Re: Multilingual Documents

From: Christopher John Fynn (
Date: Thu Dec 02 1999 - 19:05:55 EST

Edward Cherlin <> wrote:

> Microsoft and Xerox market research found a small percentage of
> documents that require more than one language, and even fewer that
> require more than one writing system:

> At 03:00 -0800 1999/11/22, Chris Pratley wrote:
> > The multilingual documents we found while doing our customer
> >visits were mainly government related, or created by people whose
> >was multilingual documents (e.g. translators, linguists). It is not the
> >that these documents are hard to create (after all, how hard is a
> >French/English or German/English document to create, technically?). It is
> >just not preferred. Most people create two versions of a document if they
> >genuinely need multilingual versions of one document. Otherwise, they
> >pick a language appropriate to the audience and use that exclusively.

I wonder where Xerox and Microsoft did their market research. India has 14
languages, most with their own script. Even on a state level all laws and
court reports
there are published in the language of the state and English - and several
Indian states
have more than one official language (e.g. Hindi & Urdu). Other kinds of
multi lingual
documents are common there and if India had been included in the market
I'm sure the percentage would have been much more significant. Certainly if
want to market a software product in India and reach beyond the small
speaking minority multilingual / multiscript capability seems essential.

Even here in London many documents published by local borough councils are
several languages including Urdu, Gujarati and Bengali each with it's own

- Chris

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