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Re: [WAI-IG] Serving my page in the right language

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 13:16:21 +0100
Message-Id: <BC8DFA44-7743-11D8-BDD6-000A958826AA@sidar.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: Marjolein Katsma <hgnje001@sneakemail.com>

I agree that it is frustrating if the page doesn't tell you (very 
clearly, in the other languages available) how to get to other language 
versions. And I get really frustrated by having languages switched 
based on where I happen to be - Google does this in an attempt to be 
helpful, which isn't helpful when I can't even read the characters.

But since there are also many people who can configure their own 
browser, I find it helpful to have language negotiation (so long as I 
can switch to another version, including the "original" if for some 
reason I want to).

As a side note, I occasionally do multi-lingual content (typically 
english, french, spanish and italian, as in "EARL by example" - 
http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/talks/200311-earl/ if you want to see an 
example). Rather than having an initial version and translating it I 
work in whateveer language I have open at the time, then propogate the 
changes to another version, often further modifying my ideas. So the 
most up-to-date version could be in any of the four languages, and I 
try to keep them in synch within an hour or so. This is not likely to 
happen in a monolingual culture (or micro-culture, as small as a couple 
of offices) but I have observed it happening in a number of 
multi-lingual environments in Europe, and I suspect it is a reasonably 
important use case for authoring.



On 16 Mar 2004, at 12:29, Marjolein Katsma wrote:

> I agree with Jesper and would go one step further: language 
> negotiation is a bad thing (and frequently highly irritating). If a 
> website is available in several languages, then the user interface of 
> the website must allow the visitor to choose whatever is most 
> convenient. And since a site must offer a user interface to allow the 
> user who may not be using *their* browser to switch languages, why use 
> language negotiation at all?
> BTW, websites that make you choose a country and then switch languages 
> are also ittitating: a, American in the Netherlands would most likely 
> prefer to read in English, regardless where she is.
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Tuesday, 16 March 2004 07:19:19 UTC

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