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Re: plain/simple/easy language variant subtag

From: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 14:38:07 +0200
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "Tobias Bengfort" <tobias.bengfort@posteo.de>
Cc: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.x4yddtqas7agh9@widsith.local>
Hi Tobias,

In short, I think it is a good thing that you are trying to do - and that  
you have already correctly identified many of the problems :)

It seems that the simplest approach is to find a particular formal set of  
rules for a simplified version of a language, and use it as a subtag.

One variant on your proposal is that I would suggest you make the  
semantics to specify a "maximum required level" where possible - e.g.  
someone with a "B1" proficiency in german could expect to read something  
in "de-cefrb1" without a lot of difficulty...

This is not as simple as trying to have "en-plain". But it is probably  
easier than trying to agree on what that would mean, so it might be the  
fastest path to a world where we can say what we did in ways that are  
useful to people who are looking for the things we do…


On Mon, 14 Sep 2015 08:15:00 +0200, Tobias Bengfort  
<tobias.bengfort@posteo.de> wrote:

> as a web developer, I recently came across a situation where I wanted to
> publish a "simple german" translation of a website. The issue is that I
> did not know which language tag I should use for it.
> This seemed to require something like I wanted to do. The way I would go
> about implementing it would be to add a link tag like this:
>     <link href="..." hreflang="de-plain" rel="alternate" />
> However, the language tag "de-plain" does not exist.
> After reading BCP 47[1] I contacted ietf-languages@iana.org to ask what
> they think about adding a generic "plain" variant subtag[2]. I gatherd
> from that discussion that it would be easily possible to register
> specific, well defined plain language variants. But there is no general
> consensus on a generic variant subtag because it is to vague.
> In my personal opinion, it would be very useful to have this generic
> subtag (imagine using it in Accept-Language headers or having it indexed
> by search engines). But I am neither an accessibility expert nor do I
> have much expertise with internet standards. So maybe some of you have
> some useful insights on this topic or even want to participate in the
> discussion at ietf-languages@iana.org yourselves.
> So what do you think about this?
> Tobias Bengfort
> [1]: https://www.ietf.org/rfc/bcp/bcp47.txt
> [2]: http://article.gmane.org/gmane.ietf.languages/10778

Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
  chaals@yandex-team.ru - - - Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Monday, 14 September 2015 12:38:45 UTC

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