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Re: i18n-ISSUE-362: [css-counter-styles] In the document language

From: Martin J. Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 15:51:46 +0900
To: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, W3C Style <www-style@w3.org>, www International <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5604EF02.1000309@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Hello Richard,

On 2015/09/25 15:00, Richard Ishida wrote:

> i think the language of the numbering should be that of the linguistic
> context of the list as a whole, and not determined by the content of the
> list item.
>
> In many cases that will quite possibly be the language of the document,
> but in the case of, say, a bilingual document in Quebec with parallel
> content in both english and french, or a forum with multilingual
> responses that are language tagged, etc. then the list's linguistic
> context may be determined by language information at the sub-document
> level.

That seems to be a very good point.

> I can't see a justification for the content of the list item to
> influence the pronunciation of the bullet, and i think it would be
> confusing to readers to change the language of the numbering.

Then let's clearly say that the language used for pronouncing the list 
markers/bullets/numbers is the language that applies to the overall 
list. "the language most recently declared" still is wrong, and that was 
my main point.

> On 25/09/2015 02:37, Martin J. Dürst wrote:

>> Another question: Are there languages where we need to be able to
>> distinguish between reading numbers as ordinals and as cardinals? Or
>> languages where there are other distinctions between numbers that may
>> have to be made?
>
> I suspect that there are some languages where ordinals are used rather
> than cardinals, but i expect that in that case the audio generated by
> the implementation would just take that into account naturally, no?

For those languages where it's always cardinal or always ordinal, that's 
going to be fine. But I suspect that there are languages where that's 
not so clear-cut.

In particular, I'm not sure whether I'd use cardinal or ordinal in 
German; my gut feeling is that it would depend on the nature of the 
list. Actually thinking about it, I get a similar feeling for English, 
but I'm not native, so I don't want to attach too much to that.

But let's just look at two examples:


Example 1:

There are three things to remember when leaving the room:
1. Close the windows
2. Switch off air conditioning
3. Switch off the light


Example 2:

Recipe for a cake (very simple):
1. Stir the butter until soft
2. Add sugar and stir until absorbed by butter
3. Add eggs and stir until mass turns lighter in color
4. Add flower and stir slowly until absorbed


I think I'd go for cardinal in example 1, but ordinal in example 2, 
especially in there respective German equivalents. The reason is that in 
example 1, we are just counting the items; their order isn't 
particularly relevant. But in example 2, the order is very relevant.

Anyway, at the moment, it's just a gut feeling, and we might need more 
examples and more languages to get a better picture.

Regards,   Martin.
Received on Friday, 25 September 2015 06:52:35 UTC

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