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Re: plain/simple/easy language variant subtag

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2015 19:10:12 +0200
To: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <55F9A274.40408@w3.org>
I think that a way to describe language levels is an interesting one.

What we should not forget, though, is that understandability of text 
seems to be related to its presentation for many people. For example, it 
is not just the complexity of the text itself but how well it is 
organized (for example using headers, lists, and structures), and how it 
is presented (font, spacing, width, etc.). This was discussed in context 
of the "Easy-to-Read on the Web" online symposium from 2012:
  - http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/2012/easy-to-read/

I also wonder if a language identifier would contribute to separated 
pages with potentially less quality, despite best intentions. It seems 
similar to the "text only" website approaches we've seen in the past.


On 16.9.2015 17:08, Phill Jenkins wrote:
> How is "language level proficiency" determined?
> I see how CERM is described (See Note 1), but how is it measured?.
> ". . . One variant on your proposal is that I would suggest you make the
> semantics to specify a "maximum required level" where possible - e.g.
> someone with a "B1" proficiency in German could expect to read something
> in "de-cefrb1" without a lot of difficulty...
> This is not as simple as trying to have "en-plain". But it is probably
> easier than trying to agree on what that would mean,
> How would EN-B1 different than EN-plain?
> If (and that is a big if) language levels can be objectively determined,
> then the "maximum required level" could be used to tag the page, content
> or parts of content.
> Note 1:
> http://www.deutsch-als-fremdsprache.org/en/faq/323-what-does-language-level-a1-a2-b1-b2-c1-and-c2-mean.html
> CERF: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or
> CEFR) was put together by the Council of Europe as a way of standardising
> the levels of language exams in different regions. It is very widely used
> internationally and all important exams are mapped to the CEFR. There are
> six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. These are described in the table
> below. . .
> See http://www.examenglish.com/CEFR/cefr.php
> ____________________________________________
> Regards,
> Phill Jenkins,
> IBM Accessibility

Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/
Activity Lead, WAI International Program Office
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Received on Wednesday, 16 September 2015 17:10:27 UTC

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