Thursday, March 28, 2013

#ASL; the most challenging language at #Translatewiki II

An effort is underway to localise American Sign Language at It is a challenge and at this stage, it works by copy and pasting translations from Signpuddle. The result at twn looks really weird; it is a string of numbers.

To learn if these numbers actually work, I copied the localisation for Wednesday to my userpage on the ase.testproject. It did not work. The copied content did not create something in SignWriting. What I got were some numbers and to make it work I needed something else..
  • M512x531S2e508489x504S18600492x470
  • <signtext clear=0>M512x531S2e508489x504S18600492x470</singtext>
Although this label does the job in the Signpuddle software, a different attribute could be more strategic. How about..
  • <lang=ase-Sgnw>M512x531S2e508489x504S18600492x470</lang>
Software will pick this up as easily. The benefit is that it actually indicates what language it is. This will drive search engines to recognise that content exists in the given language. Software that supports SignWriting will pick up the Sgnw label and it can be any of the signed languages.

Not only knowing that something is in SignWriting but also what sign language it is will be really powerful.


Bawolff said...

First of all that tag isnt exposed to search engines (its wikitext not html). Search engines wont see it.

Second, even if search engines did see it - making up your own tag name wont mean anything to them. The semantics of either version is meaningless to a search engine

GerardM said...

the language attribute -aes-Sgnw conforms to standards; it is a language and the script used for it.

Bawolff said...

Yes but there is no generic tag named .

You could do <div lang=... > but I doubt that's going to mean much if its applied to computer generated imaged. And there is still the larger issue of the extension post processing this so the signwriting is not really in the html output where automated programs can see it.