The session will discuss issues related to Multilingualism and Diversity for the
Internet of today as well as the Internet of the future when we added some
billion(s) of more people. The session will discuss what issues exists, might
exist in the future, what issues have to do with governance, and finally what
we can do about it. Specifically the goal is to point at actions that can be
stronger with the help of cooperation. The session will focus on solutions,
activities and processes attempting to achieve a truly multilingual Internet
available for everyone.
Discussion will develop around three core issues:
Content in local languages. People must be able to create and receive
information in their local language, and to be able to express themselves
in ways their peers can understand. This can be the ability to send and
receive email, or to create content online for the web or new social
network systems and user-generated content. Increasingly, online
communication is occurring in mediums other than the written form.
Localisation and availability of tools. Software, including manuals and
training, must be translated and localized to meet local needs. Some
hardware, such as keyboards and also tools that support accessibility
needs of people with disabilities need to be adjusted or developed.
Internationalisation of identifiers. Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs)
and internationalised email addresses need to be supported in software.
Standards need to be developed further, and Policy regimes for registries
and registrars of identifiers need to be developed, agreed and deployed.
The discussions are to be based on end users needs, from three perspectives:
Technology, Policy, Cultures and Languages.
As Tunis Agenda 49 noted the criticality of implementing multilingualization in
the Internet development - We encourage the realization of multilingualism in
the Internet development environment, and we support the development of
software that renders itself easily to localization, and enables users to choose
appropriate solutions from different software models including open-source,
free and proprietary software. -, the panel on multilingualism at IGF will
discuss what efforts should be made to achieve the realization of
multilingualism on the Internet.
The panel is important because of reasons outlined in Tunis Agenda 53:
We commit to working earnestly towards multilingualization of the Internet,
as part of a multilateral, transparent and democratic process, involving
governments and all stakeholders, in their respective roles. In this context,
we also support local content development, translation and adaptation, digital
archives, and diverse forms of digital and traditional media, and recognize
that these activities can also strengthen local and indigenous communities.
According to Tunis Agenda 29, - The international management of the
Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full
involvement of governments, the private sector, civil society and international
organizations, should be interested and participate in the discussions. This
implies all stakeholders interested in the development of multilingualism to
achieve maximum access to and use of the Internet should be interested in
Related workshops include, but are not limited do:
If you are interested in exploring what are the issues in moving to
the new multicultural reality or where are we now? or what
additional work is needed to enable and facilitate the continued
spread of the Internet into populations with different
languages? etc, please go to ISOCs workshop titled as Steps toward
an Internet that is multilingual, yet remains global.
If you are interested in exploring the principle of global
compatibility of the Internet and the principle of access to local
culture and language in the context of Internationalized
Domain Names, please go to NIDA/TuDelfts workshop titled as
Access to Local Culture and Language (ALCL).
If you are interested in knowing the way in which
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) provide an important
component of a general strategy for making the Internet, and
its identifiers, accessible to a broad range of populations,
including populations who are not comfortable using the
Roman-based writing systems, please go to ICANN, APRALO,
ALAC workshop titled Internationalized Domain Names: Myths and
Opportunities. Access and Disability
If you are interested in knowing more about how to reduce
illiteracy and provide access and accessible content for
marginalized groups of society including the elders and people
with disabilities, please go to ITUs workshop titled as Including
Accessibility and Human Factors in the Universalization of the Internet.
If you are interested in International and national legal
instruments and strategies promoting the accessibility of the
Internet for people with disabilities and the role of the Internet
in contributing to the implementation of these instruments
(e.g. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015,
national e-accessibility strategies, etc.), please go to Council of
Europes workshop titled as Internet Accessibility for people with
If you are interested in emerging intellectual property rights of
local identifiers, please go to WIPOs workshop titled as Digital
Identifiers and IPRs.
If you are interested in the legal challenges in introducing
multilingualism of Internationalized domain names and
internationalized email addresses, please go to Cyberlaws.Nets
workshop titled as Legal challenges before Internationalized Domain
If you are interested in the legal issues of information security,
spam, electronic governance, and data protection, please go to
Cyberlaws.Nets workshop titled as Four Sisters for Developing
Countries Information Security, Spam, Electronic Governance and