Translating the standard
Ken Whistler via Unicode
unicode at unicode.org
Fri Mar 9 10:41:35 CST 2018
On 3/9/2018 6:58 AM, Marcel Schneider via Unicode wrote:
> As of translating the Core spec as a whole, why did two recent attempts crash even
> before the maintenance stage, while the 3.1 project succeeded?
Essentially because both the Japanese and the Chinese attempts were
conceived of as commercial projects, which ultimately did not cost out
for the publishers, I think. Both projects attempted limiting the scope
of their translation to a subset of the core spec that would focus on
East Asian topics, but the core spec is complex enough that it does not
abridge well. And I think both projects ran into difficulties in trying
to figure out how to deal with fonts and figures.
The Unicode 3.0 translation (and the 3.1 update) by Patrick Andries was
a labor of love. In this arena, a labor of love is far more likely to
succeed than a commercial translation project, because it doesn't have
to make financial sense.
By the way, as a kind of annotation to an annotated translation, people
should know that the 3.1 translation on Patrick's site is not a straight
translation of 3.1, but a kind of interpreted adaptation. In particular,
it incorporated a translation of UAX #15, Unicode Normalization Forms,
Version 3.1.0, as a Chapter 6 of the translation, which is not the
actual structure of Unicode 3.1. And there are other abridgements and
alterations, where they make sense -- compare the resources section of
the Preface, for example. This is not a knock on Patrick's excellent
translation work, but it does illustrate the inherent difficulties of
trying to approach a complete translation project for *any* version of
the Unicode Standard.
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