RE: Original vs. tranlsation content negotiation

Leif Halvard Silli


> 2. Stuff that should not be translated because it is more useful in  
> its original language: book titles, certain quotes, etc.
> The second category is more difficult as it's something that needs
> to be determined by the page author. (Though of course, the reader  
> should be able to over-rule the author.)

I'll answer here because it is related to Lief's comments as well.

If the reader/translator should be able to over-rule the author why make the extra effort to indicate what parts (s)he needs to
consider? After all some other parts of the content (un-labeled by the author) may not be translated because the reader/translator
decides it's better left in the original language. Is that mean the original content was not tagged properly?

My general experience in localization is that providing too much guidance causes more problems than it solves. Using the normal
language tag where is should seems good enough.

Don't get me wrong: There are certainly content that should not translated that are outside elements such as <code> or <kbd> (case
1), for example a paragraph containing some legal notes, etc. Those parts should be definitely indicated as not-translatable *by the
author*, but the reasons why they are not translatable are not necessarily language-related and therefore should probably be
indicated by some other means than lang.

> It is best if we mark up what these things *are* rather than what we  
> should *do* with them. That is, we should use elements or attributes  
> which indicate *why* they shouldn't be translated, rather than an  
> attribute that simply says that they should not be translated.

Indicating why they shouldn't be translated sound a lot like indicating what we should do with them :)

Language and translatability are two distinct information, and it seems best to me to mark them up with distinct means.


Received on Sunday, 3 August 2008 05:40:50 UTC