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[protege-owl] Best Practice for multilingual ontologies

Schentz Herbert herbert.schentz at
Wed Sep 20 22:51:18 PDT 2006

Thanks Olivier, thanks Steve!
I learned through your discussion, that there are a lot of different things I have to take into account. Thank you for that!  I think I have to be aware of "incomplete" languages, not containing translations for all concepts and we will, even in Europe have some sort of "Master Language" (English and Latin for some concepts).  
Did I get you right, that I should work with separate classes and instances for each language, setting them equivalent, and not with (dc-) annotations, because you can not reason against annotations ? (I know that there are problems in graphical displays and searching of annotations)
Herbert Schentz
T: +43-(0)1-313 04/5308
F: +43-(0)1-313 04/3555
herbert.schentz at <mailto:herbert.schentz at>  

Spittelauer Lände 5
1090 Wien
Österreich/Austria <> 

	-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
	Von: protege-owl-bounces at [mailto:protege-owl-bounces at] Im Auftrag von Steven Wartik
	Gesendet: Mittwoch, 20. September 2006 23:31
	An: User support for the Protege-OWL editor
	Betreff: Re: [protege-owl] Best Practice for multilingual ontologies
	Hmm. I think I was assuming some tool capabilities that do not currently exist, even in (gasp!) Protégé. I like the notion of a concept being independent of language -- a rose by any other name, and all that -- and want to tell my ontology editor "Use the English version" or "Use the Sanskrit version" without having to switch URIs. Then too, would you want to map only the German version of an ontology? I'd think it would be more useful to map concepts in myOntology.owl. Maybe I'm not understanding what you desire to map.
	But as you point out, my approach either asks a lot of whoever is responsible for myOntology.owl, or requires some advanced capability that allows basically anyone to make certain edits to an ontology. I rather prefer my ideal world, but I may need to live in yours for the foreseeable future.
	Steve Wartik
	Olivier Dameron wrote: 

		Quoting Steven Wartik <swartik at> <mailto:swartik at> :

			I agree with your idea about modularization. I am curious to know why
			you would have myOntology-??.owl import myOntology.owl, rather than the
			other way around. If myOntology.owl imports myOntology-en.owl,
			myOntology-fr.owl, etc. then everyone can reference a single URI, yet
			still have access to the ontology in their preferred language.

		The idea is that people may only be interested in some of the  
		languages, not all, or even
		no language at all. This way, they can choose whatever they like.
		Second, I assume that you are not going to do all the translations in  
		every language.
		More likely, each language will be contributed by a different person.  
		This way, thay can
		all manage and share their language-specific part the way they like, without a
		centralised repository. You could even have several versions of a same  
		language (not sure
		if that would really be useful, though, just speculating)
		Eventually, I also see your point to have a bundle. Well, nothing  
		prevents you from
		- myOntology.owl
		- myOntology-en.owl, myOntology-de.owl, etc, each one importing myOntology.owl
		- myOntology-multilingual.owl that imports all the language-specific ones
		This way, people can choose the bare ontology, the ontology + some  
		languages, or the
		ontology + all languages.
		PS: if at some point you want to map myOntology-de.owl with some other  
		german ontology,
		you obviously won't need the french part.
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