WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Chinese/Japanese/Korean names and their romanizations in aFrench article


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Mar 25, 2008 2:10PM

Jukka wrote (in part):

> The parentheses aren't really necessary for any formal reason, since the
> style of CJK characters distinguishes them from the text in Latin
> letters. However, parentheses carry the suggestion that the
> parenthesized text is, well, parenthetical, i.e. that it is usually not
> essential for understanding the main content. In a sense, they are
> promise: you may ignore whatever is inside parens, and you need not
> panic just because there are mysterious characters there.

This is perfectly analogous to how languages are treated in the opposite direction: Here and there within a document published in an Asian language, you will see European (often, but not always, English) words in parentheses, as if to say "Yes, we really do mean 'sulfuric acid' (or 'ON/OFF switch') by that last character (or set of characters)." The main text stays in the main language; the parenthetical text is in the other language.

If you can, I would get them to follow Jukka's suggestions. They're not only valid; they're also consistent with the way translations tend to be done.

Cliff Tyllick
Web development coordinator
Agency Communications Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality