The World Wide Web offers access to information resources in many languages. Certain developments facilitate multilingual exploitation of these resources. Some search engines, for example, allow the user to restrict retrieved sites to those in particular languages; some also provide the searcher with an interface in a chosen language. Many web sites also offer their information in several languages, one of which typically is English. Systran, a machine translation system available from the AltaVista search engine, can even translate a search statement or a retrieved page from one language to another. Despite these features, however, language also creates obstacles to full exploitation of web resources. Not all languages are catered for by these multilingual tools. Machine translation output typically is but a rough and ready version of a human translation. The variety of scripts in which the written forms of the world’s languages appear also create major problems in searching, inputting, displaying and printing text in non‐roman scripts. The paper offers an overview of multilingual information access issues in relation to the Web.
Program: electronic library and information systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2000
Keywords: Internet; Foreign languages; Access control
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