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Re: Language translation in e-mail standards

2000-11-14 12:42:13
At 16.31 +0100 00-11-13, Harald Alvestrand wrote:
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.

If translation is done locally and separately by each
recipient, no standard is needed.

Possible modes:

(1) The sender translates (or uses a translation-engine
to translate) before sending a message. The issue in
this case is how to send multiple versions in a single

(2) The sender sends to a translation engine, which
translates and forwards to the intended recipients.
Same problem as (1), but one might also want to
standardize a format for sending a message to be
translated by e-mail to a translation engine.

(3) The sender sends to a mailing list, where the
mailing list expander provides translations while
distributing to the members.

(4) As mode (3), but if the mailing list expander
used a poor automatic translation engine, members
of the list may want to submit better human

(5) Each recipient separately gets messages, which
they cannot read, translated.

In mode (4), no standard is needed. But this is
a very inefficient method, and may also cause
waiting times for the user.

Question: How should I treat this further. Should
I write an IETF draft, and maybe ask for this
to be discussed at a BOF at some future IETF
meeting? Or should we first do our implementation,
gain experience from it, and then in a year or
so send an IETF draft?
Jacob Palme <jpalme(_at_)dsv(_dot_)su(_dot_)se> (Stockholm University and KTH)
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