section Practical guidelines for authors
logical markupinstead of abusing HTML elements to achieve a desired physical effect. For example, if you use the
H1element just to have a paragraph presented in very large font, a translation program may assume it is 1st level heading (since that's what
H1really means); this might imply that when translating from French to English, all words except a few small words will have capital initial according to what is common usage in headings in English!
LANGattribute at least for the entire document and for major parts (such as block quotations) within it if they are in another language. (This currently seems to have no effect on Babelfish, but in the long run such markup is crucial for good translation.)
SAMPelement. For example, to prevent Babelfish from translating the abbreviation "HUT" into something that means a hut in the target language, you could write
<SAMP>HUT</SAMP>. A drawback is that the text will then appear in monospaced font on most browsers, but by using style sheets you can suggest that it be rendered in a normal font.
TABLEelements) instead of preformatted text (
PREelement) for tabular material. If you "line up" things using preformatted text, the lining up is almost certainly lost in translation. (In fact, Babelfish seems to screw up preformatted blocks rather badly.)
it is not <EM>on</EM> the table but <EM>under</EM> it) there will be difficulties when translating to a language where suffixes are used for things expressed by prepositions in English. (A human translator might be able to find a suitable circumlocution.)
ö(o dieresis, or o umlaut), especially for characters which do not belong to the normal alphabet of the main language of the document. (This can be rather inconvenient, but it may help to circumvent a bug in Babelfish.)
An example of linking to an entry in a special dictionary when using a word which may cause problems to translation programs (and even human translators or human readers of the original text):
There is a <A HREF= "http://wagner.princeton.edu/foldoc/cgi-script?action=Search%3A&query=workaround" TITLE="a description of the word 'workaround'">workaround</A> to this problem.
This looks like the following on your current browser:
There is a workaround to this problem.
Interestingly, using Babelfish, the link gets converted to a link thru Babelfish, so the reader of the translated document, when following the link, will get a translated version of the dictionary entry! This is often - probably most often - very nice, but how can you write a link which does not get translated that way, for example a definite link to the original in English?