Localization and the<abbreviated-form> element

Implementations that choose to use the <abbreviated-form> need to consider the effect on translation.

Design of the specialization

The <glossAcronym> and <glossSurfaceForm> elements were designed to accommodate the following realities:

Acronyms do not exist in all languages

An acronym in one language might not have an equivalent in another language. In addition, languages have varying conventions for how an expanded form of a term is displayed. When acronyms are first displayed, some languages will display the expanded form followed by the acronym in parenthesis, while other languages do the reverse. For some acronyms, a translation might need to render both the original and the translated version of the acronym. The <glossSurfaceForm> enables authors and translators to present a locale-appropriate expanded form to the reader.

If a language does not have a acronym for a term, the translation of a glossary entry topic might result in an empty <glossAcronym> element.

Synonyms are specific to languages, so translation of a glossary entry topic might result in empty <glossSynonym> elements.

Translation quality issues

The use of <abbreviated-form> elements might have a negative effect on the quality and cost of the translation.

  • Most translation tools do not resolve key references. Accordingly, translators might need to reference supplementary materials in order to understand the content that they are working with.
  • Because many non-English languages vary articles based on gender and case, a simple programmatic insertion of an expanded form or acronym might yield translations that are ungrammatical and awkward.