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diacritic marks

From: lisa seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 08:21:52 +0200
To: "W3c-Wai-Gl@W3.Org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-id: <000201c3ea1e$06ce7ce0$340aa8c0@patirsrv.patir.com>
 
Hi Folks,
 
diacritic marks - conclusions from ISOC IL
 
We are happy with the current wording and prioritization of the success
criteria. :)
 
 We would like however to suggest adding a level three criteria that
seas the all diacritic marks necessary for pronunciation should be
provided, and should be removable at the users request. 
 
ISOC IL have also taken a n action item to document what words need what
diacritic marks in Hebrew to fulfill the criteria.
 
Background
Some languages use diacritic marks to give the pronunciation of a word.
In some languages (like Hebrew and Arabic) most spellings, without
diacritic marks, can be resolved to more then one word. Use of context
enables the average reader to work out what word was intended. 
 
 Natural language processing used in screen readers can often guess what
word is intended without diacritic marks. However all screen readers
will often make mistakes.
 
User benefits
 
It is estimated (by ISOC -il - need to get refrences) that 3% of the
population have a visually impaired memory which makes reading many
words without diacritic marks extremely difficult. This segment of the
population can use a screen reader to help them though the reading
process. However when the screen reader guess a word incorrectly, they
will often be unable to correct the mistake themselves, as guessing
different pronunciation of words based on an identical spelling is
difficult to impossible for many dyslexics.
 
It should also be remembered that screen readers are difficult to use
and are expensive.
 
Vision impaired people using screen readers are also affected by missing
diacritic marks.  All screen readers will  make mistakes, and will
pronounce the wrong word. This will occur more often then an incorrect
word pronunciation makes grammatical sense. The user then has to guess
the meaning of a sentence - by as guessing different pronunciation of
words based on an identical spelling. This extra processing time on the
users part means that they can not speed up the screen reader, and often
have to reread passages.  
 
 
Finally I want to personally thank everyone who help contribute and
resolve this difficult issue.

All the best

Lisa Seeman

 

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Received on Tuesday, 3 February 2004 01:22:28 UTC

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