Translating the standard

Ken Whistler via Unicode unicode at
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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