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Re: Language translation in e-mail standards

2000-11-13 10:23:05
At 11:36 13/11/2000 +0800, Jacob Palme wrote:
I have been thinking many times on how to best support
language translation in e-mail standards. We have now
received a research grant, which will allow us to
implement this next year.

Some requirements on a language translation standard:

Before you talk about a language translation standard, I think you have to define a model within which language translation will work.

For example:

- is translation carried out locally, remotely or both?
- is the original always included in a message, so that a message is
  self-contained, or does the model depend on references between messages?
- does translation occur before sending, in transit (shudder) or after

Before being clear about this, it is not even clear to me that there is a
*need* for a standard; if all translation occurs locally and post-delivery, there is very little a standard contributes.

(1) It should cater for both machine and human translations.

(2) It should cater for more than one translation of the
    same message, usually first a machine translation and
    later on a human translation of the same message.

(3) It should cater for both the case where all language
    versions are sent at the same time, and when one
    language version is sent first and the translations
    are sent later.

(4) It should cater for sending a message to a human
    or machine for translation, with information on
    where to forward it after translation.

(5) It should cater for people to indicate that they
    can read more than one language, and to indicate
    preferences, like in HTTP where you can specify
    Accept-Language: da, en-gb;q=0.8, en;q=0.7.
    It should users to specify that they want
    for example the original language for French
    and English, and that they prefer a German
    original to a machine-translation to English,
    but prefer the English translation if it was
    made by a human.

(6) It should gracefully degrade its functionality
    to old mailers not using the standard.

Any comments on these requirements? Anything missing?
Jacob Palme <jpalme(_at_)dsv(_dot_)su(_dot_)se> (Stockholm University and KTH)
for more info see URL:
Jacob Palme <jpalme(_at_)dsv(_dot_)su(_dot_)se> (Stockholm University and KTH)
for more info see URL:

Harald Tveit Alvestrand, alvestrand(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com
+47 41 44 29 94
Personal email: Harald(_at_)Alvestrand(_dot_)no