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RE: aural supplementation for minority language pages

From: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 12:39:47 +0300
Message-ID: <621574AE86FAD3118D1D0000E22138A95BDD44@TIEKE1>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> Putting pages on the Web in chinese or arabic or other
> character sets has been reasonably easy for a number of years now.

For some values of "reasonably", yes. :-)

I'm afraid it's still rather complicated to get started with authoring in
such languages, especially in countries where such languages are minority
languages so that the problems are not widely understood. A large part of
pages in Arabic still uses images of scanned texts.

(Some sites that might help in getting started with authoring in Chinese:
http://www.cohums.ohio-state.edu/deall/chan.9/c-links2.htm )

Besides, browsers often have problems with displaying Chinese. On most
modern browsers, it's basically a font problem, but possibly a big one. For
example, if you use computers in a classroom or public library, you
typically depend on what has been installed on them, and this might be
rather restricted.

When the user agent side of the matter is problematic, it would be best if
the content were available in different alternative formats. For Chinese for
example, this could mean an alternative presentation that uses Latinized
transcription (pinyin). If digits (rather than diacritic marks) are used as
tone markers, it could be written in ASCII, resulting in high accessibility
in the technical sense. I have no idea what this would imply as regards to
speech synthesis, i.e. whether there is speech generation software that
takes pinyin as input.

Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399 
Received on Thursday, 20 June 2002 05:39:55 UTC

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