I’m also going to make a proposal for a talk (as the (un)conference format encourages this). I’m being a bit shy about putting it up on the reboot site before I’m happy with the title and description, so for the moment it’s a Google Doc tentatively titled While We Wait For The Babel Fish.
Those of you who know me won’t be very surprised to learn that it’s about multilingualism online. By “multilingualism” online, I’m not only talking about localisation or stupid default languages, but mainly about what happens when one wants to get off the various monolingual islands out there and use more than one language in one place, for example. How can we help multiple languages coexist in a given space or community, as they do at times in the offline world? Can the tools we have help make this easier?
Another thing that interests me is this “all or nothing” assumption about knowing languages (when you have to check boxes): I wouldn’t check a box saying I “know” Italian, but I can understand some amount of it when it’s written, if it’s necessary. What are we capable of doing with that kind of information? Read the draft if you want more.
Feedback on these ideas (and anything here) is most welcome. Is this interesting?
Update 19.03.2007: proposal is now on the reboot site! Don’t hesitate to leave comments there.