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 ITU and UNESCO Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet
Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet
Geneva, 9-11 May 2006

Webcast (audio only):

DAY 1 - 9 MAY 2006
Introduction Speaker:  Marcel Diki-Kidiri / LLACAN - CNRS
Title of Presentation: How to Include less resourced languages into the Internet?

While it is rather easy to get a widespread standard language which is spoken by hundreds of millions of people to actively occupy a prominent position in the cyberspace, it is quite another matter to bring a small language to take a place on that worldwide space of communication, as such a language often lacks many of the essential resources, e. g., elaborated linguistic description and reference books, specific software tools, availability of cultural resources, or even a sufficient number of native speakers!

If it is yet possible to do it in order to preserve the benefit of the planet's language diversity, which steps could be taken to develop less resourced languages so that they could safely access the cyberspace and become living languages in it? It may turn out that these steps are the same for any language as long as it is strongly and consistently supported not only by a political will but moreover by a budget will!

Speaker:  John C KLENSIN, Ph.D. / ISOC
Title of Presentation: Culturally-appropriate Local Environments and a Global Internet

Many of the discussions about making the Internet more hospitable to local selections of language and culture – key to cultural preservation and integrity – have focused on particular technologies, particularly the Domain Name System, its root structure, and internationalized domain names. This paper takes the position that a different approach is more useful from the standpoints both of cultural appropriateness and of making the best technology choices. That approach is the obvious one: to look at what is needed and then work backward to appropriate choices of technology. The paper explores some requirements and how they might be satisfied without compromising the global reach and utility of the Internet.
Speaker:  Cláudio Menezes, UNESCO
Title of Presentation: The UNESCO’s contribution to the inclusion of languages and local content in cyberspace: from oral language to digital objects

This paper presents a discussion on the presence and absence of languages in the digital world and on the enabling environment for making digital objects (text, image and sound) available in cyberspace.

UNESCO concepts on inclusive and pluralistic knowledge societies based on four principles (freedom of expression, education of quality for all, cultural and linguistic diversity and universal access to information and knowledge, especially of information in the public domain) will be presented. Multilingualism in the cyberspace and most particularly on the Internet will be considered from the angle of access to quality education, freedom of expression and linguistic diversity.

It also covers new planned and recent UNESCO’s initiatives to contribute to multilingualism in the digital world. On the topic, it is particularly relevant the ‘Recommendation Concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace” , an approved document by UNESCO General Conference setting up the general UNESCO’s framework for action on this component of knowledge societies.

Reference is also made to the follow up on the World Summit on Information Society, Action Line C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content (Geneva Plan of Action , Tunis Agenda for the Information Society ), which UNESCO will be a possible moderator/facilitator.
Session 1 Speaker:  Andrzej Bartosiewicz
Head of DNS Division, NASK (Research and Academic Computer Network)
Title of Presentation: IDNs @ ITU-T Study Group 17

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (Florianópolis, 2004) in Resolution 48 instructed Study Group 17 (Security, languages and telecommunication software) to study Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). The belief is that IDN implementation will contribute to easier and greater use of the Internet in those countries where the native or official languages are not represented in ASCII characters.

ITU-T Study Group 17 has been working on IDNs since Moscow meeting in March 2005. SG17 received impressive number of contributions and productive nature of discussions have been held during meetings in Moscow (2005), Geneva (2005) and Jeju (2006). Study Group 17 meeting in Korea, April 2006, gave final approval to the Question (“16”) on Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) that provides direction and focus to ongoing work.

Work on IDNs within “Question 16” includes inter alia multilingual issues relevant to IDN, deployment scenarios for IDN, repository of technical documentation stating the fundamentals of IDN, network security risks accompanying the implementation of IDN, issues regarding the use of regional language tables and web page open to public dedicated to promote Internationalized Domain Names.
Speaker:  Ms. Tina Dam, ICANN
Title of Presentation: ICANN’s IDN Activities

The single interoperable Internet is based on a shared namespace originating in a single root. This ensures that all users of the global Internet have a platform on which they can communicate with each other. The geographic extent of the Internet is constantly expanding, with a corresponding increase in its use by the diverse linguistic groups of the world. There is a need to continue supporting multilingual access to the Internet. This is a necessary step in realizing the full potential of the Internet for serving as a global communications platform.

ICANN takes all issues related to internationalization very seriously. In relation to its mission, the implementation of internationalized domain names ("IDNs") is of utmost importance. ICANN has already established guidelines for the introduction of IDN on the second level of the DNS. In addition, the Internet community and ICANN have collaboratively appointed a group of leading experts to a President's Advisory Committee on IDNs.

This committee is preparing a proposal for a technical test of internationalized top level domain labels. Representatives from all regions of the world are taking part in the discussion of the technical test and have agreed that the stability and security of the DNS which supports the Internet as we know it today will have the highest priority. It is for this reason that due diligence is being applied and that technical testing is to take place.

The test procedure will ensure that enabling multiple languages at the top level will not adversely affect users. It will also establish the technical methods that are available for such deployment and will enable ICANN's policy development bodies to move forward with their ongoing work with regard to policy decisions essential to a production environment in which users will be able to access the Internet using their local languages.

ICANN has and will continue to run workshops on IDN topics to facilitate sharing of knowledge and practical experience, as well as gathering of community opinions regarding the continued development of IDNs. The President’s committee for IDNs will use these forums to recommend potential changes and work assignments to ICANN staff regarding IDN implementation and policies related hereto.
More information about ICANN’s IDN program can be found at
Speaker:  Cary Karp, Museum Domain Management Association
Title of Presentation: IDN and cultural institutions

Institutions such as archives, libraries, and museums act to increase the public understanding of the diversity of human cultural and scientific activity. The focus of this action is often assumed to be maintaining a record of past productivity. Although this indeed is a key part of the efforts of these institutions, they devote significant further energy to contemporary creative work. This will normally (but not exclusively) address the needs of the community that an institution most immediately serves. Where that environment is multicultural, it is likely also to be multilingual. Attention to language diversity is therefore commonly required both in metropolitan and rural institutional settings, and the breadth of that concern may be considerable in both cases.

One component of this is the long-standing involvement cultural institutions have in the preparation of multilingual content for dissemination via the Internet. IDN has potential for significantly enhancing the value of such action by identifying the content repositories in a manner that reveals, rather than obscures, the linguistic identities of the cultures within which they originated, and of the audiences for which they are intended.

This presentation will discuss key issues as they are being addressed in a coordinated action within the .se national domain and the .museum international domain, as an activity of the Swedish Year of Cultural Diversity 2006. There are seven languages with official status in Sweden, and accommodating them in the domain name space illustrates a wide range of concerns attaching to IDN.
Speaker: Mr. J-F C. MORFIN, Intlnet
Title of Presentation: The MDRS “langroot”

Analysis shows that the Internet is the multilateral, multitechnology, multilingal concatenation of a global continuity, and the partitioning of this continuity at each structural layer into relational space diversity. These relational spaces also originate from languages. They have a structural need of empowerment, which they will address in controlling their own local “IANA” (balkanization results from not helping this).

Intlnet was created to coordinate the mutually consistent reference information that this requires. The MDRS project is its technology transparent adaptation to the state of the art. It will allow each relational space to maintain in its own language its own referential system that is made of a forest of computable and interlinkable ontologies. It starts with a open registry documenting every language in every language.

The first requirement was to define human languages in a digital network context. It was then required to address the bias of the current internationalisation, major language modes born from digitalisation, and interoperability issues resulting from the number of language codes.

Two task forces will help in the completion and testing of the MDRS open use multilingual Internet usage architecture, its ontology metastructures, registry management tools and servers, as well as interoperation solutions.
Speaker: Tan Tin Wee, Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC)
Title of Presentation: Global IDN Coordination – ICMC Initiative

When the late Internet Czar, Jon Postel, drove the coordination and global introduction of Internet domain names, he laid the foundation for the growth and proliferation of the Internet throughout the world through simple principles of delegation, trust, legitimacy, coordination and service to the people. The Internet has spread to people who do not use the default language of ICT, and even though we have had multilingual content on the web since 1995 and exchange email in all sorts of languages and scripts, we cannot address them except in ASCII characters. In 1998, I have implemented a proof of concept and widely testbedded the idea of an internationalized domain name system (IDN) that allows, among other things, the facility to express the crucial web or email address in the native script of end-users. Since then, we have seen the standardisation of IDN through the IETF (2003), and the ICANN-authorised deployment of mixed IDN.ASCII domain names. But IDN Top Level Domains (TLDs) still remains elusive. In the past three years, we have seen many authorities of different localities world wide implementing for their own communities IDN TLDs, using various workarounds to bypass the establishment which is too slow in meeting the needs of these people. As a result, there has been a proliferation of disconnected IDN islands worldwide, serving potentially more than a billion persons speaking languages and writing scripts that are not English-based as a recent analysis by the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC) has shown. As more scripts join this growing bandwagon, the Internet runs the risk of serious collisions of the same IDN TLD labels used by different groups. To prevent this from happening, MINC’s International Coordination Mechanism Council has been formed to coordinate this process of deploying non-colliding IDN TLD labels. At the same time, with globalization, the need to access IDN TLDs across these local IDN islands is increasing. The local resolution of locally enabled IDN TLDs needs to be internationalized and supported by other localities for mutual benefit. All local authorities and organisations responsible for supporting local IDNs can have a voice and a vote in the ICMC. Participation in the open processes of ICMC is guaranteed whether one has already implemented IDNs or intends to deploy IDNs in the future. MINC ICMC has established a coordination table of all known existing IDN islands and their deployment method, script coverage and resolution system. Everyone will thus be able to know who is deploying what IDN labels in which namespace. Anyone missed in this initial survey is urged to join and share with others their deployment and resolution system. A toolkit for rapid patching of an ISP’s DNS server for IDN-enabling distributed by MINC will enable resolution of IDNs of all localities in all locations on the Internet. This effort will also ensure that the existing ASCII domain names will continue to interoperate with the growing number of IDN domain names so as to avoid the fragmentation of the Internet.
Speaker:  Kangsik Cheon, Tongwoo (Richard) Kim (NLI Consortium)
Title of Presentation: Internet Keyword Lookup

Both IDN and Keyword Lookup come with pros and cons. Examples show that keywords in native language are preferred from a user perspective. Rather than opposing each other these techniques are successive steps in the evolution toward true multilingualism. The internet root structure is biased to English and top down management. A bottom up structure is more efficient and respectful of countries sovereignty. Statistics on Korean and Chinese developments confirm user’s preferences. A survey issued at IETF 59 in Seoul shows a dominant response in favour of Multilingual Keyword Lookup.
Session 2 Speaker: Fay Howard, CENTR, & Marcel Schneider, SWITCH
Title of Presentation: Internationalized Domain Names in Europe.
A contribution to the exchange of information and know-how in multiple languages.

After a short introduction of CENTR, an association of Internet Country Code Top-Level Domain Registries such as .uk in the United Kingdom and .es in Spain, CENTR’s membership structure and its mission and activities, the presentation discusses the basic principles for the introduction of Internationalized Domain Names, the concept of information culture and the strategic framework outlined in the WSIS action plan and in the UNESCO IFAP recommendation. The third part of the presentation provides statistical data on the current use, registration and introduction of IDN’s within the CENTR community. Objectives of the presentation are to emphasize the importance of supporting multiple languages in the Internet and to outline the current state-of-the-art in Europe as represented by CENTR domain name registry members.
Speaker:  Wang Feng, CNNIC, China
Title of Presentation: CJK Experiences and CNNIC’s Contribution to the Multilingual Internet

Firstly this presentation introduces CJK experiences in Multilingual Internet. Then after a brief introduction of CNNIC, is describes that there is great need of Multilingual Internet in China, according to the newest statistical survey report of CNNIC. It gives a detailed introduction of what CNNIC has done to push Multilingual Internet, including cooperation, technical proposal, application implementation and standardization on several key Multilingual technologies, especially on Internationalized Domain Name and Email Address Internationalization. In last part, this presentation analyzes the future direction of Multilingual Internet in China.
Speaker:  Imad Al-SABOUNI
Advisor to the Minister of Communications and Technology, Syria
Vice Chairman, Syrian Computer Society
Title of Presentation: Arabic Domain Name System (ADNS) – Status and Issues

Domain name System (DNS) is a crucial part for using Internet technology. Domain names are still written using Roman characters regardless of the worldwide spread of the Internet. Other languages are not yet fully supported to locate resources and sites on the network.

Supporting the Arabic language in domain names calls for investigating and addressing a number of questions related to Arabic linguistics and the domain name tree structure. The goal of this presentation is to give an overview of such “ingredients” required to design and implement a successful, workable Arabic Domain Name System (ADNS), to be adopted by the Arab and Arabic-speaking countries. The presentation contains a list of issues to be addressed, with possible approaches and solutions. It also highlights the experiences of The Arabic Domain Names Pilot Project (ADNPP) on supporting fully internationalized domain name (i.e., Arabic.Arabic) and offers some recommendations regarding the implementation of idn.idn.

Needless to say, any suggested solution should be compatible with international standards and rules adopted by the IETF, and in particular the set of IDN standards as defined in RFC 3490, 3491, and 3492.
Speaker:  Ayman El-Sherbiny
First ICT Officer
ICT Division
United Nations, ESCWA
Riad El-Solh
Beirut, Lebanon
Session: Operational experiences
Title of Presentation: Development of the Arabic Domain Names System: UN - ESCWA perspective

In the Arab region, language has been identified as one of the principal barriers to widespread Internet usage; hence there is a substantial market and a latent demand for using the Arabic language on the Internet.

The global undertaking to render the Internet more multilingual began in 1998. Within that context, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) joined other national, regional and international entities in developing Internet domain names in Arabic. Currently and at a regional level, ESCWA, the League of Arab States (LAS) and all Arab countries are striving towards that goal.

Since 2003, ESCWA has envisioned that an entire environment needs to be developed to satisfy the latent demand for Arabic content. The strategy adopted by ESCWA is based on a full-fledged approach that takes into account technology standardization, policy and administrative arrangements, and new applications.

From 2003-2005, most of the work, led by ESCW in this area, was mainly related to the linguistic aspects of the intended Arabic Domain Names System (ADNS). In addition to linguistic aspects, in 2005, ESCWA studied the technical and operational aspects of ADNS for the first time, aspiring to present a more complete description of the different aspects of ADNS with the aim of providing the basis for the full-fledged set of interoperable standards.
Session 3 Speaker: Michael Everson, Evertype
Title of Presentation: Encoding Diversity for Asian and African Languages – The Script Encoding Initiative

Access to the Internet or to computing in general for the writing systems of the world is entirely dependent on those scripts being encoded in Unicode and its International Standard counterpart ISO/IEC 10646. Those standards are the solution to the problem of representing all of the world's languages on computers but the problem is that all of the "wealthy" scripts have already been encoded, and the resources (i.e., the money) needed to do the work of encoding what remains is very hard to come by. The challenge for international organizations is to move beyond "policy statements" and to make real contributions to the few people who are trying to get this work done. The Script Encoding Initiative is one vehicle for channelling funding to those proposal writers.
Speaker:  Iván Guzmán de Rojas (IGRAL)
Title of Presentation: Experience with language implementations in ATAMIRI

ATAMIRI is a non-commercial system that operates in the Web as a truly multilingual machine translator, i.e. one program, one lexical and grammatical data base, supporting various languages capable of operating either as source or target language, with simultaneous translation from any source language to various target languages. The key aspect of this MT technology is its genuinely multilingual property. When a N-th language is implemented, this will immediately be related with the rest of the (N-1) languages in the system. Therefore, implementation costs are only proportional to N. This is an economically significant difference with other systems that try to cover the multilingual demand with multiple programs and dictionaries developed by language pairs therefore with implementation costs proportional to the N(N-1) translation directions in the language set.

This paper describes our operational experience with nine language implementations in ATAMIRI’s translator engine: the Latin languages Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian and Catalan and also English, German and Dutch. The resulting 72 language translation directions show various translation quality levels. Both language engineering and economical aspects are discussed. A project plan is suggested in order that ATAMIRI technology can be exploited in its full potential.
Speaker:  Nimaan Abdillahi, Université d’Avignon
Title of Presentation: Speech mining to make African oral patrimony accessible

Most African countries follow an oral tradition system to transmit their cultural, scientific and historic heritage through generations. This ancestral knowledge accumulated during centuries is today threatened of disappearing. This paper presents the first steps for automatic transcription and indexing of African oral tradition heritage, particularly the Djibouti cultural heritage.
DAY 2 - 10 MAY 2006
Session 4 Speaker:  Hiro Hotta, Japan Registry Services (JPRS)
Title of Presentation: IDN situation in Japan

The goal of this presentation is to share the IDN experience in .JP domain name registration services with the audience and readers. JPRS, .JP ccTLD registry, launched its IDN registration service in 2001. IDNs registered and managed under .JP consist of only Japanese language scripts and are called Japanese JP Domain Names. This presentation briefs the history and the growth of the IDN services and related activities in Japan. It especially describes the demand for IDNs, how IDN registration services were launched, perception of IDNs by the market, efforts in Chinese-Japanese-Korean region, and some measures to promote IDNs.
Speaker:  Johannes Christian Wichard
Deputy Director, WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
Title of Presentation: Multilingualism and IPR Issues

The importance of trademarks as commercial identifiers extends to the Internet, which has become one of the most important channels for commercial communication and marketing. On the Internet, trademarks have, however, come in contact, and conflict, with domain names, a different system of (technical) identifiers. The abusive registration and use of trademarks as domain names (“cybersquatting”) constitutes a serious threat to both identification systems. This threat has been addressed, since December 1999, by the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
The introduction of multi-lingual domain names may have additional intellectual property implications. While the problem of protecting trademarks across different languages and different scripts is already well known to the trademark community, the introduction of internationalized domain names (IDNs) will introduce added dimensions.
The presentation will explore whether the current mechanisms of dealing with conflicts between trademarks and domain names, in particular the UDRP, are sufficient to address these issues, or whether additional mechanisms may be required in certain situation to address the intellectual property dimension of multi-lingual domain names.
Session 5 Speaker: Mr.  Désiré KARYABWITE / ITU-BDT
Title of Presentation: Development programmes for universal access to ICTs

Achievements aimed at universal access leading to the creation of an information society have been accomplished in the telecommunication sector since the first World Telecommunication Development Conference in 1994.

Opportunities offered by new information and communication technologies (ICTs) should be fully exploited with the aim of fostering sustainable development and technology transfer consistent with national laws, through research and development and innovative technological applications, as well as development assistance for the promotion of quality of life and a higher standard of living.
World Telecommunication Development Conference, 7 to 15 March 2006 (Doha, Qatar) calls upon all ITU Member States and Sector Members to contribute towards the successful implementation of the outcomes of the two phases of the World Summit on the Information Society held in 2003 (Geneva, Switzerland) and 2005 (Tunis, Tunisia). In this regard, the Doha Action Plan will be an important tool for the implementation of the Summit outcomes. The Doha Action Plan is designed to reflect the WSIS goals, particularly the target to extend the Internet to all the world’s villages by 2015 as the foundation for building the information society." Illiteracy and ICTs inaccessibility are challenges to be overcome. The use of local languages in e-learning and Internet access is one of the solutions.
Speaker:  Tarcisio G. Della Senta, President, UNDL Foundation

Implementing WSIS agenda on promoting multilingual Internet requires enabling tools. As these are not ready available, ITU and UNESCO, in their respective and joint roles, are engaged in exploring means of implementing an information and communication infrastructure that would (a) support multilingual access to information and knowledge; and (b) promote linguistic diversity, cultural identity and local contents.

Our presentation will offer, as empowering tools for meeting this double objective, a digital system that is now emerging from convergence of Artificial Intelligence, Computational Linguistics and Knowledge Engineering. The result is a digital linguistic infrastructure called UNL (from Universal Networking Language). It is an electronic language that empowers computers to intercommunicate and to process information and knowledge written in natural languages, across language barriers. The UNL System, therefore, provides peoples with a multilingual infrastructure that enables them to understand, distribute, receive, and exchange information and knowledge in their mother languages.

The presentation will initiate with brief description the structure of the UNL System, its functions and applications and its current stage of development. It will describe in more detail how the UNL digital linguistic infrastructure facilitates access to information and knowledge imbedded in natural languages, and how it empowers the promotion of cultural identity, language diversity and local contents.
Speaker:  Christian GALINSKI, Infoterm
Title of Presentation: UNESCO Guidelines for Terminology Policies

There are several legal and other policy frameworks into which the Guidelines fit. In the United Nations, we have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). In Europe, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1992), which covers terminology aspects, the value of multiculturalism and multilingualism, and the protection and encouragement of minority languages (compatible with maintaining the status of official languages). At UNESCO one finds the intersectional programme Initiative B@bel (importance of multilingualism and multiculturalism in the Internet; 1998-1999) and a recommendation on the promotion and use of multilingualism and universal access to Cyberspace (2003).

The digital divide almost invariably co-occurs with inequality of access to information and knowledge, which is in turn associated with inequality in linguistic access. Inadequate terminology is one key factor in the inequality of linguistic access, and it results in ‘functional illiteracy’ in the contexts of accessing information and using computers. While it is emphasized that language is and remains the primary means of inter-human communication, the Recommendation also covers terminology aspects in conjunction with domain-specific communication, information and knowledge.

People whose mother-tongue is not (or not sufficiently) developed from the point of view of terminology and special purpose languages (SPL) or who are denied the use of their mother-tongue in education and training, for accessing information, or interacting in their work places tend to be disadvantaged.

In most cases limitation in the use of a language to folklore or to the family sphere means that such a language can hardly support professional communication. Similarly, a language that lags behind in its terminology for a given domain risks losing the ability to communicate in that subject in its language over time.

In order to enable in a systematic way language communities with less developed special purpose languages (SPLs, comprising the respective specialized terminologies) to actively use the Internet, the UNESCO Guidelines for Terminology Policies have been conceived.
Session 6 Speaker:  Subramanian Subbiah, Chairman,
Title of Presentation: IDN Global Deployment – The Wider History and Status

Since the invention and pioneering work done on IDN at the National University of Singapore by a team including the author in 1997/8, IDN has been the subject of many test beds and commercial deployments the world-over – many of which may not have been widely known or simply overshadowed by some more visible test beds/deployments. The goal of the current talk is to consider the two forms of IDN that have sprung up – the somewhat unnatural and contrived “two-language” hybrid domains championed by ICANN and related bodies of the form non-ASCII.ASCII (or known as IDN.ASCII) and the more useful single language domains that have the entire domain in a single non-ASCII script throughout (known as IDN.IDN) – and their systematic introduction in various locales over the years in a strictly chronological fashion. The goal is to historically showcase a complete and comprehensive as possible list of all such significant tested and commercial deployment to date. From this exercise it is evident that after almost a decade of activity, no matter what the reasons, the record is mostly of failure in reaching the much-needed and much-awaited widespread use of this technology. However, despite a key reason for failure thus far being the inability to bring coherent policy and necessary coordination between the various parties who have the keys to control such widespread use, the evidence also suggest there has been growth – painfully slow as it maybe, particularly in recent years. In fact, measured in terms of the two key indicators of success – the number of users who have the necessary software to use registered IDNs (i.e. Resolution base) and the numbers of registered names - a few smaller regional sub-sets who have had the will and interest to push ahead are showing the way ahead despite the near-decade-long, near-paralysis at the global level. Since some of these larger sub-sets form significant chunks of the global Internet users and an estimate made shows that the current piece-meal resolution-base may collectively already approach 200M users with over a 1M names collectively registered.
Speaker:  Krzysztof Olesik NASK
Title of Presentation: Experiences on implementation of Internationalised Domain Names under .pl

This presentation is intended to present the way the Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) has been introduced under .pl - polish ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) governed by NASK (Research and Academic Computer Network). The presentation gives an overview of actions taken in a preparation period before an IDN launch at NASK, first assumptions and rules of IDN registrations, development of an IDN registration policy and statistics.
Speaker:  Yoav Keren
Title of Presentation: Hebrew Internationalized Top Level Domain Names – It's Time to resolve

Hebrew is an ancient language, revived in the 19th century and today spoken by about six million people, most of them in Israel. Domain The Net launched Hebrew domain names with Hebrew TLDs on December 2000, with the support of Israel’s Communication Ministry, for the Hebrew TLDs equivalents of .com, .net and .org. IDN.ascii domains for languages (such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, and Hebrew) are not sufficient as they are a partial solution that doesn't eliminate the language barrier, do not allow a full and free cultural expression, for which every country and culture is entitled. ICANN offered to test NS-records, a proven technology, and DNAMEs – which were meant for something else. DNAMEs explicitly dictate policy - only incumbent registries will offer IDN TLDs, equivalent to their current TLDs, and in all languages/scripts – a source for major political problems and disputes. Furthermore, each registry could have different policies for each language/script – a source for cultural and political problems and of customer confusion. DNAMEs raise great mapping problems: who decides what would be the equivalent TLD in other languages, out of the many possible translations? Usually a domain in one language would have many equivalents in English and vice versa: who decides which registrant will get the IDN out of the many English equivalent domains? These are just a few issues. The only solution to these problems is implementing IDN using NS-records, and a standardization that enables resolving Hebrew and other languages’ TLDs.
Speaker:  Koan Cho, CEO, Digital Names, Korea
Title of Presentation: Korean Language Internet Names

A background introduction is given to the Internet landscape in South Korea, with emphasis on the Korean language. In particular it describes the widely deployed status of two different related but different technologies that address the Internet Naming concerns within the Korean language. The first of these – Korean language Keywords – was invented and patented in Korea by the author himself and was the first such concept in non-English languages. The market for these keywords has been vibrant with two competing companies in Korea – one run by the author. Examples and details of the current state of Korean keywords is given. The second of these – Korean language domain names - comes in two varieties – one the Korean. ASCII two-language hybrid promoted by KRNIC in recent years and the second – all-Korean domain names promoted for several years by a private consortium that includes most of the major domain name registrars in Korea, a keyword player and many of the key ISPs in Korea. Examples of and details of the current state of these domains is also given.
Speaker:  Kyung Il Kim /, Inc.
Title of Presentation: Global Architecture for Multilingual Keyword Lookup

For a decade in real business world, keyword lookup services have been supporting local characters only. However, to contribute to the multilingualization of the Internet and bridging the digital divide, keyword lookup services essentially need standardized, unified, and interoperable systems with simultaneous supports for multiple languages and countries.
In this presentation, we will introduce our approach to global architecture for the multilingualization of keyword lookup service, address issues in global uniqueness, and present the options to handle those issues. Also, demonstration of real service for multilingual keyword lookup in three languages (Korean, Japanese, and Turkish) will be provided.
Speaker: Mr. Sergey Sharikov, Ltd / MINC
Title of Presentation: Status of full Russian and Cyrillic language Internet names in Russia

Our company initiated of IDN process in Russia since 2000 year.
We are running IDN.IDN domain name within Russia (Cyrillic languages). We deployed fully Russian (Cyrillic languages) IDN.IDN (Russian.Russian) domain names in ".КОМ .НЕТ .ОРГ .РУ" TLDs in Russian (loosely equivalent to".COM .NET .ORG .RU" TLDs in English). Over the years we have attract several thousand customers.

To cater to public policy issues, we at Regtime initiated Russian Language
Working Group of MINC together with Russian language experts, representatives of the President of Russia Executive Office, The Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Institute of Public Networks and Cyrillic Script Working Group. And this has allowed us to coordinate amongst Russians and others in the Cyrillic language community.

We have helped obtain consensus on the cyrillic language tables amongst Russian, Belarus, Ukraine and Bulgaria. This tables was approved as MINC draft.

There are some issues on IDN.IDN deployment in Russia. The main of its:
  • It needs support by most popular browser (expecting at 2007)
  • It needs IDN.IDN support by authority roots .
Speaker: S. Maniam / IDN working Group INFITT)
Title of Presentation: Tamil Language Computing and IDN

Since inception in 2001, INFITT - The International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil – has been very active for the past several years in advancing the cause of 4000+ yr old Tamil language in computing and the Internet. Tamil spoken by some 70M+ people is amongst the top 10 languages in the world when measured by the number of speakers. There is a significant group of speakers – over 100 000 – in several countries around the world. Over the past few years, INFITT has brought together computing experts and linguists in annual conferences around the world that have boasted as many as 100 000 attendees and over 500 delegates per conference presenting research and other material. Such gatherings have resulted in the following notable accomplishments – the Introduction of Tamil as the first Indian language to be supported by Microsoft’s windows, the standardization and selection of a Tamil encoding standard and keyboard from the previous 30+ disparate ones, the sharp increase in Tamil content on the Internet thru outreach to hundreds of thousand of Tamil school-children via competitions etc, the selection and championing of Tamil language Internet domain names and providing stimulus for the development of Tamil software – Internet browsers, email applications, search tools and document creating software etc. In particular the talk elaborates on the INFITT’s successful efforts in partnership with MINC to standardize the Tamil Unicode encoding and their subsequent use in Tamil IDNs.
Speaker:  Alireza Saleh, IPM/IRNIC, .ir ccTLD
Title of Presentation: Persian IDN at .IR ccTLD Registry

This is a report on IDN development in Persian (Farsi) language at IRNIC, the .ir ccTLD Registry. This presentation reviews technical aspects and problems of developing IDN for right-to-left scripts. It also describes how we resolved a major potential phishing problem. This presentation includes reports about statistics and policies during the development and registration of .ایران (.IRAN) the top level domain.
DAY 3 - 11 MAY 2006
Session 7 Speaker:  Seleman S. Sewangi / University od Dar-el-Salaam, Tanzania
Tile of Presentation: Challenges of creating terms for localisation into Developing Languages: the Case of Kiswahili terms for the KiLinux Project:

Communication on the Internet involves interacting with a computer, as well as with other people across the globe. Interaction with each other is possible only where there is a language of interaction. One person can interact with another only when they have a language in a common. Unfortunately most of our computers programs today can only interact in English, the ‘global language’. This has become a big obstacle in the promotion of communication on the Internet. Making computer programs interact in different languages, i.e., localization of the programs, is one of the big challenges in the promotion of multilingual Internet. This papers focuses on localization of computer programs especially on the aspect of terminology. It highlights the challenges of creating terms for the localization process as experienced in the project for localization of Open Source (Linux) programs into Kiswahili ( the KiLinux Project).
Speaker:  Dawit Bekele, Addis Ababa University
Title of Presentation: Free Open Source Software for facilitating language flows

Internet has been dominated by too few languages, for too long, in contrast with the real world where there is high language diversity and effective multilingualism. There are many causes for that. Moreover, the limitation of software products with interfaces in languages not considered as “major” by proprietary software producers had considerable impact on the content availability growth for languages that are not considered as “major”. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has developed at great pace during the last decade. What attracts more and more people and organizations is the freedom that are associated with FOSS products, in particular the freedom to copy, distribute and modify the software. Nowadays, FOSS is also increasingly used by people and organizations who want software products in their local languages, especially if those languages that are not considered as “major”. The considerable advantage of FOSS over proprietary software with regards to localization is the fact that the localization of FOSS can be initiated and implemented by anybody, even without the involvement of the initial developers. However, for proprietary software, the developer should be willing to do the localization before the localization project can start. By promoting localization, FOSS promotes the development of local content that can be put on the internet; this promotes in turn multilingualism on the cyberspace.
Session 8 Speaker:  Prof. Dr. Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Title of Presentation: Measuring Linguistic Diversity Through The Language Observatory

It is estimated that over 6,000 languages are currently being spoken all over the world. The "Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger of Disappearing", also defines five levels for endangerment of languages. Basically, the language of any community that is no longer learned by a larger part of the children of that community is regarded as potentially endangered. What then, is the level of endangerment of a language on the Internet? At the moment, only a small percentage of spoken languages have been properly represented on the Internet. A language may disappear from cyberspace even when many speakers use it as means of communication in daily life. Aging speakers is an important factor, but the disappearance of a language on the Internet happens far before the point when the last speaker dies or ceases to use it because in reality, many languages on the globe are not even born on the Internet. This gave rise to the term "Digital Language Divide". This paper presents the effort made by a consortium of universities and research centers around the world to address this problem by establishing a Language Observatory based at Nagaoka University of Technology in Japan and conducting automatic surveys on the Internet to measure the language presence and diversity on the Internet.
Speaker:  Daniel PIMIENTA / Networks and Development Foundation (FUNREDES)
Title of Presentation: Measuring Linguistic Diversity on the Internet: Models for development and measurement

The presentation includes 3 parts:
  1. A framework to understand the complexity of the digital divide.
  2. Its application to the understanding of the diversity issue
  3. Some fresh figures about some languages in the Internet

The framework explains the 10 obstacles to overcome, above the existence of an infrastructure, in order to move from ICT to Human Development thus demonstrating that the question of access is just a small part of the problem. The framework is then used as a methodological basis for the systematic identification of the issues which are faced by languages (and cultures) in cyberspace. Some figures about the current state of linguistic diversity in the Internet are provided from the observatory if FUNREDES ( and some indicators are derived which allow to better understand the actual trends. The figure shows a constant decrease of the (still pending) dominance of English in the Internet (in terms of number of users as well as percentage of web pages). The situation of minority languages is critical and some paradoxical about languages are exposed leading to a conclusion in favor of multilingualism.

The presentation is a report of one the text published by UNESCO (in French and English): "Measuring Linguistic Diversity on the Internet, 2005", see
Speaker:  Daniel Prado – Directeur de la Terminologie et les Industries de la langue – Union latine
Title of Presentation: Présence des langues dans la Société de la Connaissance.

Toutes les grandes langues internationales de communication souffrent un recul important dans la communication spécialisée, que ce soit dans la publication scientifique et technique, dans les négociations internationales, dans les organisations internationales, dans le commerce international, dans les normes et brevets, dans l’Internet ou dans les TICs. Des efforts sont faits pour réduire les effets néfastes de cett situation, mais il ne sont pas suffisants et des alliances linguistiques doivent se nouer afin de rendre la place que mérite chaque langue dans la communication spécialisée et notamment dans le cyberespace. Sera évoquée la situation particulière des langues néolatines.
Speaker:  Viola Krebs, Secretary-General, ICVolunteers
Title of Presentation: World Network for Linguistic Diversity

This presentation will outline the history, aims and objectives of the recently launched World Network for Linguistic Diversity (WNLD).

This new world-wide Network was created in Tunis in November 2005 in the context of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and later launched in Paris at the celebration of the International Mother Language Day on 21st February 2006.

The Network proposes concrete solutions to the priorities identified by WSIS around linguistic and cultural diversity in cyberspace. Its mission is to value and promote linguistic diversity as the foundation of meaningful human communication.

Based on a multi-stakeholder approach, it brings together representatives from all sectors including civil society, governments, international organizations, research centers and universities, media, the private sector and individuals.

While the initiative started in the context of the WSIS, it is also planning to associate organizations not solely focusing on cyber issues, such as associations of writers, poets, researchers, designers, media, translators and interpreters.
Session 9 Speaker: Tan Tin Wee, Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC)
Title of Presentation: Toolkit for Global IDN Deployment

The critical need for end-users in a post-IDN era is to be able to resolve IDN TLDs in full IDN domain names. Service providers supporting these users need to rapidly deploy IDN resolution systems to meet these needs. At the same time, the demand for new IDNs in scripts of native speakers is also increasing and the technology needed to facilitate these usage of TLDs in native languages and scripts is a much felt need. MINC is progressively assembling a comprehensive toolkit comprising a set of tools and processes for the following:
  1. A working system for querying IDNs including plug-ins and helper applications
  2. Patches to DNS servers for enabling IDNs.
  3. Database of IDN deployments and detail technical data for mutual resolution of IDN TLDs.
  4. List of all known IDN-enabled servers which end-users can point to for universal IDN-ASCII TLD resolution.
  5. LiveCDs for rapid set-up of IDNTLD-enabled DNS servers (less than an hour)
  6. Submission system for reporting new IDN TLD deployments
  7. Coordination system for preventing, detecting and dispute resolution of IDN TLD collisions
  8. Easy system for Deployment of new IDN TLDs
  9. Reporting mechanism for homographic and homoglyphic collisions
  10. Tools for solving keyboard input and screen display peculiar to certain scripts
Each tool in this arsenal will gradually be rolled out over the next two years, and will create the Open ICT ecosystem that will facilitate multilingual innovation and wider penetration of the Internet to communities that do not speak English or are not familiar with the ASCII character set.
Speaker: Dr. Gautam Sengupta, Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Hyderabad, India
Title of Presentation: Multilingualism on the Internet: an Indian Perspective

In India multilingualism is the norm rather than exception. Indian language content on the internet is however quite sparse. This is more due to socio-economic factors, than technical limitations. Low literacy, inequitable distribution of wealth, the urban-rural divide and globalization have all taken their toll on the indigenous languages and scripts of India. In this paper I discuss some of these issues as well as a few technical ones pertaining to script encoding that need to be addressed in order to facilitate the growth of multilingual internet content in India.
Speaker:  Koray Kocagöncü, CEO, Netpia Turkey
Title of Presentation: The Turkish NLIA Experience

In Turkey the Native Language Internet Address (NLIA) project started in April 2005,and developed over the next 10 months into a fully operational service. The paper presents an overview of the Turkish demography and market, and casts the keyword lookup approach in the context of other multilingualization methods attempted in Turkey. Native names open the net to a larger population and energize e-commerce and e-government. From this experience the author proposes a thorough guide on critical success factors. Communication is essential because confusion is frequent in people's minds with other concepts such as search engines and private domains. Finally, suggestions are offered for the creation of vendor neutral institutions in charge of service definition, dispute resolutions, and cooperation with other bodies.
Session 10  
Session 11  


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