[whatwg] Google Feedback on the HTML5 media a11y specifications

Philip Jägenstedt philipj at opera.com
Mon Jan 24 01:32:52 PST 2011

On Mon, 24 Jan 2011 09:57:10 +0100, Glenn Maynard <glenn at zewt.org> wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 3:10 AM, Philip Jägenstedt <philipj at opera.com>  
> wrote:
>> Multi-languaged subtitles/captions seem to be extremely uncommon,
>> unsurprisingly, since you have to understand all the languages to be  
>> able to
>> read them.
> They're very common in anime fansubs:
> http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/2681/screenshotgg.jpg
> The text on the left is a transcription, the top is a transliteration,
> and the bottom is a translation.
> I'm not personally a fan of doing this, but my own opinion aside, it's
> definitely common.  (I found the above example in the first episode I
> picked off of my drive at random; I didn't even have to hunt for an
> example.)
> I'm pretty sure I've also seen cases of translation notes mixing
> languages within the same caption, eg. "jinja (神社): shrine", but it's
> less common and I don't have an example handy.

Wouldn't a more sane approach here be to have each language in its own  
file, each marked up with its own language, so that they can be  
enabled/disabled individually? I'd certainly appreciate not having the  
screen cluttered with languages I don't understand...

More generally, I kind of doubt any solution we come up with will be good  
enough for the most hardcore fansubbers, as they obviously think they need  
pixel-perfect control of everything -- an anti-goal when separating  
semantics from presentation, as WebVTT tries to do. So either they have to  
use pre-rendered captions (boo!), or use a crazy format that is especially  
tailored to anime fansubbing (it already exists).

(Also, we're not going to see <video><track> used for anime fansubbing on  
the public Web until copyright terms are shortened to below the attention  
span of anime fans.)

>> The case you mention isn't a problem, you just specify Japanese as the  
>> main
>> language. There are a few other theoretical cases:
> Then you're indicating that English text is Japanese, which I'd expect
> to cause UAs to render everything with a Japanese font.  That's what
> happens when I load English text in Firefox and force SJIS: everything
> is rendered in MS PGothic.  That's probably just what Japanese users
> want for English text mixed in with Japanese text, too--but it's
> generally not what English users want with the reverse.

Yeah, the monospace Latin glyphs in most CJK look pretty bad. Still, if  
one wants really fine-grained font control, it should already be possible  
using webfonts and targeting specific glyphs with <c.foo>, etc.

Philip Jägenstedt
Core Developer
Opera Software

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