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Re: Symbols

From: Claude Sweet <sweetent@home.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 12:24:26 -0700
Message-ID: <3607F96A.E0C9F48C@home.com>
To: James Merrill <jmerrill@bigpond.com>
CC: WAI <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
In replay to James Merrill and others concerning

> a set of symbols that may be used for web and other
> delivery channels to convey stand actions.  Standard actions such as Help
> (how very apt), Print, Pay Now, Email,... up to about 20 or so that could be
> used for wider-access but also including multicultural aspects.

It would seem that written language used in any electronic or print
material would specifically require that symbols commonly accepted for
the specific language would be the best choice. The possibilities of
having a misunderstanding is greatly reduced when the designer's native
language is the same as the target audience.

Major problems develop when instructions are translated from a foreign
language into English. Ask any father who attempts to assemble a bicycle
on the evening before Christmas and the product was manufactured in
China.

To determine if there is any universal acceptance, someone must first
collect and publish symbols used as part of English documents and see if
there are any differences that might occur in American, Australia, and
England. 

Other individuals who publish materials in other languages would be
needed to provide provide the symbols they use. Complete universality
may be impractical, but perhaps translator of a short list of symbols
could be developed.

For example, a web site that has a selection on the main page that
allows the visitor to select English, French, Japanese, Chinese,
Russian, etc. would use the most appropriate symbols as part of their
translation of the document.

I have no previous experience with the specific problem, but it provides
an interesting question that should be addressed.

Claude Sweet

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*
* Claude Sweet
* sweetent@home.com
* Sweet Enterprises
* Educational Technologist
* 7488 Comet View Court
* San Diego, California 92120-2004
* United States
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Received on Tuesday, 22 September 1998 15:25:54 GMT

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