Karen Coyle kirjoitti 11.01.2018 klo 18:46:

> ... when your audience is English speakers, you probably don't want
> Latin display? Well, with the example of Quo Vadis it wouldn't be very
> useful to suppress the display of the title because the title isn't in
> English. If you aren't using the language to determine what to display,
> then what is the purpose of coding the language? If a user types "quo
> vadis" into a search box, do they have to say what language it is they
> are searching?

In my experience, the language of RDF literals generally becomes 
important once there are several literal values in different languages 
and the UI needs to decide which of them to display. For example, a SKOS 
concept may have skos:prefLabel values in several languages, or a FRBR 
Work entity could have several titles ("1984", "Nineteen 
Eighty-Four"@en, "Vuonna 1984"@fi etc). When displaying such data in a 
UI, I've generally followed this algorithm:

1. If there is a label in the UI language, display that one.
2. Otherwise, if there is a label without a language tag, display that.
3. If the above two methods failed, pick a label in any available 
language more or less at random.

The other labels that were not selected for display are either not shown 
at all, or shown separately with less emphasis, depending on the context.

In typical bibliographic records there is usually just one title. I 
don't think suppressing the display of the only available title such as 
"Quo Vadis" makes sense (and the above algorithm would show it in step 
3). But if there are parallel titles in different languages, then 
choosing the right one based on the language preference of the user 
seems like the right thing to do.

> I'm pushing back on the assumption that having each string coded for
> language is a necessity because I want a rational reason for adding this
> labor to the already complex task of cataloging. This skepticism comes
> out of my many years of processing bibliographic data that had
> underlying assumptions about needs that weren't borne out in practice.
> I'm not against coding for language, but I am against doing so without
> thinking through what it means for catalog users.

There's indeed plenty of reason for skepticism in this area!

One argument for ubiquitous language tagging I can think of is 
supporting intelligent text indexing. If the text index knows about the 
language of literals, it can perform language-specific stop word lists 
and normalizations such as stemming or lemmatization, which help match 
e.g. singular words in search queries to plural forms in the data, or 
vice versa. For example, the jena-text index which can be used with the 
Apache Jena Fuseki triplestore has a facility [1] for this which makes 
use of language-specific analyzers in the Lucene text index. 
Language-specific text indexing generally improves the relevance of 
search results (improves recall with little loss of precision) so is 
beneficial for end users.



Osma Suominen
D.Sc. (Tech), Information Systems Specialist
National Library of Finland
P.O. Box 26 (Kaikukatu 4)
Tel. +358 50 3199529
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