Translating the standard (was: Re: Fonts and font sizes used in the Unicode)

Ken Whistler via Unicode unicode at
Mon Mar 5 12:21:23 CST 2018

On 3/5/2018 9:03 AM, suzuki toshiya via Unicode wrote:
> I have a question; if some people try to make a
> translated version of Unicode

And to add to Asmus' response, folks on the list should understand that 
even with the best of effort, the concept of a "translated version of 
Unicode" is a near impossibility. In fairly recent times, two serious 
efforts to translate *just *the core specification -- one in Japanese, 
and a somewhat later attempt for Chinese -- crashed and burned, for a 
variety of reasons. The core specification is huge, contains a lot of 
very specific technical terminology that is difficult to translate, 
along with a large collection of script- and language-specific detail, 
also hard to translate. Worse, it keeps changing, with updates now 
coming out once every year. Some large parts are stable, but it is 
impossible to predict what sections might be impacted by the next year's 
encoding decisions.

That is not including that fact that "the Unicode Standard" now also 
includes 14 separate HTML (or XHTML) annexes, all of which are also 
moving targets, along with the UCD data files, which often contain 
important information in their headers that would also require 
translation. And then, of course, there are the 2000+ pages of the 
formatted code charts, which require highly specific and very 
complicated custom tooling and font usage to produce.

It would require a dedicated (and expensive) small army of translators, 
terminologists, editors, programmers, font designers, and project 
managers to replicate all of this into another language publication -- 
and then they would have to do it again the next year, and again the 
next year, in perpetuity. Basically, given the current situation, it 
would be a fool's errand, more likely to introduce errors and 
inconsistencies than to help anybody with actual implementation.

People who want accessibility to the Unicode Standard in other languages 
need to scale down their expectations considerably, and focus on 
preparing reasonably short and succinct introductions to the terminology 
and complexity involved in the full standard. Such projects are 
feasible. But a full translation of "the Unicode Standard" simply is not.

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