Multilinguality

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Feature №19

The model provides for the same information to be given in different languages.

As a European project, the ability for information to be presented multilingually is essential to InLOC.

InLOC needs to note good practice, where existing bodies of LOC content are already multilingual, or where other stakeholders regularly deal with multilingual LOC information.

Multilinguality can exist in several forms, so it is important to note what kind.

  • There may be explicit provision for variant translations of documents as a whole – if this is done, identifiers should remain identical for all languages across translations. We need to clarify the mechanisms.
  • Electronic documentation may have text strings for different languages. If so, how is this done?

Notes on translations

Any human-readable text is in principle translatable. Just because something is translated it does NOT mean that there is provision for multilinguality in the model. The ability to be translated does not need any provision in an information model or spec. However, it is worth noting instances of translation simply to say that nothing more is attempted.

It is very seldom that particular framework assumes translation upon creation. It is usually a natural need when it appears that framework becomes successful.

For example, IEEE LOM and IEEE-RCD uses Langstring feature to represent title and description in several languages.

InLOC examples

  • The e-Competence Framework is translated to French, German, Italian and Russian language. The structure of the framework and the identifiers remain the same in each translations.
  • The Common European Framework of reference for languages is translated into 26 languages, the same for the Europass CV and Language Portfolio. The structure of the framework and the identifiers remain the same in each translations.

InLOC treatment

In several places, InLOC allows string elements to have multiple versions. In each case:

  • no more than one such element for the same piece of information may exist in any one language;
  • no more than one such element for the same piece of information may exist with no language specified.

The elements that are treated in this way are:

LOC documentation as a whole may have a default language specified with language from the Simple atomic properties, if the majority of the material is in one language. If the documentation is systematically multi-lingual, it must not have a default language specified.

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