Translation Requirements


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Submitted By
Chris Chadwick
Votes: 15

To subscribe to both the spirit of open everything, and of maintaining costs in a reasonable range to do so, we should consider not translating everything as a matter of course - especially when we want to be seeing more and more diverse open information and open data coming from all corners of government.  This will only be feasible if we drop the requirement that "everything that goes online goes in both official languages" - this line simply doesn't make sense in the Open world.  

Instead, you should institute a "translate by request" function, whereby translation costs are only incurred if the document is actually requested in another official language (and letting requesters know that each requests for a translation costs tax-payers $X amount of money).  

I know you feel like you have stringent rules about accessibility in both official languages, and for some webpages/resources, I agree - but to apply the same standard to Open Info and Data is shooting yourself in the foot, or hamstringing yourself, pick your favorite analogy...  If this requirement is already keeping folks from publishing Open Information (and I've heard at a recent dinner party attended by some top public servants that it already is), then it's got to be revisited.

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Submitted by Mark Decyk on February 28, 2018 - 3:38 PM

I note that it was suggested that government materials be more widely translated. We have two official languages, this suffices. Anyone with a smartphone can instantly translate any text through readily available commercial services. Failing that, a library can provide the necessary tools. We do not need government staff translating documents in anticipation of some potential need. I am open to government providing translation services as required, for a fee.