[Unicode]  UDHR in UnicodeHome | Site Map | Search
 

How can I help?

If you want to help with a language, your first task is to read these guidelines, identify what needs to be done for that language, and what you are willing to do. If the task is sizeable, please send us an email, so that we can coordinate and avoid duplication of effort; we’ll get you in touch with other folks who have volunteered for that language.

If you want to help with the overall project, please send us an email. At this point, we do not anticipate that there will be a lot of general work, but we’ll let you know if that turns out not to be the case.

While the effort is highly cooperative, we have deliberately not deployed fancy cooperative technologies. This is mostly because we believe that the best way to get high quality results is to keep a very small editorial team, e.g. to ensure that the deliverables are homogeneous.

I am confused!

Don’t hesitate to contact us for help.

My language is not listed, or it is in stage 1.

This means that we do not have an existing translation, from any source, in any form. Your task is to find an authoritative translation, which will presumably be on paper. You should provide a copy to this project (a good scan by email, a good photocopy or an original by mail), as well as a precise description of your source. If there is no known translation, then you can provide one, but again make sure that you identify the translator as clearly as possible. In both cases, you also want to identify the language using the Ethnologue codes, as well as the dialect if that is relevant. As soon as we get a submission, we will forward it to the OHCHR right away, unless you tell us that you will do that directly.

My language is in stage 2 or 3.

This means that we have a source document, but it has not been turned into Unicode, or only partially. Your task is to type it in a computer. Ideally, you would provide the XML form, using one of the Unicode UTFs (numeric character entities are fine). However, if you do not feel comfortable with XML, a simple plain text version will do just as well, as long as there are enough traces of the preamble, articles, etc., so that we can add the XML markup; please use one of the UTFs or an encoding that can be converted reliably and easily to Unicode (e.g. ISO 8859-x is ok, but ISCII is out).

If you believe that the source has a typo, please type both what the source has and your suggested correction like this: “miskate [mistake]”. The goal of this stage is primarily to represent the source accurately, and only secondarily to correct it.

My language is in stage 4.

We have an XML version, but it needs to be reviewed for accurate content, i.e. that it correctly reflects the source. You can perfom this review on whatever form (XML, text, PDF) you prefer. If you make such a review, please tell us the result (even if everything is fine) and whether in your opinion it’s time to move to the next stage. When enough reviews are in, we will advance the language to stage 5.

One aspect is to replace the ambiguous characters such as U+0027 ' APOSTROPHE or U+002D - HYPHEN-MINUS by less ambiguous alternatives (for U+0027, U+02BC ʼ MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE or U+2019 ’ RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK). This is actually a bit more tricky than it sounds, because we need to find a balance between using the “best” character and actually reflecting the common practice. For example, it could be that a language’s orthography uses an apostrophe-like symbol to write a global stop, in which case U+02BC ʼ MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE is the “best” character; but if the orthography does not use an apostrophe-like symbol for another purpose, it may very well be that the common practice is to use U+0027 ' APOSTROPHE. Considerations such as these are worth documenting, and that is why we keep notes on the side of the documents.

You may find the charcount files helpful for this stage, to spot suspicious characters or character sequences.