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ITS WG Collaborative editing page

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Status: Initial Draft ie. please focus on technical content, rather than wordsmithing at this stage.

Author: Masaki Itagaki

Content Styles


It must be possible to specify content styles in a document in order to better qualify the contents for different linguistic purposes, such as localization.


Depending on target languages, source content could be translated with several different styles. A few examples are as follows:

Italian: When English (source) content from a user’s guide is translated for online help, Italian translation uses more user-friendly, softer-touch tone, while the language uses a harder tone for a book-type document.

Japanese: Japanese uses a polite style (です・ます調 [Desu/masu tone]) for user’s guides and a formal style (だ・である調 [Da/dearu tone]) for academic and legal content.

GS- Bangla: Some religious text, such as Sanskrit Chants, may need to be treated separately from other content.

GS-Hindi, Oriya, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu (Most of the Indian Languages): Some religious text, such as Sanskrit Chants, may need to be treated separately from other content.

GS- In Hindi, Bangla etc (Indian languages), the phrase "Om Ganga" is used to meant "funeral" activities.

[[GS- The character that pronunciates as chandrabindu (Unicode – 09FA) if is used before the name of God or Goddess in Indian languages like Bangla, Hindi and Oriya etc, it means something of divine nature or happiness or sacred one. Again, if this chandrabindu character is used before a name of a person, it indicates that the person is no more under the sun (or not alive)]].

GS- In Bangla, the Preceeding Noun of Title say, "Shreejukto" and "Shreejukta" are to add respect only. Shreejukto means "Respected Mr" whereas, "Shreejukta" means "Respected Ms". "Shree" means "Mr" and Shreejukta means "Ms or Mrs".

Content styles and tones in a target language vary mostly depending on target audience (general users, academic experts, etc) and content’s domain (IT, legal, medical, etc). While a source language does not get affected by such aspects, target content may need to use a specific content style.

Information about content styles is critical in reusability of translation. For example, certain content from a user’s guide in Italian may not be appropriate to be reused in online help content, while corresponding English content has no such issue.

Quick Guideline Thoughts

A content style in translation should be provided as a document metadata. There are no “absolute” values for this type of attribute, and each language and user could have its own values, which should be defined in schema. For example, a user might want to specify generic style guide names to specify writing styles as following:

CL-''' If I understood Tim correctly, he suspects that a "non-controlled" set of values for style may not be of great help.'''

<document style=”Guide A”>

<document style=”Guide B”>

<document style=”Guide C”>

Meanwhile, when target audience governs translation styles, the following values are possible:

<document style=”For help”>

<document style=”For doc”>

<document style=”For web”>