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Re: Alternatives for the term 'primary language'

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 15:05:17 +0200
Message-Id: <6.0.0.22.2.20060626143315.0311bd10@mailserv.esat.kuleuven.be>
To: <www-international@w3.org>

Hi Richard, All,


At 12:00 26/06/2006, Richard Ishida wrote:
<blockquote>
The new WCAG draft is using the term 'primary language' in a different way 
than we have defined it in  "Authoring Techniques for XHTML & HTML 
Internationalization: Specifying the language of content 1.0" [1].  There 
are other, older, uses of the term 'primary language' that also do not 
conform to our usage in this document.
</blockquote>

Do you think that WCAG should use another term?


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

WCAG 2.0 uses 'primary natural language' in the sense of the language of 
the intended audience of the document, but this language needs to be marked 
up or defined in a way that it can be used for text processing language, 
e.g. by text-to-speech engines (so specifying the primary language in an 
HTTP header is not sufficient).


<blockquote>
Perhaps the time has come to think of an alternative term.

We would like your suggestions.

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

'Web unit language' would be consistent with the use of the term 'web unit' 
in WCAG 2.0, but the adjective 'natural' is lost. Do you think it is 
superfluous?

I can imagine that many HTML authors would associate 'language metadata' 
(and other compounds with 'metadata') with the meta element; I wouldn't be 
surprised if the WCAG WG would be reluctant to use one of these compounds 
instead of 'primary natural language' for this reason.


<blockquote>
'Document language' seemed interesting at one point, but is probably not 
specific enough - particularly when the term is translated into other 
languages.

Current favourites are
         readership language (sounds a bit clunky)
         audience language
</blockquote>

The 'primary language or languages of the intended audience' (based on 
Chris Lilley's suggestion) seems to cover the intent of WCAG 2.0 (see [1] 
and [2]), but WCAG tries to avoid words like 'intent' to keep the success 
criteria testable.


[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-WCAG20-20060427/guidelines.html#meaning
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/Overview.html#meaning-doc-lang-id


Best regards,

Christophe Strobbe


-- 
Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Departement of Electrical Engineering - Research Group on 
Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 - 3001 Leuven-Heverlee - BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
http://www.docarch.be/ 


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Received on Monday, 26 June 2006 13:05:10 GMT

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