10. Standardising the management and the representation of multilingual data: The Multi Lingual Information Framework
Due to the critical role that normalisation plays during the translation and localisation processes, we propose here to analyse some standards, as well as the related software tools that are used by professional translators and by several automatic translating services. We will first point out the importance of normalisation within the translation and localisation activities. Next, we will introduce a methodology of standardisation, whose objective is to harmonise the management and the representation of multilingual data. The control of the interoperability between the industrial standards currently used for localisation [XLIFF], translation memory [TMX], or with some recent initiatives such as the internationalisation tag set [ITS], constitutes a major objective for a coherent and global management of multilingual data. The Multi Lingual Information Framework MLIF [ISO AWI 24616] is based on a methodology of standardisation resulting from the ISO (sub-committees TC37/SC3 “Computer Applications for Terminology” and SC4 “Language Resources Management”). MLIF aims at proposing a high-level abstract specification platform for a computer-oriented representation of multilingual data within a large variety of applications such as translation memories, localisation, computer-aided translation, multimedia, or electronic document management. The major benefit of MLIF is interoperability because it allows experts to gather, under the same conceptual model, various tools and representations related to multilingual data. In addition, MLIF should also make it possible to evaluate and to compare these multilingual resources and tools.