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RE: Alternatives for the term 'primary language'

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 19:06:31 +0100
To: "'John Cowan'" <cowan@ccil.org>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <006f01c6994b$41e79210$6401a8c0@w3cishida>

> From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@ccil.org] 
> Sent: 26 June 2006 14:56

> It should be noted that truly bi- or multilingual documents 
> like http://www.unicode.org/iso15924/standard/ have more than 
> one primary
> (natural) language, in this case English and French; the 
> document is meant to be equally accessible to those who have 
> English but no French and those who have French but no 
> English, and the text appears in parallel columns.
> Protocols and data structures should not assume, therefore, 
> that a text has only one primary language.

Building on that, there is another interesting use case I have encountered
for documents aimed at an audience with more than one language - documents
with non-parallel content written in one language or another for people who
understand both.  For example, I have seen Indian blogs and Arabic news
pages where articles appeared in either English or another language
according to the whim of the writer, but on the assumption that the readers
could handle both.


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

Received on Monday, 26 June 2006 18:06:39 UTC

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