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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 11:34:28 +0100
text/plain (56 lines)
"Johannes L. Braams" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>At the EuroTeX conference in Gdansk (1994) there was a babel bof.
>We came up with a list of aspects of multilingual typesetting:
>At the Euro\TeX\ conference in Gdansk (1994) a babel bof was held.
>We discussed about what defines a language.
>We came up with a list of language attributes:
>\item hyphenation patterns and associated left- and righthyphenmin
>\item fontencoding (outputencoing)
>\item direction of writing
>\item input encoding
>\item punctuation
>\item quotation marks
>\item captions and dates (perhaps several formats of dates)
>\item mathematics (ie \tan gives either tan or tg)
>\item typographic conventions
>\item enumerating
>\item ligatures
>\item hyphen split (see article from Jiri Zlatuska)
>\item collating sequence (|\alph| etc.
>\item (conventions for emphasis, but more for document class,
>  publishing house conventions).

  This seems to be a fairly comprehensive list, when dealing with a
language as an standalone quantity. There are two items I want to mention
when two or more languages are used together:

\item transcribation
\item alphabetic search of one language in another

  There is one item for each pair of languages, but what I have in mind is
that a language package should supply where the language transcribed to,
and alphabetic search is being done in, is English.

  The "transcribation" are systems like transcribing Russian letters into
English letters, but also translating German umlaut, and Swedish special
letters into "oe", "aa", and the like.

  If you have a bibliographic database, it turns out to be inconvenient
remembering all those transcribed diacritical marks, so for that purpose,
one would want to have a simplified English (or ASCII) transcribation. For
example, the German and Swedish diacritical marks would simply be dropped.
(This is better appreciated when doing searches in a language where you do
not know what those diacritical martks mean; it is very difficult getting
them right.)

  Hans Aberg