16 SEPTEMBER 10
DYNAMIC COALITION FOR A GLOBAL LOCALIZATION PLATFORM:
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: We are about to start the Dynamic Coalition for Global Localization Platform: Localization 4all. A few interested parties are here already but we might wait another three or four minutes before we start to give other people that might be on their way to get here. Okay. I propose that we are going to start. Whoever comes in later can maybe then join the discussions.
First of all, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Reinhard Schaler. I am the coordinator of this Dynamic Coalition. I work for two organisations. One is the University of Limerick in Ireland and the other one is The Rosetta Foundation. It is a civil society non profit organisation providing translation and localization services to non profit organisations.
We have a handout here for participants that are in the room that presents the proposed agenda first. So the idea is I will give a background to the Dynamic Coalition briefly. Then we discuss current activities and developments. And then spend some time towards the end of the two hours that we have on planning for the coming year and coming up with some concrete actions.
There are some proposals for plans and possible actions that we can take as a starting point and elaborate on those. Before we start the proceedings I would like to give everyone here in the room an opportunity to introduce themselves. And maybe we start from the left here and then work our way around the table.
>> SVEN ANDRA: Hello. My name is Sven Andra. We are providing translation management system and therefore part of the localization technology infrastructure.
>> My name is Steffen Asita. I work partly for The Rosetta Foundation and do operations there and I also work for the Andre Day that is a provider of translation management system.
>> Hello my name is Misel Gurne, India. I look after the language technology activity in India and localization is very much what is called prime subject and interesting area to work upon. Thank you.
>> Hello my name is Case Camera. I am a researcher in Tokyo. And I think I saw you last year. Thanks.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Okay. We have a list here which we will circulate to which you should record your name and your affiliation and contact details. I just want to spend a few minutes giving you a background to the setting up of the Dynamic Coalition and the impact and interest that it has raised so far.
The idea of the Dynamic Coalition is to support access to knowledge information on the Internet and preserve diversity of languages. And there are some interesting statistics available that have been discussed during the proceedings of the IGF so far. And they are reproduced in the handout here in which I highlighted three interesting points. One is that the largest population on the Internet is currently in Asia. By far the highest growth of the Internet users is in Africa. And the third interesting point is that Internet use in North America and Europe has almost reached saturation. So if you look in to the future. Growth and opportunities, potential users of the Internet and providers of content, all those developments will happen not in Europe, not in North America but in Asia and Africa.
Current access across languages is offered by an industry that sometimes calls itself Translation Service Industries, sometimes localization. They provide services that will be worth 25 billion U.S. dollars in three years' time and it is so valuable to digital publishers that they produce up to 60 percent of their revenues from their international business.
Yet they just serve 1 billion customers and that is based on the world population of 6.8 billion. They serve around 30 languages. Some companies you heard that from Facebook and Microsoft serve up to 100 languages at least partially but that's still in contrast to approximately 300 languages in the world that have more than 1 million speakers and that includes, Norweigian, Danish, Finnish. Icelandic is being served by mainstream commercial service providers in the localization industry and Icelandic has 3,000 speakers roughly and Bengali with maybe 180 million speakers are very often not serviced. So the current approach to access and diversity requires a market and a base case. It requires a technical and technological infrastructure and devices and relevant and accessible content.
What is lacking to go beyond the 1 billion customers that are currently services are novel approaches to making access and diversity for all viable and sustainable proposition. The current mainstream translation and localization approach really favors the rich and leads to an exclusion of the poor. Indication of that is Icelandic is serviced and Bengali with a hundred times of speakers is not serviced. A new approach to translation which we call Localization 4all, something around social entrepreneurship. It could be described by the term collaborative translation and thirdly it requires a novel technology, an open platform or framework to support localization and translation for all and this is really the proposition of this Dynamic Coalition. To look in to the development of novel technology.
So Dynamic Coalition for global localization platform was founded last year at Sharm El Sheikh on the 17th of November. The founding members agreed to a charter which is also reproduced on the handout here and invited organisations and individuals to join and agreed to appoint myself, Reinhard Schaler as the coordinator and in the meantime we are present on IGF's Web site. We have our charter published there. And have a distribution list for people that are interested in collaboration.
I will not read out the charter. Everybody can look that up on the Web site and also here in the handout and maybe just highlight the fact that we have around 30 members or organisations that have expressed an interest to collaborate in the Dynamic Coalition. And the organisations represented range from commercial publishers like Adobe to organisations such as ICANN, TAUS, AOL, localized service providers in the localization translation space as well as research organisations as well as digital publishers.
So the first point maybe that I would like to raise here or where I would like to invite questions is whether people have a question about the Dynamic Coalition itself. The proposition of it, the working of it and the general role of it within the IGF. So if anybody would like to get any clarification or would like to raise a question I would invite them to do that.
>> Yeah, it will be ideal that if you can just develop on what is this Dynamic Coalition all about. What is the objective and at the end of the day what are we expecting out of this Dynamic Coalition. So if you can brief that that will be nice.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Any further questions before we go back to that? Okay. So I will try to answer that. There is two parts I think in that question. One is about what Dynamic Coalition generally do within the context of the IGF and I think it is I will give my understanding of that. My understanding of Dynamic Coalitions and working groups is that organisations, individuals from different backgrounds who have a common interest in a specific aspect of the work of IGF come together under the umbrella of a Dynamic Coalition and do that in order to discuss the issues that are close to their heart.
And so Dynamic Coalitions so far at least, that is my understanding, have not been groups that have been set up to, you know, achieve certain goals but they have been set up to raise awareness and to exchange information. This particular Dynamic Coalition which has been organised as a working group was set up to coordinate the development of communities and deployment of technologies that will enable localization for all. What the founders believed is that the development of a platform of, a technology platform that would enable the delivery of translation services is crucial in that process.
So the understanding was that there are currently a number of initiatives under way which provide a technology platform and tools to enable a more efficient and effective translation and localization of digital content. But that was a need to at least become aware of different initiatives and developments and ideally coordinate those. And that is in my mind the objective and the aim of this Dynamic Coalition. And I am not sure if I answered your question.
Are there any other comments or questions on that?
>> What I like this Dynamic Coalition about is you focus on broader issues of localization rather than idea and remote technology specific are smaller ones. That's one thing and another issue that localization just does not necessarily take place even if there is technology, there is so localization is needs various people's efforts together. So character code standardization are core elements of localization, but even if you have this localization does not take place. I think this kind of effort like Dynamic Coalition is capitalist to put various efforts and people and resources together to enable localization. So yeah, I think this kind of initiative is quite important and I was encouraged by the opening introductory remarks by you and your colleagues and thank you.
>> I think seeing how many people are here puts another aim to the Dynamic Coalition and that is putting localization and a need for localization as part of the discussions here at the IGF more in to the focus and make it more interesting to people who are not spending all their day talking about localization but as you said also to people who are involved in other factors that enable access to information through languages. And I think so communication and kind of marketing for within the IGF and within organisations like the IGF would be an important aim for the coalition, too.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Yeah, I agree. I think that is a very important point and role. So there are various fora where people get together and try to coordinate activities. But at the same time it is important to raise the profile of those activities. For example, within the IGF. And I think there is still quite some quite a lot of work that can be done there. There is one unfortunate thing that happened in the programme and that is something that we should really try to raise in the future in IGF, there is a parallel meeting going on at the moment of the Dynamic Coalition that is really addressing topics that are very close to this Dynamic Coalition, too. That's the Dynamic Coalition on Linguistic Diversity and it would really have been great if those two Dynamic Coalitions would have not met in parallel but maybe consecutively so that we could have been attending their meeting and they could have been attending our meeting. In a way I could see the aims of both coalitions pointing in the same direction. They focus maybe on languages and translation and we focus more on technology and support for that process.
So it is something that I think we should raise with the organisors of the IGF. Prior to the meeting here today I invited members of the Dynamic Coalition to table reports on their activities and those documents and the information that we received will be published towards the end of the year in the annual report of this Dynamic Coalition. I would like to take the opportunity of our meeting here just to highlight some of the major activities and developments such that have come to our attention and then invite those present here to maybe add to that or raise issues or ask questions in relation to those points.
So I believe that the activities and developments can be structured under maybe four, three headings. One is that of major open source technology initiatives that happened over the past 12 months. That of resource development initiatives where people did not look at individual technologies but had language and linguistic resources. And the third one is networking activities that happen that have been planned and have been going on among those interested in the development of global and open localization platforms. So under the first headings there is two to three initiatives that I would like to highlight as examples of what has brought major change to our area of interest. One is that of the publication of and release of major open source translation management systems called Global Site that happened about a year and a half ago and has sparked a lot of interest in the community. For the first time a major translation management system has been made has been published as an open source in a system and has therefore become available to really anybody that wanted to implement such a system. And the second major development is that of the publication of open TM2. There is the open source version of IBM translation system. Under the second heading of resource initiatives there have been I would like to report on two examples of major initiatives and one of translation, automation user society which has published a multi lingual, multi word translation memory which is available by TAUS and an initiative that is spearheaded by an organisation called OMeta in the Arabic world that has brought together organisations from different backgrounds to start consolidation of linguistic resources. So the idea there is to really pull together linguistic written language resources and make them available on the Web and the Internet for free.
And I believe that that initiative has been funded and supported by the SORS foundation. Under the third heading that of network initiatives and events I would like to just highlight the action for global information sharing event that happened last year in Limerick in Ireland and will happen in the beginning of December in New Delhi and will be hosted by CEDC and the TDL programme in India. We currently have plans to be at next year's event in India in Africa. But where we might want to discuss the possibility of maybe bringing this event, the action for global information sharing closer together with the IGF that is also going to take place in Africa next year.
A fourth development that might be worth mentioning is that of work on The Rosetta Foundation platform. It is a non profit organisation that is located in Ireland. They have come together to provide information, access information, knowledge across languages to those organisations and to those people that are currently not covered but by mainstream localization translation services. So The Rosetta Foundation has started to develop a framework and platform for translation localization tools and has collaborated in that effort with the Centre for Next Generation Localization in Ireland. It is an Irish Government funded initiative and Centre for the Development of Advanced Computing in Pune, India. I just want to stop you briefly and invite questions or comments because the initiatives and developments that I highlighted are an action from a number of things, a number of initiatives that happened over the last year and I am sure that there are others that I haven't highlighted that you might want to introduce.
>> I think localization is more of a management issue rather than technology issue and as I mentioned it requires technology, human resource funding and other resources put together to make localization happen. How do you deal with this kind of issues in your framework or activity?
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Yeah. The idea of an open localization platform is to develop technology to support the localization activities. And there a range of activities. So like I say it is a management issue. Management of localization translation processes is one of the major tasks in a translation process. There is a range of activities that are all part of the localization translation of digital content. And what is really needed and what has become clear over the last 20, 25 years since the localization started as an industry is that humans cannot are not in a position to manage complex large scale parallel multi lingual translation projects by themselves but there need to be supported by technology. And that's what we are looking at. So when you say localization and translation is to a large degree a management issue, I agree with that. And I think especially over the last few years it has become clearer that the translation is just one aspect of large scale localization projects. And it is one that can be supported and should be supported by automatic translation like machine translation, translation memory systems but that because those processes have become so complex and are executed on a worldwide scale it has become very evident that management of large scale parallel, multi lingual translation projects is a major issue and this is where translation management systems and it is the reason why translation management systems have come to the fore. We have one developer of those systems Sven Andra who might maybe say a few words about his view on the role of translation management in complex translation systems.
>> SVEN ANDRA: That's not too easy, but generally absolutely, I agree with you and I think that technology all in all is not the major issue. It is more about the mindset no matter what we are talking about. If we are talking about providing localization infrastructure, if we are talking about localization knowledge it is really about the mindset. And I think that a Dynamic Coalition like this the major thing that can be changed is the mindset where it can be the target to really set up a localization platform based on that initiative. It is really the mindset that can be changed with other people involved within that process. And we do have and perhaps that's an opportunity to talk about one of the other initiatives here, we do have another issue where we may be talking about the mindsets and not technology and that's intraoperability within the localization industry. And there is some initiatives powered by a couple of players within the industry called intraoperability now that has the aims to try to find out where the mindsets are and where they need to be changed to provide more intraoperability which is from my point of view one of the other major bases for localization platform because a platform can be one big system or whatever. If I talk about a platform I see a network, a mesh up of different technologies of knowledge, of approaches and best practices and so on that then build the platform. For me a platform is not mainly technology. It is all that involved.
>> It is not only I personally feel it is not only the technology management issue localization. It is all about cultural; it is all about heritage. It is all about political also and social issue apart from the technological issue. Consider a case wherein there are previously developed softwares and those softwares now since used they need to be localized. Especially when it comes to Indian languages, the rendering of the complexities of the Indian languages is a key subject matter for localization as well as when you talk about a bitype of languages. Which necessarily means that definitely on a technological front there are certain challenges to be addressed for complex systems or complex languages like Indian languages. One major point which is coming up apart from this is that the rule of the intellectual property rights in to the localization. When I mean this that a lot of teams have been getting generated and maybe I will try to cite one example. For example, is that it is very easy to localize the free software because of your tools. You can localize and it is not owned by anybody. But if I want to use a proprietary operating system or proprietary software and I need to have a localized version of that, I definitely need to fall back on the company which has originally developed that and that is where I personally feel there is a real issue because, for example, the company may not afford to localize their product or applications in all the languages of the world. But then there has to be a certain mechanism by which it can be kept to the end user and irrespective of the IP this is an important aspect where the localization can come to the desktop and it should be like on demand.
The person should be able to do that rather than get latched on to the organisation and wait for the organisation to do the localization for him or her. That's an important thing that's coming up. The third thing is what is called the management. The one thing in localization, one need to address is the volume, the volume of localization data, which is very high. So definitely you require a good web based localization framework management systems wherein which mentioned about some of the initiatives in that area. Second point is the access, how you are going to actually do the localization by the desktop, by the mobiles and so on and so forth. So there is accessibility issues in terms of localization. Third is the personalization, how I can personalize my what is called localized data, because if something has been localized and been offered it may not be suitable to a particular locale or requirement. These are some of the challenges within the localization.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: If I try to summarize the points that you made and maybe if I didn't get those points correctly, you can correct me, I noted three important points. One is that technology is really enabled for localization translation. It is not everything about technology. It is not something that is there on its own. But it is it has a function. And it can only be seen in the context of a wider range of activities and of important aspects of making access of making knowledge information available to across languages to people. The second point is that if you look at technology and if you try to use technology in the most efficient and the most efficient way we have to look at intraoperability of that technology. So it is most likely not about developing one system that can be used to address the different requirements of different translation scenarios but it was more likely about the issue of getting different technologies and different tools to work together and to be able to configure those tools to respond in a framework to the requirements of different types of localization translation projects.
Would that be a good summary of what the points are you made? So because the next question that as you know what we believe here should be the main activities and developments that we as a group within the Dynamic Coalition should try to pursue over the next 12 months. There are maybe we could take, you know, some ideas directly from those points that you mentioned and then try to implement that in a broad plan for the next 12 months. One of the things that really needs to happen is we need to raise the profile of this Dynamic Coalition. We need to make sure that the people that have expressed an interest in collaborating with us are more actively involved and we find out what the different partisan stakeholders are doing and make that knowledge available to those interested parties and then raise the profile within the IGF and maybe have not just a meeting of the Dynamic Coalition but also a workshop at the next IGF in Kenya on enabling technology for multilingual Internet access.
Those are ideas that I could take out of the remarks that have been made. But maybe you have, you know, other ideas, complimentary ideas or further comments on that.
>> Hi. I was just wondering with respect to building more creating more diversity on line with respect to languages have y'all explored the use of online translators to translate content in to different languages online or through these plug ins or any such thing? At the moment Google translator is what people use although it is not completely accurate to a large extent but it has helped in translating language from one content to the next. That could also facilitate intraoperability and increase diversity online.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: When you say online translation or online translators, do you mean machine translate or humans collaborating on the Internet?
>> I think it can be a combination of both. Some things could probably be cloud sourced and some things machine generated. There is a lot of potential to probably tap in to the user in terms of trying to get things translated and trying to get the Internet diversity flag linguistically.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: So if I understand your question correctly you are asking whether we have explored or whether we are aware of people, organisations that I think explored Internet to translate more digital content in the collaborative way using both human translators and technology?
>> Uh huh. Because okay, for instance, if someone wants to create a database of information and it is all going to be in their local language but someone from externally would like to also access that information, the ability to do so will depend. It is a difficult thing to do. Let's just put it that way. So I was just wondering if the Dynamic Coalition has just explored that option of how to address that situation.
>> I think it is one of the targets to get there. Regarding machine translation like Google translator and so on, one of the problems is those tools usually support the languages that is supported by the industry. So that is targeting that part of the world that is somebody who buys products and so on. So you won't be able to find a Google translate functionality for I don't know how many different hundred languages in India or the different languages in Africa and Asia that are one of the main targets for access to information that we are trying to achieve here. So it might be interesting to take the approaches and the technology and try to use that for other languages and targets, too.
>> One of the reasons that I brought that up because to some extent of looking or incorporating the user in developing those kind of services with respect and also incorporating technology could also doing it in reverse you could also facilitate the same goal you had in mind. That was my point. Yeah, I understand. Thanks.
>> I think it is very important and it comes back to the technology platform we said at the beginning to enable people wherever in the world and whatever technology they have with very easy features to translate things by theirselves for their people in their language and so on. So I agree that that is a very important thing and we would be an interactive process and not providing information and would use the platform or allow to use the platform for the people who need and can provide that information in their language.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: I am not sure whether I understand your question. So if I understand it correctly this is exactly your question points exactly to the very heart, very centre of what the Dynamic Coalition was set up to do which is I think to see how technology can be and which technology can be used to support, you know, the aim of making more digital content available in more languages to more people and, you know, and that technology can support that technology support can range from support for translation. So it could be machine translation. It could be linguistic languages, resources on the Internet, like dictionaries, translation memories. It can be support for communities. So it can be meeting places on the Internet where people and volunteers can sign up and meet and exchange and propose and request translations. And it can be a place where organisations that require translation localization service but maybe cannot pay for them or, you know, cannot get those services within the current commercial framework, you know, have an opportunity to get access to those services. If that was your question, whether we have looked at that I think that's exactly what we want to look at.
There are different technologies and frameworks being developed by different companies and companies have discovered web based technologies that they use that involve their users to perform translations together with linguistic support and access to machine translation and translation technologies, but I think what we want to do in the Dynamic Coalition to see how we can use that technology to not address the requirements of commercial providers but the wider civil society and non profit sector. That would be my main aim but it is not the only aim. I think this is also the place where commercial providers can find out and should be able to find out what is going on and how they can leverage each other's expertise to achieve their aim to produce more content in less time with fewer resources.
There are some I think concrete things that we should think about doing over the next 12 months and I would like to collect or make up, generate a list of those concrete things that we should address and then maybe think about how we can do that in an intelligent way and efficient way. So first of all, I need to ask if that is what we should do now or are there questions that we need to clarify before we do that? But if we are at a point where we can maybe discuss what the most important things are that we should be doing over the next 12 months maybe we could do a roundtable thing again and get ideas from the people here and maybe from the people that are listening to us remotely. And then, you know, collect that list and maybe prioritize it and agree that as a plan for the next 12 months.
So any concrete action that you believe that you think we should be doing or should be implementing and pursue as a Dynamic Coalition, it would be great if you could share those. To there are some proposals here that we prepared ahead of today's meeting. One is to set up a steering group. So that we have that we can work with a group of, I don't know, maybe four, five, six people from a diverse geographical, professional and tectorial background to collate information and to distribute and plan actions in between the annual meeting (lost connection)
>> So I agree that we should take kind of a roll call for who would be interested first.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Yes. So the mechanics of how expressions of interests or membership is handled is that we are now present or it took awhile to get this Dynamic Coalition, it is only a year old, it took awhile to get it listed on IGF's Web site and the IGF's main website, this particular Dynamic Coalition is listed there and if you go to that site there is I think there are two links. One link is can be used to sign up for mailing list and the second link is to express your interest to work with the Dynamic Coalition. So if that is kind of the way for us to get people to sign up. There is a description of what the Dynamic Coalition is about and how it works on the site and organisations can decide whether they want to support the work of the coalition. If they do want to support it they can click on the link and provide some basic information and they are in and there are a number of people that have done that and those are the people who are listed here. So but what I take away at the moment that we agree that we should set up kind of a steering group. And that we should ask or distribute that idea, contact the people that have signed up to the Dynamic Coalition and ask them whether they would like to be involved in that steering group. Would that be correct?
Yeah. The second point that I wanted to make is that annual meetings are very far away from there is a lot of time between annual meetings. It is a year. And really I thought it would be nice to have, you know, some updates in between those yearly meetings at the IGF. So what we propose is, and just I wanted to get some feedback from you, is whether you believe it makes sense and is feasible to have quarterly meetings during the year where two of those quarterly meetings are virtual. So that we have at a minimum a telephone conference, if possible video conferencing in place twice a year. And then that we have another face to face meeting in between the IGF meeting so that we have maybe halfway through the year, in about six months' time another face to face meeting that would allow us to maybe to work on and get more active involvement from members.
It could be that that is a little bit over the top. I don't know what you think. But it could be a working meeting where we get together and, you know, and prepare, for example, the IGF because in six months', time that would be a good time to prepare our presence and input in to the next IGF. I don't know what you think.
>> I don't see a face to face meeting in between there as realistic and I think it the virtual meetings would be important and they would allow more people that have expressed their interest to participate. But a face to face meeting around there are a lot of other activities for most people involved in that and if the face to face meeting is not linked to another activity, another venue or whatever, where a lot of those people are I don't see a realistic chance to really get people to the same place on this earth, especially even if you look in this room we have the states Japan, India and Ireland. And yeah, so meeting again just for that would be really a big effort. And so I would rather try to get the virtual meetings done well and do it with a WebEx like here and skip the face to face meetings around IGF.
>> I agree with virtual meetings because face to face sometimes becomes very difficult to come all the way. Apart from this virtual meetings we can also explore a possibility of some online group to be established. So that some sharing prior to the conference, video conference or audio conference can happen. So that it is not only a specific occasion wherein we would like to discuss debate or share the knowledge but it should be open throughout the year and maybe that can happen only with online groups so that the thoughts can start coming. They can form a basis of the virtual meetings and then finally the virtual meetings probably will form the basis for the face to face meeting. So this should be done this way.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Okay. So I think we are getting a consensus that we will try to we will organise quarterly meetings. Those quarterly meetings will be virtual and that in between those meetings we set up an online presence where we can have discussion groups where people can, you know, maybe discuss or propose topics of interest and describe them and discuss them prior to those meetings and we have those meetings in a way where we make best use of the time that we put in those meetings, would that be a fair summary?
>> And for me another tool could be a mailing list which could be used prior to that. Because a discussion forum or something like that usually needs the action to log in and see what's happening and so on. And as it wouldn't be too active I assume a mailing list would be the most efficient because it would push the information to the interested party and still could allow kind of discussions on that.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Okay. Thank you very much. So we have discussed the establishment of a steering group. We have discussed a way to set up that steering group. We have discussed how we are going to work over the next 12 months through additional meetings.
>> One more point is that this is fine, but how to reach out to the people who are interested in the Dynamic Coalition. That is also very important because currently what I feel it was just one to one understanding in terms of such type of Dynamic Coalition is formed but we have to have some reachout mechanisms wherein we can get more participation from the people and this Dynamic Coalition can become really very strong, what is called group and what is called discussions will happen once the group is bigger. So we need to propagate, we need to see to it that this Dynamic Coalition has been known to at least those people who are in that particular field of localization, translation and maybe the technology developers also.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Do we have proposals on how we should do that maybe?
>> Maybe if we have some database of the localization industry people who are in to the we can segregate in to the part who are the translators and developers and the tools provider which are there. If possible, I don't know, it might be a hard task to at least catch ahold of these people and then major application developers, like those are very popular applications which are getting used worldwide, those application developers also if they can be contacted or they can be at least made aware that such a Dynamic Coalition is there then possibly their interest will be larger.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Are there points that we should make and highlight when we approach potential parties who might potentially be interested in joining? Reasons we can give them to work together under the umbrella of the Dynamic Coalition. Is there something that you can think of that we should, you know, tell them or this is why this is so important. This is why you should participate. This is what you can get out of it. This is what you can contribute. Is there any point in particular that we should highlight? I mean there is a list of things that we can provide them but one or two very, very important points that we should particularly highlight? I mean yeah.
>> Probably might be interesting for you to look at organisations that are actually working on or looking to be on specific translation type projects or language projects. And they may not necessarily be specifically committed to that area. But they may be there is so many organisations working internationally with different offices overseas or even if not offices hubs overseas. Maybe it might be of interest to look at people who might be interested in participating that way. I don't know.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Yes. Thank you.
>> Who would be interested in this kind of working together stuff? Because private entities may be happy about their way of doing business. So open source based initiatives may be possible candidates or so and I see many localization efforts are done under individual umbrellas rather than overarching ones. Local offices are done by their localized team. So would they be interested in working together under this Dynamic Coalition? I don't know how they would react but I was just curious.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Yes, I think that the localization translation communities are working pockets in a way. So there is the mainstream commercial pocket and that community has, you know, their events. Their working groups, their organisations. Then there is the open source community which, you know, as I say they there is a large community of people that translate and localize digital content around the open office initiatives, Mozilla, different foundations and they are living in their world, their pocket. And then there is another pocket which is maybe the public sector, the Governments and the intergovernmental organisations and I don't think that they are very well connected to neither the private sector nor the kind of open source community. Some of the largest, the world's largest translation departments are run by those organisations, like the European Commission, I guess the India Government to a large degree and inter Governmental organisations such as the UN. And in my view IGF would be under the Dynamic Coalition. This Dynamic Coalition would be an ideal meeting place for stakeholders from those diverse groups because at the moment they don't really talk much to each other. They develop their own tools, technologies, their approaches and their support infrastructure but I am not aware of any Forum where they are kind of coming together and, you know, exchange and coordinate their activities.
And I think, you know, this would be nice if for everybody to kind of break out a little bit out of their own area of activity. Whether it is the commercial, the open source or the Government sector and come together and exchange and coordinate. So that would be my major and at kind of a global level. I think that would that would be my own personal kind of setting point that I think I would try to make.
>> I have been studying various cases of localization, both commercial and noncommercial. But they to me it looks like they are so isolated. Some experts in individual projects talk to each other but in most cases I see there are there is not much link between such cases. So I don't know how to approach them but there should be some benefit of having various kinds of activities represented in IGF or other opportunity. So that would be the very ultimate goal but it might be worth trying to reach that level.
>> I am representing the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing which is a scientific society of government of India. As you are aware that there is an official 22 Indian languages out there. And 95 percent of the population within India doesn't understand English. So they always have to do the work in their own language. For us localization is a very important criteria and in order to reach out to the people that it is like a chicken and egg story wherein you require an infrastructure to have a last mile connectivity to the masses. After doing so you require the systems to be in place basically so that people start working upon and finally the type of services which supposedly get offered on top of that. That is another area. The major parties though the services are there they have not been utilized because they are not in local language. We definitely see a great potential in terms of localization. As far as our experiences of localization in order to proliferate IT to the masses we have undertaken a massive project for localizing almost all the free enterprise software, like the open Office, Firefox, content management system and so on and so forth. And the plan is to also localize NScape and some of the desktop as well as desktop publishing software and that has been localized in all 22 Indian languages. And it has been a mission project and it took almost a grand challenge and we are now seeing the benefits coming out of that because this was put on to a platter in terms of a CD and handed over to a common man free of charge.
So the basic idea and proposal for doing this was to have maximum contents of Indian languages or other languages because again the development is also based upon the content if we really see it. For example, some reference was done to the machine translation and the some of the technologies like cross lingual access and so on and so forth. Those are only possible when you have maximum Indian contents on the digital medium. And in order to break that barrier to have more and more contents of languages we started actually giving free tools to the general public at large in a localized version. So I think in that context it really becomes exceptionally important for to localize and how these localized tools are available to the people.
Now how one goes about it is you require a framework to do that. It is not an easy task because as our experiences in localization it is close to around 65,000 strings for what is called application multiply effect by 22 languages and some of them are multiple languages. So that is 27. You require a common platform to work upon like web based wherein the translators, the validaters, the developers, they are able to make use of that platform and wherever you are in the nooks and corner of the country you should be able to participate in the localization process.
As you are aware that some of the languages have very remote languages. Like you see the length and breadth of India we can't get all the people at one point of time and web based systems are definitely equalization. One is the platform which is important. Secondly the platform also may have a lot of facilities in terms of what the translators or what the validaters are supposed to get. So these are some of the things which are anywhere required from what is called the platform site. Third parties, their use of what is called terminologies which have been created and that's also another subject matter to be looked at and where any we have seen it is not that we have not finished the work. It is a first step towards the localization. Translation might get refinement. So we are now going again for the next version of all these 22 Indian languages. And now in this case we are also expecting a lot of participation from the general public at large to validate or to authenticate or to vote the translations which have been given and that's a second phase we are planning. So in this context we require to look forward to the platforms and we require to look forward to the best of tools and we require to look forward to standards basically. And that's where I think the focus maybe of localization Dynamic Coalition should be much more larger that we should bring the best of the people within the Dynamic Coalition, have their knowledge sharing experiences so that we can leverage upon each of this knowledge and make the localization or tools and technologies available to the general public.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Thank you very much, Mahesh. So I think to summarize what you have said and again if I misrepresent what you said, correct me please or add to summary, the Dynamic Coalition for global localization platform, Localization4all was established about a year ago. We then set it up. We grew membership. We created a presence on the Internet. We got the Dynamic Coalition included in the IGF's main agenda. We have our first meeting really here today. We are going to prepare an annual report on activities around localization platforms for 2009 2010. And then looking ahead what we are going to do is we are going to set up a steering group involving people that express an interest to become involved. We are going to have quarterly meetings virtually on the Internet using something like WebEx or telephone conferencing and we are going to embark on activities that will raise the general profile of the coalition in different communities. And the ones that we have identified are Government sector, non profit sector and the commercial sector and bring people from those different sectors and different geographical locations together and highlight to them the value of exchanging information and coordinating efforts under the umbrella of the Dynamic Coalition. And the aim is then to have another face to face meeting at the next IGF in Nairobi in Kenya next year where we will be able to report on the success of this Dynamic Coalition and where we have significantly higher involvement from different stakeholders, from different sectors, from different geographical areas representing different languages and cultural communities. Would that be a fair summary? Okay.
Is there anything that you would like, any points that you would like to raise or suggestions that you would like to make that we haven't covered? Okay. If you don't, then I would like to thank you very much for being here today, for your ideas, for your input. And the next steps will be to gather the annual report of the Dynamic Coalition which will be forwarded to the IGF for publication. I will compile a report of today's meeting and the plans that we agreed. And then we will set up a timetable for activities over the coming year. And then over hopefully before then end of the year set up the steering group which will then help to prepare the technology infrastructure that we proposed which includes the mailing list and the online discussion groups which we will use to prepare the quarterly meetings and online discussions that we will organise on a quarterly basis. Well, thank you very much and we adjourn the meeting. Thank you.
>> Thank you.