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RE: aural supplementation for minority language pages

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 05:55:01 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
cc: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0206200544070.5050-100000@tux.w3.org>

Yes, getting into the nitty-gritty of internationalisation there are perhaps
as many issues as there are in accessibility. In a public setting, what has
been installed is of course important - it is easier to find terminals set up
for chinese text in asia than in earl's court london.

When I worked on this five years ago I was editing source code, which was
fairly easy for me - there is text editing software available that handles
all kinds of scripts. Talking to people who use a "minority language" in a
place where it is a common language is helpful, but it is true that the
choice of WYSIWYG tools for handling latin scripts is much broader than the
choice for some other scripts.

The www-international@w3.org mailing list - archived at
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-international - is created to fulfil
a similar role to this list for issues of internationalisation. In addition,
looking for information in english about how to edit Thai is a little like
trying to do user tests with a screen reader as a casual user - people who
use the technology or language every day will be able to use them better, on


Charles McCN

On Thu, 20 Jun 2002, Jukka Korpela wrote:

  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.

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Thursday, 20 June 2002 05:55:07 UTC

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