Date of presentation of proposal:


AFNOR (France)

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 35 N0200


To be concurrently submitted to the secretariat of  the ISO/IEC JTC1 with a copy to the ISO Central Secretariat.

Title Assessment of cultural and linguistic adaptability in software and hardware products – Test method

Scope :

The project will present a test method to evaluate the actual degree to which a given IT-based product or service  can meet  cultural and linguistic requirements while being able to interchange data on a world-wide basis when appropriate.


Purpose and justification

A successful product or service requires satisfying the needs of users including  needs of a cultural and linguistic nature.

Being able to meet requirements of a legal and regulatory nature is a world-wide challenge for any product or services, now including those which are IT-based.  Without it, bad surprises may occur in the selling of software products not complying to the cultural and linguistic adaptability requirements in different jurisdictions.

This international standard will assist in  the clarification of marketplace  rules for everybody and bring an objective assessment method to measure cultural and linguistic adaptability.

 It is also a tool for comparing competing products and hence will help in making buying choices.

Conformance will be to the method and not to the evaluation checklist being provided by the method. The results in the use of the method will be evaluation marks to be used for product comparisons. It is expected that with the use of such a method, typically no product will be assigned a null mark, and typically none will also be able to achieve perfection, so that cultural and linguistic adaptability conformance will be progressively defined in this way by the market and hence will constitute a moving – and evolving – target by nature.


Programme of work

If the proposed new work item is approved , which of the following document(s) is (are) expected to be developed?

_____ a single International Standard more than one International Standard (expected number: ........ )

__X__ a multi-part International Standard consisting of 5 parts: Part 1 - Principles (Definition and requirements), Part 2 - CLAUI evaluation of software, Part 3 – CLAUI evaluation of hardware, Part 4 - CLAUI evaluation of documentation, Part 5 - CLAUI evaluation of services (e.g. Internet services). The standard will be developed in English and in French and should ideally be published as a bilingual standard rather than in two language versions.

_____ an amendment or amendments to the following International Standard(s) ....................................

_____ a technical report , type ...........

Relevant documents to be considered

ISO/IEC  TR 11017 – Framework for internationalisation.


Document ISO/IEC JTC 1 N5608: "Identification of  Cultural and Linguistic Adaptabilility and User Interfaces related areas"


Document JTC 1 N5296: Material identified by the Business team on electronic commerce (BT-EC)

Work under development : ISO/IEC 18038  “Identification and Mapping of Various Categories of Jurisdictional Domains”.

Document JTC1 N5629: Recommendations of the Paris December 1998 CLAUI meeting (in particular recommendations on unambiguous culturally-neutral identifiers, character coding directions, multilingual provisions in meta-data elements, and so on) as amended by the 1999 Rio de Janeiro JTC1 Plenary.

An example of a cultural and linguistic adaptability requirement test method already in use can be found in document SC35N0201 Betel -grille d'evaluation.pdf (French language document, not available in English). This document could be used as a discussion basis and adapted for use in a global context, taking care about requirement categories from different cultures and languages.


Co-operation and liaison Co-operation with JTC1/SC22/WG20, with JTC1/SC2, with JTC1/SC32 and with JTC1/SC7 is initially envisaged.

Preparatory work offered with target date(s)  Current targets: First drafts to be submitted before 2001-05-01. CD registration and ballot 2001-11, FCD ballot 2002-11, FDIS ballot 2003-05. Alain LaBonté, from Gouvernement du Québec, is volunteering to serve as project editor.


Will the service of a maintenance agency or registration authority be required? No.

Are there any known requirements for coding? No.

Are there any known requirements for cultural and linguistic adaptability? Yes. This standard directly involves cultural and linguistic adaptability.

Does the proposed standard concern known patented items? No.

Comments and recommendations of the JTC 1 Secretariat - attach a separate page as an annex, if necessary

Comments with respect to the proposal in general, and recommendations thereon:
It is proposed to assign this new item to JTC 1/SC 35

Voting on the proposal

According to a current JTC1 trial, this NP will be sent to SC35 member bodies for a 4-month letter ballot and be sent simultaneously to JTC1 secretariat for information. The vote is to be held at the JTC1 level only if there are objections at this level after submission to the JTC1 Secretariat. According to the year 2000 Tromsø JTC1 Plenary resolution 24, JTC1 National Bodies are reminded that it is still their responsibility to review and check each NP especially on its scope and assignment, inconsistencies or overlaps with other JTC 1 products, and market relevance).


Date of circulation:

Closing date for voting:

Signature of JTC 1 Secretary:
Lisa A. Rajchel







A Business Requirement



A.1 Market Requirement

Essential _X__
Desirable ___
Supportive ___

[see Scope] 

An international standard is essential to diminish bad surprises in global software trade

A.2 Regulatory Context

Essential _X_
Desirable ___
Supportive ___
Not Relevant ___

Many jurisdictions already have legal and regulatory requirements about cultural and linguistic adaptability

(e.g. South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Québec, France, European Community, NAFTA, etc.)

B. Related Work



B.1 Completion/Maintenance of current standards

Yes ___


B.2 Commitment to other organisation

Yes ___


B.3 Other Source of standards

Yes _X__

JTC1 and ISO I.S.’s concerned with CLAUI will be referenced (to begin with some produced by JTC1/SC2, SC22,  SC35 and SC32)

C. Technical Status



C.1 Mature Technology

Yes _X_


C.2 Prospective Technology

Yes ___


C.3 Models/Tools

Yes _X__


D. Conformity Assessment and Interoperability



D.1 Conformity Assessment

Yes ___

The standard will be a method used to evaluate products and services from a cultural and linguistic adaptability perspective. Conformity will be with the method, not with the evaluation resulting from the use of the method

D.2 Interoperability

Yes _X__

One of the goals of the standard is to assure cultural and linguistic adaptability while maintaining interoperability

E. Other Justification



Notes to Proforma

A. Business Relevance. That which identifies market place relevance in terms of what problem is being solved and or need being addressed.

A.1. Market Requirement. When submitting a NP, the proposer shall identify the nature of the Market Requirement, assessing the extent to which it is essential, desirable or merely supportive of some other project.

A.2 Technical Regulation. If a Regulatory requirement is deemed to exist - e.g. for an area of public concern e.g. Information Security, Data protection, potentially leading to regulatory/public interest action based on the use of this voluntary international standard - the proposer shall identify this here.

B. Related Work. Aspects of the relationship of this NP to other areas of standardization work shall be identified in this section.

B.1 Competition/Maintenance. If this NP is concerned with completing or maintaining existing standards, those concerned shall be identified here.

B.2 External Commitment. Groups, bodies, or fora external to JTC1 to which a commitment has been made by JTC for cooperation and or collaboration on this NP shall be identified here.

B.3 External Std/Specification. If other activities creating standards or specifications in this topic area are known to exist or be planned, and which might be available to JTC1 as PAS, they shall be identified here.

C. Technical Status. The proposer shall indicate here an assessment of the extent to which the proposed standard is supported by current technology.

C.1 Mature Technology. Indicate here the extent to which the technology is reasonably stable and ripe for standardization.

C.2 Prospective Technology. If the NP is anticipatory in nature based on expected or forecasted need, this shall be indicated here.

C.3 Models/Tools. If the NP relates to the creation of supportive reference models or tools, this shall be indicated here.

D. Any other aspects of background information justifying this NP shall be indicated here.

D. Conformity Assessment and Interoperability

D.1 Indicate here if Conformity Assessment is relevant to your project. If so, indicate how it is addressed in your project plan.

D.2 Indicate here if Interoperability is relevant to your project. If so, indicate how it is addressed in your project plan.