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   Re: Foreign Names, some reasons to use

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 10:52:28 +0100

At 09:14 AM 4/20/00 +0200, Oliver Becker wrote:
>>   I scanned a thread and have some comments. Probably they will
>> interest because I am foreigner.
>Everyone is a foreigner - almost everywhere.

There are no foreigners on XML-DEV! I think many of us are uncomfortable
that English may represent a barrier to some readers and do not wish to
promote anglophone imperialism, even by default. Which is why I am very
glad to see multilingual and multicultural issues discussed here. Even if
we cannot solve some of the problems, we can become sensitive and avoid
making unnecessary errors.

For me, XML is so exciting because it provides an infrastructure for
capturing (some of) our current human2human discourse. Wherever humans
communicate we get ontological loss. But some of this may be avoidable and
XML highlights where the problems lie (it doesn't solve them, but it
helps). Thus in chemistry we currently use different chemical dialects, and
require humans to make best guesses. Henry and I believe that some of this
is avoidable and CML acts as a way of tackling this.

With human language this is much more difficult. There is often not a 1-1
correspondence between terms in different languages, or even within
"technical dialects" of the same language. Learned societies,
domain-specific orgs, governments, standards bodies, etc. work hard at
multilingual mapping and equivalencing. Much of this is not yet in XML. To
help support the XML-isation, including some multilinguality, Lesley West
and I have developed the Virtual HyperGlossary (http://www.vhg.org.uk) and
we are starting to get interest from orgs who curate terminology.


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