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Re: Alternatives for the term 'primary language'

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 14:33:20 +0200
Message-ID: <177318453.20060626143320@w3.org>
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: www-international@w3.org

On Monday, June 26, 2006, 12:00:42 PM, Richard wrote:

RI> The new WCAG draft is using the term 'primary language' in a
RI> different way than we have defined it in  "Authoring Techniques for
RI> XHTML & HTML Internationalization: Specifying the language of
RI> content 1.0" [1].  There are other, older, uses of the term 'primary
RI> language' that also do not conform to our usage in this document.

RI> In addition, 'primary language' doesn't really convey the meaning
RI> of the idea expressed at [1].  The meaning is intended to convey the
RI> language of the intended audience of the document, referring to the
RI> document as a whole, and contrasted with 'text-processing language'
RI> in that more than one language value makes sense in some circumstances.

Although slightly long, I thought that "language of the intended audience" was clearer and more immediately comprehensible than the shorter phrases described below.

RI> Brainstormed suggestions so far include:
RI>         document language
RI>         audience language
RI>         web unit language
RI>         language metadata
RI>         language metadata declaration
RI>         document language metadata
RI>         readership language
RI>         default langauge
RI>         base language
RI>         main language

I recently came across a document that should make a good example. Its a 'diplomatic edition' (ie full academic rigour, alternative readings,loads of footnotes, etc of a mediaeval Welsh text). The footnotes, discussion and other 'critical apparatus' are in English. The language of the intended audience is thus also English, despite 75% of the text being mediaeval Welsh. 

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Interaction Domain Leader
 Co-Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
Received on Monday, 26 June 2006 12:33:28 UTC

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