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RE: simple language testable thing

From: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 09:37:05 +0100 (MET)
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, mikba@microsoft.com
Cc: seeman@netvision.net.il, y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <18637.1075970225@www49.gmx.net>

> > personally I can see cases where use of a foreign bon mot, even 
> > though readers may not know the meaning, [...] is appropriate 
> > without translation. in such cases the author must decide what 
> > they want to do and whether the use is appropriate for their 
> > audience.

Hehe, agreed. Although, nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet ;)

> [...] that "bon mot" is an english phrase in the
> rich english of literature (or the literary english of the rich, perhaps).

Sorry, but hear ye! And hence, foreign language use is okay? Sounds like
there are double standards applied; I think there must be a precise statement
first, otherwise, we're all just spinning around.

> But it isn't simple vocabulary one can expect of everyone.

Is there any vocabulary you can? Ain't it in the nature of language, that
there are blendings, differences, growth etc.? If I'd be asked to use the
vocabulary all my friends or colleagues do, I simply wouldn't know.

> I think the solution technique is the same as for complex
> vocabulary [...]
> ... use of a foreign <a href="http://example.com/k-7glossary?
> bon_mot">bon mot</a>, even though...

That nips all more or less sophisticated writing in the bud, ain't it? [...]

> ... use of a foreign <ruby class="coolGloss"><rb>bon mot</rb>
> <rt>clever word or two</rt></ruby>, even though...

CMIIW, but this is abuse of Ruby markup. -- Theoretically and to be
constructive, you could better use markup like

    <span title="German term for 'lawyer'" xml:lang="de">

completed by a CSS rule like (I intentionally passed on the 'lang' attribute
and the 'lang' pseudo class)

    span[title]:after {
    content: ' (' attr(title) ')';

This results in

    Anwalt (German term for 'lawyer')

and also allows user-agents which don't understand CSS 2 syntax to display
the 'title' attribute via conventional tooltip behavior. In practice, this of
course will 'affront' several publishers. Or do you like to explain every
word you use (except in cases where you *must* assume that terms are unknown to
your intended audience, e.g., when introducing acronyms or 'artificial

> [...] lots of literature is not accessible to everyone who speaks the
> base language it was written in. Which strikes me as uncontroversial.

Agreed, but it's written in its base language, ain't it? -- Last but not
least, and to summarize the main issues:

- Is this really an important issue in WAI terms [1]?
- What wording has to be explained, where ain't an explanation needed?
- What way(s) of semantic highlighting should be recommended?

If these questions (of course and above all, the first) are answered, there
should be a general discussion on it, not yet.

Best regards,

[1] 'The aim of the WAI is to level the playing field for people
     with disabilities. If people with disabilities have the same
     problems as people without disabilities, the goal is reached.'


Jens Meiert
Interface Architect

Received on Thursday, 5 February 2004 03:37:52 UTC

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