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Comments on ICANN Draft Policy on Language Services and Procedures

  • To: language-services-policy@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments on ICANN Draft Policy on Language Services and Procedures
  • From: Dev Anand Teelucksingh <admin@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2012 20:31:56 +0200

My comments relates primarily to the conference calls by Working
Groups (WGs) by the various Advisory Committees (ACs) and Supporting
Organisations (SOs) in ICANN.

The large number (easily dozens in any given month outside of a public
ICANN meeting) and duration (typically 1 hour or more) of conference
calls by the various WGs in the ACs and SOs makes it difficult for
members of the ICANN community (who often have hectic schedules within
and outside of ICANN) to listen to the entire audio of meetings and
conference calls. This is true even if interpretation in conference
calls results in the availability of audio recordings in multiple
languages afterwards.

However, transcripts of conference calls by ICANN's ACs and SOs and
their Working Groups (WGs) allow WG participants and observers the
ability to read what was said and discussed during such conference
calls in a shorter amount of time.

Other benefits of transcripts:
- Transcripts of WG meetings can also be translated, making available
the discussions of the WGs more accessible to persons who speak
languages other than English whereas simultaneous interpretation only
offers the most benefit to those WG members who speak languages
(available for interpretation) other than English during the meeting.
- Transcripts made available on the Internet can be indexed by search
engines, further increasing the accessibility of ICANN's work to the
global public.

The ability of Language Services to provide transcripts of WG meetings
in a timely manner (within a few days) before the next WG meeting
(typically once a week or once every two weeks or once a month) is
crucial to allow for discussion of the issues pertinent to the WG by
WG members and observers to impact the discussions at the next WG

Having scribing or Real Time Transcription of meetings/conference
calls could be more beneficial to the ICANN community because it makes
available what was said in the conference call in the shortest time
after the conference call. I am thinking the benefits of scribing of
WG meetings gives WG members (and observers) the ability to follow the
discussions in real time who are in an area of poor telephone
connectivity or in a noisy or public space or who don't have the
Internet bandwidth to stream the live audio from the meeting.

However, I have no idea whether scribing is cost effective or
practical to implement.

Having the audio of conference calls is still very important,
especially when one wants to hear the speakers' inflection, tone and
other nuances in the discussions.
Transcripts should have some timing information to allow readers of
the transcripts to go to the specific time in the recording of the
audio file to hear the discussion of interest.

Finally, I would restate the objective on page 3:

"Make information about ICANN and its work accessible to everyone,
including those who speak languages other than English in ways that
enhance participation in and the effectiveness of the multistakeholder

Also, a heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to ICANN Language
Services over the great, significant improvements made in the past few
years as it relates to interpretation of conference calls and meetings
for the Latin American and Caribbean Regional At-Large Organisation
(LACRALO) and the ever increasing availability of translation of
documents for public comment.

Kind Regards,

Dev Anand Teelucksingh
At-Large Representative from the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society,
LACRALO member
LACRALO Secretariat (2009-2012)

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