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   RE: Foreign Names

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  • From: Eldar Musayev <eldarm@microsoft.com>
  • To: "'Kay Michael'" <Michael.Kay@icl.com>, "XML-DEV (E-mail)" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 09:06:53 -0700

 > From: Kay Michael [mailto:Michael.Kay@icl.com]
 > > Q1: When is it appropriate to use non-English tag names?
 > When you are not English.
 > Supplementary: (see subject line)
 > Q1a: When is it appropriate to use foreign tag names? 
 > A: When English is foreign to you but you want to communicate with
 > Americans.

Mike, corection: you will want the same when you will communicate with
Chinese or Russian.
Because you certainly don't know Russian, and most Russians don't know
Japanese, but
both sides can understand English. And also you, probably, would not like to
Cyrillic tags and they would not be too fond of hieroglyphs. Attacking
because everyone uses Latin alphabet makes no more sense then attacking
Arabic countries
for monopoly of arabic numbers (btw, invented in India)

 > I have also met many people who strongly resent the US dominance of the
 > world software industry, and I suspect this resentment is greatly fuelled
 > clumsy attempts to impose the English language (as well as nonsense like
 > inches) on people who don't want it.

I also don't like inches, and btw, Americans are currently trying to move to
metric system.
And I also met the same attitude as you described. However I also met
another attitude, which
maybe best described with a fictional example. In "Star Trek Deep Space 9"
soldiers with a complex of racial superiority consider their ability to
learn other languages
and communicate with others exclusively in the languages of these "others"
as additional proof of their superiority. And, well,... here they had the
When you learn other language and culture, you get two worlds in your soul,
the pitiful guy, who does not, has just one. And even this one world is
often limited
to the backyard, gas station and grocery store. Have a compassion!

And returning to the point, attribute values and content is what the
customer see,
so internationalization is extremely important here. Tags and attribute
names is
what programmers see and what programmers have to convert each time, you get
a new country to cover, unless it's done in English. Be pragmatic.

Of course, if you program for Japanese defense system, you don't need
English at all.
At least, until it does not come to OCEAN or NATO interfaces.

Best regards,

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