Language for taxonomic names, redux

Martin J. Dürst duerst at
Mon Feb 27 03:42:36 CET 2017

On 2017/02/25 00:15, Michael Everson wrote:
> Regarding automatic translation:
> when autotranslated by Google translates “Hosszú György” as “George Long”. Clearly that’s not desirable (even if from one point of view it might be “accurate") — but there’s no way to use language tagging to achieve “protection” of the personal name, is there?

Well, one way might be to just declare the content to not be in any 
language. That should avoid translation, but in many cases won't feel right.

But when it comes to indicating whether something should be translated 
or not, the best piece of work is ITS (Internationalization Tag Set). 
Now at version 2.0 (see, it covers a lot 
of ground, but the initial motivation was to indicate 
(non)translatability in markup (HTML or XML).

This led to the addition of the 'translate' attribute to HTML5. This 
makes it possible to mark up the above as
     <span translate=no>Hosszú György</span>
ITS allows rules to indicate translatability. For the case we are 
discussing, adding something like the following to the HTML5 <head> 
element will indicate that text in taxonomic Latin isn't to be translated:

     <script type=application/its+xml id=ru1>
       <its:rules version="2.0" xmlns:its=""
         <its:translateRule translate="no"

The variant 'taxon' is just an example; I don't care much about what 
variant subtag is ultimately choosen. Also, my XPath knowledge is a bit 
rusty, so I'm not sure I got the selector totally right. It's also 
possible to use CSS in selectors, and to use external rule files. I'm 
cc'ing Felix Sasaki, a top ITS expert, in case his help may be needed 
further down the discussion.

Regards,    Martin.

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