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No. 11 Languages on the move: Deploying multilingualism in the net

Giovanni Seppia

EURid

IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Content Creation, Dissemination and Use

Description

Sustainability and development of the Internet can only be ensured if the net becomes a truly multilingual platform which can support everyone’s right to freedom of opinion and expression online.
The workshop aims to continue the study and investigation of how Internet can become more multilingual through the full deployment of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs). The yearly EURid-UNESCO World Report on IDNs in cooperation with Verisign includes new chapters about the human perception of the language in its different scripts and the introduction of the first IDN generic top-level domains. It also features an extended section on the universal acceptance of IDNs from the technical perspective. Geographical distribution and gender balance of the speakers will be one of the workshop guarantees as well as the time left for discussion with the participants.
The workshop will be organised as a round table with key speakers who have been working hard at multiple levels to ensure that Internet becomes more and more multilingual. At the time of finalising the list of the speakers, the organisers have contacted multilingual content creators to expand the discussion to the Internet multilingual content aspect.
It will be also moderated at social media level with a dedicated social media moderator.
The EURid-UNESCO World Report on IDN deployment is a yearly study that is going to be continued in the future in closer cooperation with the ccTLD regional organisations Secretariats as well as with the representatives of industry leaders who can contribute to make the Internet a truly multilingual environment. At the same time, the workshop will consider to produce a bullet point chart to be distributed at all levels to illustrate the actions that should be enforced for the aforementioned objective.

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Irmgarda Kasinskaite
Intergovernmental organisation
UNESCO

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?

yes

The link to the workshop report

Workshop 88 IGF Bali - http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/2013-bali/workshops2013/reports-with-transcripts

Type of session

Panel

Duration of proposed session

90 minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#multilingualism, #IDNs, #diversity, #universalacceptance, #TLDs

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

- Emily Taylor, EURid, Private sector, CONFIRMED
- Pat Kane, Verisign, Private sector, CONFIRMED
- Manal Ismail, National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Egypt, Government, CONFIRMED
- Mohamed El-Bashir, Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology of Qatar, Government, CONFIRMED
-Mark McFadden, Technical community CONFIRMED
- Kim Minjee, KISA, Technical community,CONFIRMED
- Irina Danelia, Russian Coordination Center for TLD, Technical community, CONFIRMED
- Fahd Batayneh, ICANN, Technical community, CONFIRMED
- Sarah Falvey, Google
In the round table:

Peter Van Roste, CENTR, Technical community, CONFIRMED
Barrack Otieno, AFTLD, Technical community, CONFIRMED
Carolina Aguerre, LACTLD, Technical community, CONFIRMED

Name of Moderator(s)

Giovanni Seppia

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Marta Eleonora Rigoni

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

All speakers will be provided with a list of the topics to be discussed.
The on site moderator will distribute a factsheet to the audience with the objective of the panel and the discussion points.
A dedicated Facebook group will be created before the workshop to boost remote participation and engagement in the workshop theme.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

The remote participation will be exploited via social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. A dedicated social media moderator will be assigned to the workshop and will follow the workshop before, during and after.

Background paper

background paper

Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions

The workshop aimed to continue the study and investigation of how Internet can become more multilingual through the full deployment of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs). The 2014 EURid-UNESCO World Report on IDNs in cooperation with Verisign and the regional ccTLD organisations was officially presented. The Report includes new chapters about the human perception of the language in its different scripts and the introduction of the first IDN generic top-level domains. It also features an extended section on the universal acceptance of IDNs from the technical perspective.

The Report features a foreword of Vice-President Kroes who concludes that “only by pursuing a policy of multilingualism in Internet access can we give effect to our policy of an Internet that is truly global, and truly accessible to all.”

The workshop was organised as a round table with key speakers who have been working hard at multiple levels to ensure that Internet becomes more and more multilingual. Over 45 representatives of various stakeholder groups attended it.

While it seems that end users have become very comfortable to use their ASCII domain names, there are valid examples that the IDN.IDN domain names are extremely popular and used in certain countries like Russia and Korea. At the same time, various panelists underlined that the presence of a strong registrar network, structured marketing actions including incentives to use non-ASCII languages in the net, education of the entire domain name user chain and stronger cooperation with the big mobile applications and Internet players – the recent Gmail support of IDN is a major step forward – are essential to further promote IDNs.

The last gTLD round contributed very little to enhance online multilingualism despite of its objectives. Many participants recommended ICANN to introduce mechanisms to have adequate representation of languages in the next gTLD round.

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and possible follow up actions

Although there are mixed feelings around the possible further uptake of IDNs in the near future, there is a general belief that the IDNs will emerge in the long term, especially considering the next billion end users that should access the net in the next decade. Therefore, all participants agreed that IDNs are still the best way to make the Internet a truly multilingual environment.

Estimation of the overall number of participants present at the workshop

50

Estimation of the overall number of women present at the workshop

about half of the participants were women

Extent to that the workshop discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

it was not seen as related to the workshop’s theme and was not raised

A brief summary of the discussions in case that the workshop addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

No information provided

Reported by

Giovanni Seppia

Workshop transcript

transcript

Youtube video

video

Attachments

attachments

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