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Re: identifying language changes

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 20:27:10 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 19:45 18/07/2008, Andy Mabbett wrote:

>In message <>, 
>Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be> writes
>>Several people provided arguments against marking up language 
>>changes for each foreign name and word.
>>One person said that frequent language changes were judged as 
>>annoying or even a hindrance in many tests with blind users (what's 
>>wrong now, why is there a pause?).
>Surely there are more reasons for marking up language changes than 
>just to cater for speech-synthesiser users?

My first response to Armand Turpel also mentioned braille conversion.

>What about as an aid to spell-checking, search optimisation, and translation?

I was well aware of the argument related to spell-checking. The 
German screen-reader user that I quoted in one of my previous mails 
didn't believe that this argument was plausible or important enough. 
He didn't say why; maybe it is because it puts the  convenience of 
the author before the convenience of certain groups of users.

I can see the advantage of marking up the primary language of a page 
for search optimization (although search engines continue to give me 
pages other languages than the one I request) but how does a web 
search engine exploit language markup for spans of text inside a document?

With regard to translation, are there any translation tools that make 
use of language markup of spans of text?

>Who's top say that the next version of whichever user-agent pauses 
>at such a change. won't be fixed?

I hope they will. I merely transmitted comments by people whose 
native language is not English. My motivation is that 
language-related issues are rather badly covered in accessibility 
documents produced by native speakers of English.

Best regards,

Christophe Strobbe

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
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Received on Friday, 18 July 2008 18:28:00 UTC

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