Standards and best practices for the Multilingual Web

The MultilingualWeb Thematic Network

The MultilingualWeb thematic network project ran from 2010 to 2012. The project was coordinated by W3C/ERCIM. Twenty two partners, representing a wide range of stakeholders, helped to run the project.

At the core of the project were 4 public workshops, held over a two year period, aimed at improving networking between stakeholders, sharing information about existing standards and best practices, and identifying gaps that need to be addressed related to the multilingual Web.

One of the key tenets of the MultilingualWeb project was to bring together people from a diverse range of specialisms who would not normally meet, but who were all important to the development of a truly multilingual Web. This included browser developers, standards makers, content developers, localizers, language technology experts, people working with Data on the Web, users, and policy makers. Bringing together these people to give a more holistic view of the needs of the multilingual Web added significant value by engendering cross-discipline awareness and thereby promoting new synergistic links and networks.

In parallel with, but not funded by, the project, the W3C developed an internationalization checker for HTML, and ported a set of browser tests related to internationalization to the new W3C Test Framework.

Post-project activity

Two more MultilingualWeb workshops were run, in Limerick and Rome, with help from the MultilingualWeb-LT project, and at least one more is planned with the support of the LIDER project. Both of these projects build on the foundations of the original MultilingualWeb network.

The spirit of the MultilingualWeb project continues through use of the logo and branding, as well as the continued use of this website and social media channels for ongoing dissemination of information about projects and information related to the multilingual web.

As a result of the 2012 Luxembourg workshop, two W3C Community Groups were created: Multilingual Web Sites, and Best Practices for Multilingual Linked Open Data (BPMLOD). There may be further community groups or other initiative arising from the workshops in the future.

How to participate

You can follow the work on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and there is a public list where you can receive announcements related to the initiative.

Upcoming workshops will be announced via these channels, and will be open for public participation.

Useful links

MultilingualWeb Project reports

Link D02.2 First F2F Report

Link D03.2 Practical work items: Report on first implementation of internationalization checker

Link Period 1 Review slides (4Mb)

Link Period 2 Review slides (7Mb)

Link MultilingualWeb final report (6Mb)

Talks about the project

Link Overview of the MultilingualWeb project [pptx format], by Christian Lieske

Link Standards & Best Practices for the World Wide Web at Localization World, Berlin, Germany, June 2010. Presentation by Richard Ishida, W3C.

Link How to make business worldwide with the multilingual web at Business Information Systems 2010, Berlin, Germany. Keynote speech by Felix Sasaki, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Partners & People

Organisation Contacts Areas of expertise
ERCIM/W3C (coordinator) Richard Ishida, Jessica Michel
WWW Standards France
Aalto-Korkeakoulusaatio Timo Honkela, Matti Pöllä Machine translation, Text mining, Machine learning Finland
Bioloom Group Jörg Schütz Semantic technologies, Machine learning, Language technology Germany
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Nicoletta Calzolari Zamorani, Monica Monachini, Claudia Soria, Andrea Marchetti
Language resources and technologies, FlaReNet Italy
European Commission, Directorate-General for Translation Spiridon Pilos, Manuel Tomás Carrasco Benitez Institutional translation services Luxembourg
Facebook Ireland Ghassan Haddad, Chiara Pacella, Zeki Sabah
Social networking, Localization Ireland
Fachhochschule Potsdam Felix Sasaki Information sciences, Digital libraries Germany
Institut Jozef Stefan Marko Grobelnik, Tadej Štajner
Machine learning, Data mining Slovenia
Institutul de Cercetari Pentru Inteligenti Artificiala Dan Tufis, Radu Ion Computational linguistics, Multilingual web services Romania
Language Technology Centre Ltd. Adriane Rinsche, Laura Canedo, Kabilan Ganesh Translation tools, Language services U.K.
Lionbridge Belgium Claudio Chiavetta, Eric Blassin Language services, Translation tools Belgium
Microsoft Ireland Dag Schmidtke, Jan Nelson
Localization, localization tools, Browser development Ireland
Opera Software Pål Eivind Jacobsen Nes, Charles McCathieNevile
Browser development, Localization Norway
SAP AG Christian Lieske Translation services, Content engineering Germany
TAUS Jaap van der Meer, Rahzeb Choudhury
Translation technologies and services user community Netherlands
University of Oviedo (ILTO) Cristina Valdés Rodríguez
Multilingual web technologies , multilingualism, usability, transaltion research Spain
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Luis Bellido Triana, Encarna Pastor
Multilinguism, Accessibility, Usability Spain
The University of Limerick, Localisation Research Centre Reinhard Schäler Localization research and education Ireland
University of Economics, Prague Jiří Kosek Markup, Electronic publishing Systems Czech Republic
Transware Ltd (WeLocalize) David Clarke Language services, Globalization consulting Ireland
XTM International Andrzej Zydroń, Elliot Nedas, Antony Palmer Open standards-based translation technology U.K.