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   SVG with translatable text

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  • From: Linda van den Brink <lvdbrink@baan.nl>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 16:53:46 +0200

Hi all, 

Has anyone looked into using SVG for images containing translatable text?
I'm just starting to think about this. At first I thought (hoped) that when
you use SVG images, and they contain text, you could translate the text in
the images automatically using machine translation. After taking a (first)
look at the SVG spec, it seems to me that machine translation of SVG images
will not be possible, at least not without manual checking and finetuning
each translated image. 

The reason for this is of course that a text string in language A will
almost always be of a different size when translated into language B. When
the text in an image is displayed e.g. in a box in a process diagram, the
box must possibly be resized, or the text wrapped, because the translated
text string is longer or shorter. 

Think of something like this: 

|          |
|First step|
|          |

|          |
|Eerste stap|
|          |

Section 10.1 of the current SVG working draft says that Each 'text' element
causes a single string of text to be rendered. SVG performs no automatic
line breaking or word wrapping. To achieve the effect of multiple lines of
text the author needs to pre-compute the line breaks and use multiple 'text'
elements (one for each line of text) or one 'text' element with one or more
'tspan' child elements.

Has anyone thought about this? Are there still ways of performing machine
translation on SVG images, without time-consuming manual re-work? 

Linda van den Brink


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