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Re: [wg-review] Re: [cctld-discuss] Comments on review of DNSOby MrPark

Eric Dierker wrote:
> If we put the issue of money aside are we all in agreement that ICANN must
> work in a multi-lingual capacity?

ICANN clearly must provide channels for input from all net users and communicate
back to them. However, it looks to me like the way to do that is to use English
as the working language and then worry some about how to communicate with the
rest of the world.

Translation adds to costs, complicates the procedures, and may introduce
delays and misunderstandings.

Imagine the problems you'd have translating this list. I'm a native speaker
of English and a skilled technical writer, but there have been quite a few
posts I know I'd have trouble paraphrasing in English in any way that would
satisfy their authors. Translating those would be really hard.

> Jefsey Morfin wrote:
> > I had motioned as one cause of the DNSO consensus problems the language
> > issue ...
> >
> > At 17:12 16/01/01, Oscar A. Robles Garay wrote:
> > >... as long as we publish documents just
> > >in english we are contributing on the ICANN "language divide" which, of
> > >course, translates into poor representativeness...

Just in this sequence of posts, we have several native languages. Looks to
me like Spanish for Oscar, French for Jefsey, German for Eric. (My apolgies
if any of my guesses are incorrect.)

Add Korean for Ms. Park, one of the Scandanavian languages for Harald, ...

Where do you draw the line? 5 languages?

Mandarin has more speakers than any other language. Spanish and Arabic are
official languages in more countries. With English, that's four. What's
the fifth? Japanese for its economic and technical importance? Then what do
we say to whoever comes 6th (Russian on my list), 7th (Sacre bleu! Ce n'est
pas possible!), ...

Or do we use other criteria to select languages? Or do we try for more
languages? How many and which ones? I think for many purposes, we draw the
line at one.

Given that English is far the most widespread second language on Earth, and
that a significant number of the educated class of every nation speak it, I
think we just continue to use it as a working language.

So I don't think we need to consider translation of discussions or drafts,
or simultaneous translations for meetings.

We do need to consider translation of final documents, setup of mailing
lists and web sites in other languages, two-way channels of communication
between those and the English lists, ...

Also, the native speakers of English in the group need to be somewhat
flexible in their use of language here. For one thing, we must be very
tolerant of the various minor abberations in non-native writing that
appear. Then too, we should limit our use of highly idiomatic English
or cultural-specific references somewhat.
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