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Translation of images...

From: Daniel Dardailler <danield@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 11:15:24 +0200
Message-Id: <199906240915.LAA21977@www4.inria.fr>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org

I'm not sure we've captured this one somewhere already.

If you've used Altavista Translations
  http://babelfish.altavista.com/cgi-bin/translate?

you've realized that text-in-images and other textual logos do not
translate at all.

Having ALT helps a little, but only if you browse the translated pages
with image off (well, babelfish doesn't translate ALT right now, which
is just a bug that I reported to them today)

So in addition to the robot/indexing thing, this is another strong
incentive to use CSS+text for layout of fancy font stuff, instead of
images, and a smaller one to use ALT if you have to use image anyway.

Much like the Mobile market argument, this is a foreward looking
strategical thing: in a couple of years from now, english will be a
minority on the Web (see attached articles from ZDNet France,
translated from french with babelfish :-), the web will probably be
fragmented in continent of language specific content, and people will
use auto translator proxy things all the time, and inaccessible pages
won't translate correctly.

I guess this is something for EO to track and record.


=====Original in french: http://www.zdnet.fr/actu/inte/a0009818.html

English will be minority on the Web into 2002 

  2001 will be the last year of the reign of English as universal
  language of the Web advances the cabinet of studies Computer Economics
  (www.computereconomics.com). According to its investigation, one counts
  to 54% anglophone Net surfers in 1999. They will be nothing any more but
  51% into 2001, then 46%en 2003 and 43% en 2005.

  To explain this slow erosion, the study plans a progression of 60% of the
  number of the anglophone Net surfers for the six next years against a
  progression of 150% for the not-english-speaking, mainly resulting from
  the Asia-Pacific area and Latin America.

  For Michael Erbschloe, vice-president of Economics Computer, these
  results will have consequences on the strategy of the companies on Web: «Il
  will become imperative that the companies offer a multilingual version their
  sites and that some plan to forget the system of the English version by
  defect. In many cases, this one will révèlera inutile even completely»,
  concludes it.
Received on Thursday, 24 June 1999 05:15:30 UTC

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