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Summary/analysis of comments

  • To: <translation-programme@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Summary/analysis of comments
  • From: "Kieren McCarthy" <kieren.mccarthy@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 16:29:17 -0700

Summary and analysis of public comments for.






Comment period ended: Friday 14 March 2008

Summary published: Tuesday, 18 March 2008






As ICANN becomes more of an international organisation, it has become
increasingly important that it is able to communicate effectively with
non-English speakers, and to have those individuals and organisations
understand and participate with ICANN's processes on an equal footing. 


In order to achieve that goal, ICANN hired two international experts on
translation and interpretation to review the organisation's needs and draw
up a translation programme. That programme was put out for comment during a
public meeting on it during ICANN's meeting in Delhi in February 2008. 


At this stage the programme is viewed as a draft and public comment on it
will be reviewed by the experts with an eye to rewording the programme if
and where needed. 





Eleven comments were received from six individuals.


The comments focused on precise points rather than the programme as a whole.
The issues raised, in no particular order, were: use of authoritative
sources; use of translators; wording of the report itself; suggested
guidelines for production of text for translation; use of tags to denote
scripts as well as languages; machine translation; and interpretation


One comment [CEW] supported the suggestion of maintaining a glossary of
terms and phrases in different languages. 



Authoritative Sources

Concerns were raised that the document linked to a Wikipedia page rather
than the official webpage when it came to ISO standards [EP, MC].



Use of translators

ICANN should ensure that the translators it uses have good knowledge of both
the industry and the countries it is trying to reach in translation of its
texts [MC, MU]. 



Wording of the report itself

A variety of suggested editorial changes to the report were made [CEW].



Suggested guidelines for production of text

One commentor quoted Mark Twain's rules for writing as a suggestion for
making sure documents were written in clear language before they were
translated, aiding understanding [MC].



Use of tags

It was suggested that ICANN use the standards BCP 47 and RFC 4646 for
denoting different languages and scripts rather than ISO 639 [CEW, SB].



Machine translation

It was suggested that rather than produce and publish machine translations,
ICANN simply point to a free online translation tool [CEW].



Interpretation languages

A few precise queries were raised about the interpretation languages to be
provided at meetings in different regions of the world [CEW].







There were fewer responses to the programme that ICANN was hoping or
expected. The Translation Programme is a significant and important step for
the organisation and something that certain sections of the community have
been vocal about for a number of years.


The Programme was made available in five languages and promoted on ICANN's
website, in public meetings and on mailing lists. Six respondents are
therefore far fewer than ICANN would wish for and so the organisation's
translation committee has decided to produce an online survey in an effort
to draw more comment from the community.


That survey should be available this week [17-21 March 2008] or shortly
thereafter. As such, this comment period on the programme will be extended
to allow for responses to that survey to be included as input into the
comment process.


The survey will be extensively promoted within the community and details
provided on ICANN's website as well as on this public comment forum.


The comments received, as outlined above, were less concerned with the
programme itself than ICANN had hoped for but nonetheless provided useful
feedback on several points.





This summary and analysis, with copies of all the comments, will be provided
to the independent expert who drew up the programme with a view to making
changes where needed in the interests of the programme, the community, and
ICANN itself.


Also taken into consideration will be the transcript of the public meeting
on Wednesday 13 February 2008 in Delhi
(https://delhi.icann.org/files/Delhi-WS-TranslationPolicy-13feb08.txt); and
the results of the upcoming survey.


A revised report will then be put through further approval steps on the way
to the Board. These steps will be outlined when the results from the survey
are received.






CEW   CE Whitehead

EP       Elizabeth Porteneuve

FE       Frank Ellermann

MCr    Mark Crispin

MU      Mieko Umezu

SB       Stephane Bortzmeyer






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