Re: Translations and localization problem


I believe you misunderstood the phrase and the intent. Additional comments 

At 12:42 PM 3/4/2004 +0100, Roberto Castaldo wrote:
>Hi folks, hi Judy
>in the "Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility" 
>document, I have read what follows as a problem for the W3C and WAI global 
>"the lack of an authorized translation of a guideline in a local language 
>-- yet for WCAG 2.0, W3C/WAI expects authorized translations to be possible".
>It would seem, according to this phrase, that W3C is searching for 
>"authorized" translators; but it's exactly the opposite: W3C does't allow 
>not-english versions of its documents to become officially recognized as 
>W3C documents.

No. We are not searching for "authorized translators." We are establishing 
a process whereby authorized translations of W3C/WAI documents may be 
allowed in languages other than English. A draft policy on this has been in 
progress for some time, and those attending the EOWG meeting here received 
a brief preview of the draft process whereby authorized translations might 
be developed. However, as the policy is still under development -- and 
obviously so prone to misunderstandings -- we are not quite at the point 
yet of circulating it for comment.

>That's the real problem.
>And if we all think about it, we'll finally discover that W3C and WAI 
>documents find growing difficulties: If a state or a nation cannot base 
>its politics on an official W3C document in its own language, it's normal 
>that many different standards will be born all over the not-english 
>language countries.

We're already quite well aware of this problem, which is why we have been 
investing considerable time in developing a policy whereby it will 
eventually be possible to have authorized (official) versions of W3C/WAI 
documents in other languages. In fact our efforts on this question are a 
direct result of discussion with representatives of a number of countries 
including yours.

>In Italy we're having great problems in making a law which should base 
>itself on an American document;

WCAG 1.0 is not an American document, regardless of the issue of normative 
language. As you're well aware, W3C is an international organization, and 
WCAG 1.0 received extensive international input while under development.

>we all know that W3C is made of worldwide people (there are many italias 
>too), but can we really pretend that Italian government may found an 
>italian law on an english language only document?
>Actually, the only normative version of W3C documents is in english (it's 
>clearly written in all W3C raccomandations); that's why we cannot say in 
>an official WAI resource that one of the potential problem is "the lack of 
>an authorized translation of a guideline in a local language".

If we're listing real fragmentation drivers in the standards harmonization 
document, we obviously need to include this issue, since as you clearly 
agree, this is in fact a fragmentation driver.

If we are in the midst of developing a process to address the problem, we 
also can indeed also mention this fact in our document. It's apparently not 
yet expressed clearly enough -- however, the point of a draft is to try to 
arrive at clear ways to express things. Comments are welcome, but are 
particularly helpful when they don't assume the worst.

>We will have the possibility to say it only when W3C will officially 
>recognize its documents' localization (this work may be done by local W3C 
>In my opinion, W3C should immediatly find a good solution to this problem; 
>it's a credibility matter, and the whole Web will make a great step ahead 
>with a W3C more and more "strong" and credible.

Roberto, this is exactly what we're working on.


- Judy

>My best regards,
>Roberto Castaldo
> coordinator
>IWA/HWG Member

Judy Brewer    +1.617.258.9741
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/CSAIL Room NE43-355, 200 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA

Received on Thursday, 4 March 2004 09:19:20 UTC