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Summary of discussion reports for the Limerick MultilingualWeb Workshop

This page summarizes the reports from the various breakout groups that took part in the Open Space discussions at the 3rd MultilingualWeb workshop in Limerick.

There are links to the real-time IRC log for the reporting session. In addition to a brief description of the discussions, the IRC log contains a basic transcript of the question and answer exchange that followed each presentation.


The group decided to draft a Wikipedia article on standardization. The idea is to have meta-article, referring and summarizing existing articles on i18n standards. In parallel, publishing the meta-article on a Tiki wiki CMS.

Also to include training information: tutorials, best practices. Many many different communities are interested in the same standard, but from different perspectives. A wiki article could connect these interest groups. The standards scene is fragmented, lack of coordination and communication.

We increasingly employ joint meetings. We would have websites that implement this standard and simply use it as an example. Given that here we have representatives from many working groups, it would be a good idea to do something concrete that has immediate impact on people, e.g. a wiki article.

We have started collecting addresses from people to start these, we expect many of you in this room to join. It's an open group, so anyone with good ideas is invited to join, provided that there is execution.

See the IRC log for this report.

Translation Container Standard

Translation tools create packages, which are not always interoperable. So, what should a container format look like?

In practice, translation seems to include a lot of files being e-mailed around.

We wnat to achieve automation and interop. We have discussed many of these issues. Some of the issues were adressed in LINPORT. Workflow issues:

1) can I send you something and you can immediately use it? This was the focus of LINPORT - we focused on containers, but did not work on the concrete content formats. Standards are often too narrow-focused in use cases. InteroperabilityNow was slightly broader, LINPORT even more so.

2) can we merge all of the efforts into one? At the least, we want to avoid overlapping development of the same functionality. We can't just focus on being a translation-focused project (LINPORT), we need to look for broader scope.

See the IRC log for this report.


The scenarios the LTWeb project wants to tackle. 1) deep web localization 2) making content available for MT 3) making CMS contents for MT training. We got feedback from Monica from the ISO perspective, emphasizing importance of test suites and reference impls. Industry input also says that it will be hard to convince use case partners to use our categories instead of their. This will be addressed by carefully constructing categories that are general enough to achieve alignment. The conclusion is that we shouldn't focus too much on developing new standards for MLW, but describing best practices to implementing these connectors, developing test suites that people with their own implementations can test against, as well as supplying reference implementations. Another idea was to focus on very specific pieces of content, namely HTML, CSS, JavaScript and XML based content in variuous applications. Everything will take place as a W3C process. Even if we narrow the scope of categories, we should still define a general business process.

See the IRC log for this report.

Multilingual Social Media

One important topic was crowdsourcing for translation, emphasizing the Facebook use case A half a million people are participating in choices of terminology for 75 languages.

Important criteria are speed, cost, quality, trustworthiness. Lionbridge said that a lot of trustworthiness comes from the fact that crowdsources content has a local feel.

People have many motivations to participate: the chance to make decisions, peer recognition, to see contributions to be visible, national pride. Hybrid approaches of professional + crowdsource localization are also feasible and practical. There are also two cases for cultural differences: design of the product and interacting with the user generated content For instance, family relationships are not always directly translatable, since they mean different things in different cultures. Multilingual mining of SM can be very useful for marketing analytics.

See the IRC log for this report.

Best practices

Often WAI Accessiblity practices are very complex and time consuming, so developer often accomplish only the first level of guidelines. One suggestion is to have a annual selection of "best website of the year" in order to promote this. Many differences between original text and target accessible text.

Another problem: how to deal with clients which want a "rainbow" progress bar.

How to localize sign languages? One solution is to embed videos, but that opens a new set of problems

Another topic was multilingual eduacation websites.Here the content is important, should be adapted to audience, e.g. children. For instance, larger fonts images, appropriate vocabulary complexity. There are institutional websites: they are not user-centric but more focused for themselves. Often the case is that the client institution provides a document of text which gets uploaded to the website.

The second problem is the language policy of institutional websites. In EU institutions, they should reach 25 countries, but the content is often available oonly in four (or event english only).

See the IRC log for this report.