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The official language of the W3C is English. Although almost everyone is fluent in English, more than half do not have English as their first language. What techniques can we use to make it as easy as possible for everyone to contribute, even if they are not 100% comfortable with English?

People speak too fast.

(This can be anyone speaking too fast! Not just native English speakers)

Ideas to reduce this problem:

  • Remind them to speak more slowly. (We've already experienced this isn't very effective. But, perhaps there is a new technique we can think of... )
    • wave a flag?
    • use a speech synthesizer that plays back at 1/2 speed? ;)
    • ...

Speaker is hard to understand

Ideas to improve understanding:

  • People who do understand, can help take good notes in IRC, that others can read
  • Use automatic translation tools (possibilities below) so one can read in their own language
      • translation in IRC, such as with [mibbit] tool?
      • somehow use translations services such as from Yandex, Microsoft, or Google? (All are members; can they offer anything?)
      • ...

Speaker uses 'jargon'

(Jargon is a word or phrase that is not commonly known to all. Most people are not even aware they are using words or phrases that are not commonly known, so it's hard to say "Don't use jargon".)

Ideas to improve understanding of jargon:

  • Someone who recognizes a bit of jargon and who understands it, could type the definition into IRC
  • For W3C-specific jargon (e.g., AC, AB, WG, LC ...) we could create a small dictionary of W3C terms (I think this might already exist .. link?)

What else ...?


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