Translation-friendly authoring,
especially in HTML for the WWW

People who write HTML documents for the WWW should become aware of the possibilities and problems opened by automatic translation services such as Babelfish. This is a rather new area, and most of the discussion here applies to changes needed both to the HTML language and to the translation software. However, practical tips are also described in issues where one can suggest "translation-friendly" techniques in the present situation. Some of the suggestions are equally applicable to other forms of authoring and to human translation. A collaborative effort by authors of documents and implementors of translation techniques is needed, and designers and implementors of markup languages like HTML should get involved, too.

For concreteness, this presentation describes the suggested guidelines first, in order to give the reader an idea of the relative simplicity of the actions needed. Naturally, the guidelines have been derived from observations, reasoning and experiments presented in later sections.

Try translating this document using Babelfish, to get some idea of the possibilities and problems:

Jukka Korpela

Practical guidelines for authors

Why automatic translation is realistic

Automatic translation and HTML

Proposed improvements to HTML and translation techniques

The document for which this is an index file is also available as single file.

Last update: July 6, 1999