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IGF 2020 – Day 12 – WS271 Multilingualism online: old challenges and new perspectives

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. 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 event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 




     >> MODERATOR:  Good morning.  I'm joining from new Delhi in India.  It's one of the most linguistically diverse countries.  An estimated 40 to 60 languages plus 1600 dialects spoken or month.  I believe Indonesia have 700 to 4 hundred languages.  Most of these languages and so many other countries with different languages cannot be used online yet.  So our topic of discussion at this roundtable is about multilingualism online.  We discuss videos and languages online and expect to gain new perspectives what are the ways forward to make it more interlinguistically inclusive. 

              I welcome you all to the this very interesting inclusion team track.  Thank you, Roberto, for putting us together for this. 

              Before we begin, my request is to be mindful of the Code of Conduct for participation.  I think the links are there in the chatbox already.  Frank has put them up so you can view them.  You can use the Q&A to pose your questions.  They'll be happy to ask the questions.  We also have a couple of short online polls, which our hosts will put up and the audience is requested to respond.  A demo was given already. 

              I think this is the time ‑‑ can we get the first Zoom poll from Frank on right now? 

     >> SPEAKER:  Okay.  I'm getting my poll on. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Okay.  So here are the two questions.  Simple to answer for the audience and attendees. 

              Number one question, is when communicating over the Internet, do you use your preferred language?  Then when communicating over the Internet, do you use your preferred script?  I suppose the audience knowing there's a difference between the language they speak and the script that they use. 

              We already can see a diverse set of responses.  Frank, how long do we wait for the poll results? 

     >> SPEAKER:  That would depend on you.  Whenever you want, I'll close it.  How long do you want the poll to run? 

     >> MODERATOR:  So, I guess people will be responding for a while, so we can wait for some time and come back on the results. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Okay. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Okay.  Thank you.  We'll come back with the results after a short while.  Should we end the poll now?  Are we ending the poll, Frank?  Do we keep it up? 

     >> SPEAKER:  I can end the poll if you want to, and it's ended. 

     >> MODERATOR:  It's ended.  All right.  We'll come back to the results after a while.  Thank you. 

I think the poll results are already being shared.  Do you want to talk about this?  Do you want to talk about the results? 

     >> SPEAKER:  Could Frank show me then? 

     >> SPEAKER:  The results are being seen. 

     >> SPEAKER:  I don't see them.  I see them.  We have people in the majority use the preferred language while communicating over the Internet, and although the same result is that they use the preferred script.  However, we have 14% of the audience that said that they have to use the script that they are obliged to but not that they like to. 

              More or less, the audience is quite convenient with the language. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Okay.  Thank you. 

              Okay.  So let me come back to the topic of conversation after the poll results.  More than 3 billion people still do not have access to Internet.  To fight barriers to the access with economic issues such as affordability, cost of ownership and devices and access prices.  Then there are infrastructure issues, and they are social issues such as gender issues discouraging women and children from the use of technology. 

              There are people with physical disabilities who are deprived, and then there are political issues like displaced people lacking access or denied outright due to conflicts.  Last but not least is the language issue, which we are going to discuss today. 

I think I'm getting the poll on top.  Okay. 

              We talk about the limitations of using scripts as people had said we don't ‑‑ some of them don't use the script they prefer, so we will try to understand the limitations of using scripts or writing systems on the Internet which prevents people from accessing and using the Internet in their own language.  They are prevented from reaping the digital dividends. 

              Having said that, there are significant advancements that have been made, too.  As of this year I think 154 language scripts are supported by unicode, which should mean one should have the ability to by now use a few hundred language systems based on these 104 scripts already.  However, in my experience at least they have not released mine and making much headway. 

              Almost 90% is in English.  This is because of so many native languages and others not yet useable to the Internet. 

              So my first question is about whether 150‑plus scripts being available and progress on the international e‑mail, content is already available in many languages, what's keeping the Internet from being a multilingual system empowers them to use Internet in their own writing systems freely. 

              I want to begin by asking John Klensin and he has the background in protocols for the Internet.  I look forward to him to provide an overview on important issues with barriers to new languages and writing systems, insufficient rendering and all that.  

Before John starts to answer, I will request Ilona to put up the second poll, and start with John in response to the question. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Please go to the website.  You can insert three fields.  The title of your mother tongue.  We already have two persons that have responded, and we'll keep it for a while so that you can put your answers and read your answers there. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Then we'll come back to see what we receive from the poll. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Okay.  I'll stop sharing the screen, but you still have the opportunity to insert your answers. 

     >> MODERATOR:  So John, what about the question that I posed to you earlier? 

     >> JOHN KLENSIN:  I was going to do an introduction in terminology, but let me start with part of the answer to the question. 

First of all, I think there's something that as we talk about the protocols and the names, domain names, other things, it's important to understand how Internet protocol development happens.  We talk a great deal with interoperate ability.  That's the ability of two applications to work together, and the ability of one version of application to one developer he substituted by the version of application by another developer. 

              What's important about the interoperability issue from the standpoint in our conversations is that getting to A to operate with B to do C is very valuable we quite often get there because the alternative is A and B somehow gets to C, but A and B don't work together in any way. 

              What we should knowing about how this develops is there's no implication that doing C is good or valuable or desirable.  Many times we make decisions about the design of protocols on the Internet, especially in this internationalization and multilingual area.  It's clear that people are going to do something, and it's much better if they do it enough in the same way that it is possible for them to interoperate whether or not C is a good idea. 

              There have been many, many times that we have felt that C was not a good idea but have done that anyway.  I'm going to try to avoid blaming or naming particular applications, but we may get there today. 

              The second observation very generally is that languages are hard.  Translation between languages is hard.  Culturally appropriate translations between languages is harder. 

              Mapping scripts is hard, mapping writing systems is hard.  Those particular problems are not Internet problems.  They've been known for a millennia.  I often tell people in my studies I have discovered that the stories and beliefs of many major religions where they start talking about why languages are different conclude that we couldn't have this big of a mess without divine intervention to make these things that different. 

              Whether one believes that or not, it highlights the differences.  When I look at the poll, I noticed something that isn't obvious in the poll, which is that none of your population who cannot access the Internet because their languages aren't there are by definition represented in the poll because they're not represented in the Internet. 

              So this problem is much worse than things like that poll indicate, and we need to understand that.  So moving to the core of today's problem and I'll come back to the definitions I was going to talk about later if we need to, what we have seen and been doing is, first of all, some confusion over what's important.  We've spent a tremendous amount of time on naming, on identifiers and things like that, but we know, for example, that the typical user doesn't know the difference between domain name, a search term and the URL, and they don't care. 

              So if we can focus on getting to content which is important, that's the beginning and end of the important story with regard to the languages and use of the people not on the Internet.  So let's now move to that issue, which, again, is the important one here.  The thing we see most often is an applications developer will come along and say, I want this to be globally accessible because I feel it should be globally accessible, and a good guy or because it will improve my market or profitability. 

              What they try to do is build an application in one environment and translate it.  Usually they try to translate it by having some machine do the translation. 

              What we know is that that doesn't work.  Machine translation works well when we have a couple of fairly closely related languages, closely related cultures.  We have large bodies of culturally translated text for these machines to learn from, and then the translations work fairly well. 

              To translate between very different languages, especially a minority language where there's not a large body of carefully translated text, the results the machines produce and I think most of us have seen it range from silly to completely ridiculous or culturally terrible. 

              So this approach of making the application and translating doesn't work, and the application itself may not translate well.  It may have been the wrong interfaces and culturally undesirable.  Doing the right things from getting from a left‑to‑right language in its display to a language which runs right‑to‑left or up and down is just not obvious in these intervention by experts. 

              So the question then becomes what do we do about this?  The answer is, I think, that by concentrating on trying to centrally develop these applications and spin them out to the rest of the world, we do nothing about those communities who are not part of the majority populations, majority language groups and what have you.  We don't do well with most of them either. 

              So where we should be concentrating our efforts is on local content that is locally developed, local applications locally developed or local adaptations and translations of those global developments. 

              That means we need to be concentrating on the tools to let the people in the local population who know what their languages look like and knowing how their cultures work to develop that content, and we have been spending very little energy on that as we spent all of our energy on these more global efforts. 

              Do I know how to do that?  No.  I know it's hard.  Until we start thinking about it and thinking that way, making certain that unicode does work for those languages, when it doesn't work to make certain you're articulate about why it doesn't work, and that may require help from the broader community and technical experts and people like me, unfortunately, but there's no reason unless one is writing in a script as complicated as classic Mayan and no contemporary scripts we know is that bad or that interesting, there's no reason why these things shouldn't work from a technical standpoint. 

              But getting the translations right, getting the words right, getting the right semantics, getting the right culture, getting the right displays, that has got to be a local matter because no matter how good we get it globally, it won't be good enough.  Worst yet, if the local languages are minority languages and people get used to the garbage the Internet is putting out, instead of the local languages as they speak them, we help kill those languages. 

              So that's my rough and obnoxious answer to your question.  You're muted.  You're still muted. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Yes.  Here we go.  Okay.  Thank you, John.  Yes, you pointed in the right perspective, and I think the small take‑away for now for me is that the interest should be on developing local and localized content much more than depending on some centralized global applications that could make languages gone in the near term.  That would be much more complicated. 

              It's not expected soon.  With that, I'll turn to ‑‑

     >> JOHN KLENSIN:  To interrupt, not expected soon.  If we don't start, Wile never get that. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  I want to thank you all.  Before going to answer the question, I would like to share my screen.  I only have one slide to be shared.  Just a moment.  Where is the representation? 

     >> MODERATOR:  I think Frank will guide you on how to do it, how you can do that. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  I already opened the file. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Is it giving you ‑‑ you need to ask for permission so you can share your slides. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  Can you give me permissions for that. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Yes.  You are co‑host. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  Okay.  I got it.  Do you see my screen now? 

     >> MODERATOR:  Yes. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  Before I'm going to answer the question, I have one slide there.  Before going to this slide, I would like to introduce myself.  I'm working for Egypt as a manager (?) And a system engineer.  Also I'm an ambassador and now I'm the head of a university and ambassador. 

              Before going into my presentations I have only one slide was a code similar to short code.  I call this a little bit about the ( indiscernible ).  It's the Arabic code of Egypt. 

              The identity of Egypt was there since 2010.  Our registry is CR model, and we have four local registers, and we don't have overseas registrars.  We don't have a big number of names. 

              At the time we started, we have a good number of them and the number is decreasing.  Let us see know what it code means for me. 

              We have two parts for this code.  We have the orange bot that looks like is orange and the other one, which is blue.  For each part we have for the digit number for digit 1 is means for me.  That universal acceptance is a concept that all domain names and addresses should be treated equally.  All domain names and addresses should be accepted and displayed in a consistent manner. 

              The 3 means for me that Universal Acceptance doesn't only care about ( indiscernible ).  For the asterisk, I will try to answer the question as much as I can. 

              I am a technician, so most of my work will be somehow like the view from ( indiscernible ).  Let me answer the question now.  We have some that affect the progress of multilingual application on the Internet or the Internet user to speak their own language on the Internet. 

              The first one is a problem with the containment, and the second one is environment and industry.  Not all systems are Universal Acceptance‑ready.  For example, we have mobile applications, and we have this in here.  I will speak about all of this and the details about this. 

              Number 5 will have application with the interface.  Number 6, we need to ‑‑ we are going to have ‑‑ to connect the users to be existing online.  The last one is an important one, and it's awareness about the use their own local language to access the local content. 

              Let us go for the first point, which is raised by John as well, which is content.  Twenty years ago the English content was 75% against 25% non‑English con at the particular time.  Currently we have 50% English and 50% non‑English. 

                   Expected in the next 20 years to be 75% non‑English versus 25% English, which means that the number of multilingual applications will be increased online, which is good.  Second point, which is in system and consistency. 

              You wanted to access Arabic content with English domain name.  I couldn't ‑‑ I couldn't speak English, so I will not access this Arabic content.  So it should be Arabic domain name to access Arabic content on the sites. 

              I want to send and receive e‑mail like others that use English e‑mail address to send and receive.  So you should use also Arabic e‑mail address with Arabic domain name and Arabic content.  This is system consistency.  Just a second.  This is the second point. 

              So I wanted to keep it consistent.  The second point, not all systems are ready.  You are going to open applications that have Arabic interface, and in case of ‑‑ if you wanted to send an e‑mail, you have to have English e‑mail address to use this mail application, which is not good. 

              This is one example.  I don't want to go into details about this.  For mobile applications, most of the users who can't speak English use the applications, and not always exists downline, most of them don't have mobile applications to be used by these people.  This is a problem. 

              So if I'm an Arabic guy and use the application, I am limited to only the applications that have Arabic interface for limited applications.  So I am having my public services from the government for other services. 

              We are using APIs developed 20 years ago.  It's not enabled by the way.  It's not enabled. 

              On connected users, we need to connect the unconnected, and this will be one of the answers for the next few questions.  However, we need to reach people. 

              We can go to this Arabic website using this Arabic domain name.  You could send and receive and interact with other citizens using your own local language. 

              I think it is enough for me for the moment, and we'll wait again for answers from others. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Thank you for the great view on what's happening in the Middle East in your region. 

I think I would now request Ilona if she wants to show the poll results on scripts. 

     >> SPEAKER:  So we have nine responses so far, and we see they're quite diverse.  Even I don't have what some are.  So they are not very familiar for me, but we still have Polish, Italian, English, Spanish, Russian.  I think that's it. 

              So our participants are quite diverse, and of course, I think that there is not so much content in these local mother tongues that are not even familiar for me. 

     >> MODERATOR:  That goes with what John was saying.  One needs to concentrate on local language development. 

     >> SPEAKER:  We have more.  We have German, (?). 

     >> MODERATOR:  I see Hindi, which is my mother tongue.  So is that about all?  

     >> SPEAKER:  Yeah.  We can proceed to the next question.  Shall we? 

     >> MODERATOR:  Okay. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Okay.  So now I'll ask the audience to write about the script that you use to write your native language mother tongue on the Internet.  I already have one response. 

              For this, you can use the same website and digit code.  You just have to refresh the page if you need to.  So I will stop sharing the screen and we will be back on the results soon. 

     >> MODERATOR:  We'll back to the consults later.  Let's go to Natalia Filina.  I think it's great to have her perspective in terms of the diversity of languages and whether ‑‑ you have had the experience of running both the (?) and the local IVN.  What's your take on this, Maria? 

     >> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA:  So, it's very interesting discussion that we have, and thank you for having me here.  So I have in my mind just a quote from the "Alice in Wonderland."  When you have understood the scripture, throw it away.  If you can't understand the scripture, throw it away.  I insist on your freedom. 

              This is maybe some reflection of our discussion today and the behavior of our users.  So I just want to share with our audience some thoughts on what is multilingual.  According to the dictionaries, the multilingual means using of more than one language by a person or a group of speakers. 

              So what we are talking about today, because if persons ‑‑ if you use just two languages and we know that half of the world's populations according to the statistics speaks at least two different languages regularly every day.  Maybe we're already multilingual because we know two languages. 

              All we're talking about how to make the Internet be lingual, so all we're talking about is how to make the Internet to support all these 7,000 languages and dialects that already exist in the world. 

              So I think that our strategies can be quite different in each of these cases.  As I'm representing the registry, I just want to share our experience, of course, but I would say that according to the freedom of users, I think that and I'm sure that users need to have this freedom to use those languages or writing system that they will really want to or get used to.  The Internet should be well prepared to provide such services for them with the highest quality. 

              So this is actually my opinion.  And as I'm representing once again the Russian registry and we are supporting the (?) and so we have varying experiences, and I think they're we're in a very lucky position now because Russian language is also one of the majorities of major languages that are quite well‑used on the Internet. 

              Still, we see some problems as well.  And so, for example, this year we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of our domain name, so that was delegated in 2010.  This year we have lots of discussions on the topic of how the domain names are supported in the Internet.  Not only about that and also about the inclusion and the support of native languages. 

              Still, this is closer to me, to our activities.  So I must say this this experience never delays that users don't care about the domain names as mentioned, but we see the project as successful.  Even those experts, Internet experts who were against its launching in 2009, they now ‑‑ now they agree that users really want to use domain names and e‑mail addresses in their native language. 

              We see lots of examples of how they use the domain names because the names are quite popular and they're used for advertisements of online projects, brand of companies, brand of projects and we see them all around on the streets, on TV, on Internet advertisements. 

              They're quite popular, and they're really good in usage.  This year I think because of this pandemic situation and because many of businesses will transform to go online and social services as well, so we see 26% growth of the registration of domain names in our zone. 

              So I think this is quite a good demonstration of how they can be popular, but from the other hand, so can you imagine a person who spent his or her time on the Internet?  According to the report, the digital report if I remember well, so as an average a person spent on the Internet six hours and 43 minutes.  Can you imagine ‑‑ if you're a native English speaker that you spend all this time every day only using the English language.  You write, communicate, read and speak only in the English language. 

              Will it be comfortable for you?  You can imagine when you visit such international conferences like this one, but in person, of course.  So you spend almost a week by communicating only in English.  It isn't as stressful for you, so for those who are not native speakers, so isn't it stressful even if you use such virtual meetings now with translation services? 

              So how do you feel about it?  So I can say that I sometimes am stressful, yes.  I must say that, for example, speaking, of course, it can be easier for us, but when you read and write different languages not native to you, you should be very well concentrated on these skills.  You should pay much attention to make no mistakes in different languages. 

              So I think there are many, many other cultural and also psychological and linguistical problems and features, which are related to every language.  We should take this in mind, especially when some companies or services provide translation.  Yes, we have these differences, and they are not so obvious. 

              They are in place.  We, for example, see this when we are talking about the implementation of (?) because this is a history, yes. 

              The key technology platforms or software platforms are created by the English‑speaking communities.  By this reason it seems that they just can't understand what difficulties can meet such persons not a native English speaker. 

              By this way they just not really interested maybe, and can't really understand that their software and products are not universal.  They can be used by users from other language groups very well. 

              I think that from the register perspective, I can also mention that many registers in the world are registered and are also very concerned about the e‑mail addresses, the unicode symbols.  This problem is quite ‑‑ John is saying yes. 

              This is quite a problem, because such ‑‑ I'm a register, yes.  I'm very interested in providing such services, and yes, I want to provide them with high quality.  I think that the domain names should be used for e‑mail addresses as well.  So thank you. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Interesting, Maria, for you to have mentioned that.  The report of the USG, I noted only about 9% English services are compliant, so there's a long way to go.  That's where I see John shaking his head on the amount of, you know ‑‑ the tremendous amount of challenges to make these services available qualitatively, as you said. 

     >> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA:  I can provide very short example of using e‑mail addresses.  I'm a mother, and I often use some educational portals.  You know, that e‑mail addresses now are used for verification.  So I use it like a log in. 

              I need to pull the menu.  I'm not really comfortable to use them in English as well.  Some of them already provided log in and password in the screen already, because these services are for schoolers.  Thank you. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  So the other interesting thing that you mentioned, Maria, was about the popularity of the IDN in the Russian language, which is surprising to me because from my experience of being with some, ideas haven't been really so popular and they haven't really been kind of taken up by many users.  They still go back to the typical (?) and that's what I explain. 

              We struggle to have some business plans, but we are still kind of lost there.  So I guess there's a lot of work to do there. 

              Okay.  With that, I think Roberto, can I invite you to have a few words on this, please?  I guess Roberto is a rapporteur for this session, so he has a hard job, but at the same time we're also asking him to do a little bit on trying to give us his views.  I think he has a bad connection.  If you can't speak, get out of the video. 

     >> ROBERT GAETANO:  So thank you.  I'm sorry for being not so well prepared for the task.  Unfortunately, there was a speaker that was intended to speak about all the work that they are doing in Latin America with the local languages, indigenous.  I only have some information about this. 

              I cannot speak with the same authority that Sylvia would have spoken with.  It started ‑‑ I mean, it started many, many years ago, but one of the key moments was on the international summit on indigenous languages held last year in Guatemala. 

              So this has been a very interesting event, and there is now a group of people that are working in different countries in Latin America to promote the use of the indigenous languages, including their presence on the Internet.  I don't know all the details, but I'm sure that we can share some URLs where people that are interested in this can get more information. 

              And also, I was also wondering if among the (?) section there is somebody who wants to talk about activities on indigenous languages or other minority  languages and bring this experience. 

This is still something that will be very interesting to share.  Another piece of information that I would like to give is that when we think about local languages, we think often about remote locations mostly under the developed countries, and I invite you not to think this. 

              Our endangered minority languages even as ‑‑ in the heart of Europe, I can report here that we had a session at Europe in June where the theme was Universal Acceptance but also more on the Internet. 

              At that session we had the ‑‑ we had the speaker from a language minority in Italy that spoke about what they are doing promotions and help the development of the local culture also by the language and providing services for helping the further use of the local minority language. 

              I think that there are situations like this all over the world.  I think that we must be attentive in making sure that the Internet maintenance and development of the local culture and language, and not to focus on the few important languages. 

              There's six U.N. languages is a good thing, but there are thousands of languages full of local content that can be expressed on the complete regional language.  And that is another task for the Internet for supporting the culture and not on the communication. 

I will stop here, and I will post maybe a couple of URLs in the chat.  Of course, I'm available for questions. 

              Back to you, Amitabh. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Roberto, for the roundup on the indigenous languages and various cultures to promote on the Internet.  That's one of the last points that you made about being mindful of promoting apart from the six U.N. languages, other languages as well, which can be expressed on those languages properly and cannot be translated. 

              We're talking here about asthma Rhea already said about 7,000‑plus languages across the globe supported by 377 different scripts.  So I think it will be a huge task, and it will require a globalized effort to move in that direction, but that's a good thought to have and take with us. 

              So I'll just ‑‑ before closing this part of the session, one last comment from John.  He was shaking his head on Maria's comment about this.  So I think he has something to say about the possibility of ideas working in some places and not in other places. 

              John, would you like to just quickly go through this before we go to the and answer. 

     >> JOHN KLENSIN:  From an implementation standpoint, it's easier or harder depending on how much local interest there is.  If we had an hour, we could talk about why they're more interesting locally in some places and less in others. 

              The e‑mail mailbox names pose a special challenge, and we knew when we designed the mechanisms that they were going to pose a special challenge.  The special challenge is that as long as you have somebody in Russia writing in surreal lick to someone else that reads Russian, there's no problem. 

              As soon as they start trying to communicate with ‑‑ I'm not concerned about the domain name part of the address, but the so‑called local part, as soon as they start trying to communicate with someone who speaks, for example, in Arabic, and they don't read Arabic very well, and the Arabic recipient doesn't real Cyrillic very well, you end up with a complicated problem. 

              And it's not a technical problem, but it's a complicated problem.  And the problem gets more complicated if the Arabic ‑‑ picking on my colleague here, if the Arabic application is designed for working with Arabic, and its special characteristics certainly include but not limited to running from right to left, and that message reaches the Russian reader who is used to left‑to‑right languages and Cyrillic, you end up with a communication difficulty, which is a language difficulty and not a technology difficulty. 

              And a translation or applications difficulty and not a technology difficulty in the usual sense.  So the difficulty, which we anticipate when we design the thing was that people were going to try to use this non‑ASCII e‑mail address internationally would have to maintain two e‑mail addresses, one ASCII and not and the search between the two done by software because people won't get it right consistently.  That software is hard to design from a thinking standpoint and not a building standpoint. 

              To make it more complicated, think about a message being sent among these panelists each using an address in his or her own language and writing system.  So we now have copies of the message in each of these scripts, and I think I can read three of the scripts, which are represented in the panel. 

              That may put me ahead of others in the panel and certainly would put me ahead of a general audience.  So that's the problem. 

              The difficulty is that we knew how to solve this problem and solved it in a funny way in 1991, I think.  That is that e‑mail systems and clients at the user level make a distinction between what is called a personal name or a display name or other words like that, and the actual mailbox address. 

              We're seeing today that most mail user agents by number of users don't display that but the names.  We display the names in local characters in writing systems forever but not the e‑mail addresses, the mailbox names.  So if you want your international interoperability, you might want to focus on the personal names rather than the mailbox names or not. 

              As soon as you start focusing on the mailbox names, it helps to be a large country with a big population, with a single dominant language where most of the people communicating most of the time are using the same language and the same writing system. 

              We have a few instances of that in the world.  Russia is one of them using other Latin scripts.  Russia is one of them, and China is the other one.  That's want end of the list. 

              So this is a peculiar problem we've create would for ourselves, and we can make it work, and I personally think it's highly desirable to make it work.  We need to understand want limitations. 

              And one of those limitations is for example a message going and forth between this group of panelists, if we were all using local language addresses, would be relatively a big problem. 

              It gets to be a worse problem when the message which comes in isn't among a group of people that know each other but it coming from some important figure or some Spammers and malware distributor, and you can't tell the difference because you can't read the script in which the address is written. 

              So these are all issues.  Again, they're not arguments against internationalized e‑mail addresses.  They're arguments against understanding what the limitations of the properties are and accepting those and dealing with them rather than hoping that by saying, well, everybody should accept internationalized e‑mail addresses, these problems what go away. 

              If I gave India advice, it would be to focus on the personal names rather than local scripts because you just have too many local scripts and not enough of your people read local script and another local script and a third local script rather than English and local script. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  Maria is raising her hand.  I think we will be running short of time if we keep on going with this. 

              It's a long discussion that we can continue to have.  So before I come back to the next set of questions, may I just get back to Ilona to tell us about the poll. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Here we go.  We have ten responses, and I guess that probably people do not have ‑‑ do not see the difference between scripts and the language.  You see we have English, Spanish.  That is kind of Latin, and Latin with diacritics, and we have these like Japanese, Cyrillic and Indian.  We have different scripts that people use. 

              Probably it will be better if speakers can comment on the difference between the language in the script so that the audience can grasp the difference. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Exactly.  So let me just start with ‑‑ I note someone has written in Hindi.  Hindi is not a script.  It's the language.  Script is (?) and that supports a few of the languages.  So that's the difference, and I think that's the explanation they will be able to provide. 

              The difference between the script and languages is wide.  The script is not the same as the language. 

              Like we said earlier, 377 scripts around the globe support about 7,000‑plus languages.  There's the difference between native language and mother language and mother tongue.  Without going into that, I guess, yes, there is a disparity, but at the same time we understand that English is a preferred language, but at the same time we need to do a lot more to encourage other scripts as well. 

              Okay.  I'll go to my next set of questions.  Maria, I'll come back to you later towards the end of the summary when we can talk about whatever you want to say. 

              I think the second question that I have we'll not spend too much time on this keeping the time constraint in mind is I was thinking that maybe, you know, with the rise of social media and mobile applications with video and multimedia being prominent, there are lack of different writing systems we have discussed, does it still continue to remain sort of the beginning of access to the Internet or a limiting factor for the non‑English speaking to access the Internet. 

              I think one surpasses the barrier when it comes to using multimedia or the writing system.  I'm trying, to say so why some emphasis on writing systems and whether there are alternate ways that people can work through this barrier of language and scripts on the Internet. 

              So let me start with John here again.  John, your thoughts on this? 

     >> JOHN KLENSIN:  I think another portion of the language and script distinction which you didn't mention, I know you know, is that we have a number of scripts which are used to write many different languages.  Sometimes with variations in how they're used for those different languages. 

              Latin script is the most important example, Cyril lick and Arabic are certainly second and third and I don't know which order.  We also have some languages that are written in multiple scripts so they could be written in ‑‑ let's skip the details to save time.  That confuses the language subscription and the ‑‑ and some of these other issues, again, especially because the same script may be used very, very differently in different languages.  For those that speak both English and French, the rules for getting uppercase letters to lowercase letters are different in two. 

              Same Latin scripts and basic characters, but differences in characters and formation.  Even more important differences show up when a script was imposed either by invasion or simulation on a phonetic script, on a language which has completely different phonemes and different structure. 

              That, again, creates some really interesting issues that need to be sorted out in a language by language, and sometimes local environment by local environment basis. 

              As far as the social media stuff is concerned, it's a dandy solution for social media, but, first of all, the people who are building those applications are building them for languages with large user populations, and it does absolutely nothing to help the minority languages about which those people often don't care or there aren't enough people using the application to justify building the application, and it becomes one of those things which we call in English chicken/egg problem. 

              So I think it's very interesting in the social media applications to become adapted to a larger and larger group of languages.  I think the relative total number of languages in the world is still almost nothing and almost irrelevant. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you, John.  Yes. 

I think it's interesting that you point out that the social media is being more for the base, so it's the market forces at work and not the development we speak about. 

              Maria, your thoughts on this, please. 

     >> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA:  Okay.  So I thought it was ‑‑ it will be ‑‑ okay.  So what can I say about social media and video platforms and so on?  I want to mention that this these platforms are user‑generated platforms, and all the content that is the driver of using these platforms are made by and created by users.

              So by this reason if you are using any native language, you're usually searching and looking at that content in your native Lange R language.  Of course, if you want you can choose local ‑‑ you can choose a Connecticut ‑‑ content on any other native language if you're interested in it.  There's lots of popular memes or videos or ads on the Internet, and if we are talking about the minority languages, they're probably users of these languages need to create such content, interesting content, and provide much more content on their native language on such platforms. 

              It's because, once again, so these platforms offer users and the content and the main part of the platforms are made by users.  So we don't need to forget about this. 

              As an aside I want to mention again from our registry perspective that for example, Facebook, does not suspect the main names as well.  People in Russia who want to use Facebook to advertise their brands, their products and so on and so forth, they just can't put it in posts and comments because they will be displayed as unreadable symbols.  It looks like a bad link. 

              By this reason such persons ‑‑ Facebook is one of the popular social media in Russia.  So they just need to create pictures or videos and put it in this way their idea and domain names to show them to the audience.  So this is quite a problem now, and I don't know why Facebook doesn't want to decide on this. 

              Maybe there are some opinions ‑‑ I'm maybe just imagining, but still, websites and ID domain names, they are owned by users themselves.  They're not owned by the platforms. 

              So they are separated, and in this way they're more defense from different types of technical mistakes or they pose the decisions made by the owners of such platforms.  This is maybe a more secure way to keep your information and your resources here on the Internet. 

              Maybe they just don't want to make the very good connection besides the social media advertising tools to, let's say, leave people from their platform and something somewhere else.  So they just want to make their platforms bigger, bigger and bigger.  But so this is the intention, and maybe that's why they prevent us to provide users some competitive services in the Internet. 

              And also, I want to say that ID and domain names was research made by a center association of European companies that ID names address the content on the native, local language. 

              So this is also the connection that is important to remember.  And what I want to say also is that maybe we should think, because this is the historical fact, I think, that there always was some lingual framework.  Some common language that was used by a group or community or even worldwide to communicate like a bridge language. 

              So now we see that English provides this role of lingual framework, but of course, John correctly mentioned that for some regions there are different lingual fronts like in Russia and our commonwealth region in Eastern Europe, for example.  In other regions they are only lingual frameworks. 

              So you need to understand it.  Maybe this can also explain the problem of why some languages are well supported on the Internet and some languages are not.  But still, if you want to support your native language, provide for content on ‑‑ more content on it. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Maria.  I think that's a well‑rounded response.  Yeah, platforms like Facebook will take a note of this, I guess mostly the regions that have the market decisions.  So I guess, yes, someone listening in from Facebook would be ‑‑ should be happy to take your suggestion on developing this. 

              Can I come to you on this now for a short answer keeping in mind the time? 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  I think Arabic is bigger.  He knows a lot of issues that I skipped by the way. 

              We missed the variances for our scripts, and we have a lot of variances.  Maybe you have 1 million or 1,000 variances of this.  Maybe this will be a big problem. 

              There is a big problem related to ‑‑ ready to make evidence.  You know that we have two main domains for the main domain.  If you mix between different scripts and for example, for the domain name it's Arabic and if it's English, you could as an end user or application, you could identify which part of them is a domain name and which part is a local mix. 

              This is another problem.  These are other problems when you are Arabic and you want to so a Cyrillic go to wait for the address, you couldn't take the domain name.  There's no policy. 

Maybe this will be kind of a solution.  This is the image testing.  Is it Cyrillic? 

              Yes, I will use it, but it will be kind of there.  So all of these issues is shared by Satish for the concentrations. 

              As youth ambassadors we need that.  We need to serve all the issues related to acceptance that have consent with our scripts.  We still have problems with mixing between (?) for the domain name.  It's a big problem for the URL, it is a big problem if you have a domain in Arabic and the folder in English.  If it's in an ASCII, there's another problem. 

              There's no tool to monitor the Zoom files and it displays the Zoom name in actual unicode.  The tools that manage this understand this and it will be difficulty for that administrator. 

Another big issue for me is (?) And if you look at the environment and try to publish it inside your IT, your security value ‑‑ this agent doesn't ‑‑ this is kind of the things. 

              This is kind of e‑mail addresses.  This is a big problem. 

              It should be solved.  You have an entity.  One of the entities even hearing in my room, if I'm trying to open it, I couldn't open it.  So I will raise the issue to our supervisor.  Please enable it.  It is works.  That's a problem that's all it is at this point.  Thank you. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  That brings me to the third part of the question session, and the question raised about awareness and what different stakeholders can doing.  So my question is, you know, actually about the role of different stakeholders.  We're talking about a lot of development and technological barriers and cultural issues and how development takes place based on business or development concentrations. 

              I see that we probably have a lot more to ask these stakeholders such as the government or the private sector of the public sector and the various device manufacturers and the application providers and the Civil Society and the academic.  They all will probably a role in ensures that multilingualism needs to grow on the Internet and they play their parts. 

              So John, you have some ideas on what exactly governments do or the private sector operators could do to enhance the usability and interoperability and the usefulness of the Internet of people that depend on local languages are to be used. 

     >> JOHN KLENSIN:  As I said earlier, I don't know if I have any good answers.  One of the things we discovered 30‑odd years ago is there were two ways to get Internet technology even at the e‑mail level into developing countries or countries that didn't have those connections. 

              One of those ways involved large central government or Internet organization foreign aid project where a typical pattern was to drop in a lot of technology and be very impressed by about the technology dropped in.  And then leap and what we know in many areas of international aid is capital money is easy and maintenance money is hard.  We also learn that had training people at the grassroots level and then letting things evolve bottom‑up produced slower results far more sustainable and far more sustained. 

              I think there's an analogy to that ‑‑ between that and this problem.  I think there's a role for governments, but it's going to be understood that the tool building and sustainable environment building and working with those local populations rather than doing the 30 year ago experience we used to joke ended with a computer on the desk of the communications minister holding up a flowerpot.  Everybody was happy because people can come in. 

              We need to be careful about that latter plan talking about governments and organizations being involved.  At the same time, we know how to do these things at a grassroots level and we've done it before with the technology.  I think the language issues are harder, because all language issues are harder.  I think it's the same answer.  It's not an easy one. 

              The Facebook example is interesting, too.  There's another set of economics there that work against you, which is customer support, if an organization supports that, they want to provide customer support in that language, and we don't want to touch that.  Very experience.  That's another piece of the pushback story.  Much easier to understand if the script of the language is so script in India, which no one outside India knows about, than it is with Cyrillic.  Still, it's that piece of economics as well. 

              It's about development and let them come along and notice when they do that.  Don't expect that to happen there. 

     >> MODERATOR:  So your thoughts on the role of the stakeholders?  What do you think the governments and citizens can do? 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  For the government now if ‑‑ now I sent you ‑‑ you'll receive your bill for the (?) and you'll receive the electricity bill.  So the new trend is all citizens should be connected online using e‑mail address whatever the language is.  That's what India did for every use that's true received the international ID to have an e‑mail address. 

              I'm not responsible for doing this, by the way, for anything.  It started for academia.  The new trend of engineers should be aware that there's a typical in AI, and there is a that as a rule or IETF. 

              If you go to any university, what is it?  What do you mean by that?  I don't know.  I know nothing.  There's nothing.  If you go to anyone inside this country and ask about that, we need that and we need to teach this about what IDNE is and the usability is for the domain name for the private sector. 

              If we could have some policies to restrict new and to have education for the English am cage and have a domain nation for making our awareness for this news for this stuff, for this engineer towards this company, it will be good. 

              You would be convinced to use that because you're that kind of person.  You will increase the number of (?) And you will have some propaganda that this application supports it.  You can go to the application of course, not all services accept IDEN.  You don't need to have IDNE.  I think that's it for me at the moment.  Thank you. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Just to correct on the international ID, e‑mail ID you talked about pertaining to India, it was a state government which they provides every voter an e‑mail ID.  They developed the ID, but I'm not sure if people are using it.  I don't have much idea about that. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  You have 10 million e‑mail addresses. 

     >> MODERATOR:  How are they used?  I have no idea at this point in time.  Maybe somebody can fill us in later. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  It's good to start it. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Those are the government initiatives in terms of policy for nonfiscal incense I haves that promote the developments, so that's what we can look at. 

              Maria, I think John is trying to get into the conversation here.  We have very limited time.  So a few minutes left.  I'll try and get John in.  Let's let Maria have a say on this. 

     >> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA:  There's some things he already said.  Make we can Mike IDETS for everyone to support multilingualism.  This is a really big experiment I must say. 

              For example, Cyrillic in the main name, I can report it was launches by the great support from the government, and we can say it was a multi-stakeholder approach to the launch of this.  This is a great example of how the industry and the government communicates and in partner they made a really good project.  So why not? 

              That's why, of course, government has a really unique role today, and they can support the side, of course, because they can show the example a really big end user who want to make his system and make his E government services supported in the native language. 

              So this is how government can take their part in the processes, for example.  From the other side I wouldn't recommend strong or restrictions or permissions from the government side. 

              This is usually not really good supported from the industry from business community and then user community.  They don't want somebody ‑‑ they want freedom as I already said.  They just want freedom.  We need to support this.  More goes to the private sector in academy ma and other stakeholders, Civil Society who maybe ask to provide their platforms for end users as well. 

              Ask for these services, and users themselves can ask to support their needs in the Internet from different stakeholders.  They want to show they need it, and we're talking about this decision.  What end users think about this really.  We have only one study to that was made two years ago by USG, and that's it. 

              What is the demand in the market?  Are users wanting to use it?  In India study how they use it.  This is very interesting information. 

              In general if they talk about multilingual on the Internet, I would recommend to support such user generated platforms actually and what we all need to do, we need to learn Toews people and users that go online, how to behave there.  For example, teachers can provide very good content for there, and university professors, they can provide such content in their native language.  Some of them don't know how to use Internet. 

              They have no knowledge how it's viewed and how they can provide this content and other Internet tools.  The statement of the government maybe or other stakeholders can teach them how to do it and then they provide this content.  One more thing I mentioned at the beginning that we need to think about psychological and features of languages. 

              It's very important.  Maybe some academia game can provide the research and more research in connection with these features in the Internet, how it works on the Internet. 

              Any language is live.  It's leaving and changing, and we see how for example Russian language is changing because of these influences of Internet things, you know, because localities of ‑‑ lots of new roads and lots of things that change the Internet dramatically.  So we need to understand how Internet influences English languages from its side as well. 

              So I think there are a lot to do, but what we can do now, so we need to continue to discuss these questions at least with this.  We can do it and provide more information on the issues for broader stakeholders. 

              I think the platforms are quite good places to do it. 

     >> MODERATOR:  All right.  I think, Maria, what you said is important because a lot of decisions given can be part of many digital policies that most countries and states development.  They leave them out that you have talked about. 

              We're going to talk about the big picture and the big numbers, but then we cannot look at this part of the issue we're discussing.  So it's good to have that as part of the digital policies of governments and affects how it behaves.  You see a market developing. 

              Having said that, let me quickly come to Ilona.  We'll announce the results, and then we have a few minutes left and I'll sum up the discussions.  Ilona, please. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Just a second.  Actually, we finished with the two polls, right?  You just want to see the results back again, right? 

     >> MODERATOR:  Right. 

     >> SPEAKER:  Give me half of a minute. 

     >> MODERATOR:  While you're doing, Roberto, you're the rapporteur of this session and I'm sure you have interesting comments that you've got.  Would you like to share that? 

     >> ROBERT GAETANO:  Yes.  I hope you can hear me.  So that basically what I got from John's presentation is a general idea of all the major issues that we have with languages and script besides the ones that maybe we know best that are the domain names and other things, other technical things. 

              But it's also astonishing how much complicated this whole matter is.  Some of the things seems the same one on were able to show us some of the most interesting complexities, even in matters that we think are simple. 

              Abdalmonem has begun us a good survey, panoramic view of where we are with the Universal Acceptance in particular of internationalized domains and with internationalized e‑mail addresses and the challenging and the way forward. 

A             nd Maria has given us what I would say is a more user‑related perspective touching also on what happens on social media and also her last comment on E‑learning or how we can use the quieter they're rhetoric discussion about the difficulties and the technicalities then translates into practice interfacing with the users. 

              I have given a couple of ideas about what happened in terms of the promotion of the languages on the Internet and the importance of doing this work. 

That's it. 

              Back to you.  Thank you. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Roberto.  I think you have summarized well and we'll be putting out a report back to the IGF on these session proceedings later. 

              Just a couple more points.  I think we don't have any questions from the audience.  Last chance maybe for one question quickly if anyone has it.  Otherwise, I'll move on to the closing part, which is about the panelists having to make a voluntary commitment as a requirement to be speaker of this session. 

              From the audience, please, anyone wants to ask a last minute question?  No?  So I take it that I think our panel has done a fantastic job covering the issues so there are no questions raised. 

So I think there is a requirement for a voluntary commitment by the panelists that they choose to commit themselves to carry on with the work and partner with some of the others to ‑‑ some things with Europe carrying on with the mission we're part of it. 

              How do we do that?  Any idea on this?  Do we just confirm we're committed and name the partners that we work with? 

     >> ROBERT GAETANO:  If any speaker has something in the next year.  Maybe focusing for the next global IGF, but also for the regional and national IGFs to which I participate in being together the voices of the minorities that have language risk of being forgotten or that cannot appropriately produce fruition of local content on the Internet. 

              That's because of the lack of language and support.  That's it. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Roberto.  John. 

     >> SPEAKER:  It's an interesting coincidence that this IGF meeting and the meeting are happening in the same week.  So I guess I'm committed to keep going back and forth and I'm working actively in the IGF is my creature and I do a lot of design. 

              I'm committed to keeping pushing on that.  I'm committed to work with or without internationalization and keeping IDM working and making them better if there are technical issues.  There are some, and I'm pushing that rock uphill with the IGTF and much of the consternation I commit to do it. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Thank you. 

     >> GALILA ABDALMONEM:  I would not speak a lot.  I commit to work for any left for us.  Thank you. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Maria. 

     >> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA:  I don't know how IGT is structured.  I know it now, so I want to know it better.  I think so that multilingualism is a universality of Internet may be easier because we're now putting in the topic of inclusion and reducing inequalities, but, yes, it's maybe more general.  But still for the Internet.  We should think about it.  Thank you. 

     >> MODERATOR:  Great.  As far as I'm concerned, yes, if something develops as a structure on Maria so carry on the work many multilingualism I'll be happy to partner and share whatever I can.  I also am someone that provides interventions to the communities. 

I will now take up the issue of multilingualism and helping to provide the ideas that are already delegated.    


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