natural language in order
for the speech/Braille output technologies to correctly render the
content, since there are characters that are used, for example, both
in Japanese and in Chinese, but of course pronounced differently.
Now, when phrases originally came from Chinese are used in Japanese
text, and if it is marked up as Chinese, then, probably majority of
people would not understand it just by listening to it since Japanese
know such phrases with Japanese way of reading them.  This is also
true for Chinese proper nouns.  When they are read in Japanese, they
are pronounced differently from how they are pronounced in Chinese, in
most cases.  But if it is something like textbook of Chinese language
written for Japanese speakers, then it is probably essential to
specify the language.

So, I believe specifying the natural language of block of foreign
text, like paragraph, is must, while foreign text of length shorter
than that, like sentences/phrases/words/characters, is should.

Received on Thursday, 4 December 2003 23:06:39 UTC

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