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C-2-C Project

Creator-to-Consumer in a Digital Age

Published Research

Series Two

Book 2.2
Multilingual Book Production
Edited by Bill Cope and Gus Gollings

The universal processes of globalisation bring the peoples, cultures and languages of the world closer together, But this process does not have to make them more the same. The merging technological tools of digital text creation and manufacture make possible quite the opposite — the revival of small cultures and languages.

This book sets out to argue two things. Firstly, that the technological, commercial and cultural forces of globalisation are moving into a very complex phase in which the effects on the Australian publishing industry may not be what we expect. They need not fortify and extend the technological. Commercial and cultural domination of the multinational corporations and the English language, but could become agents which foster increasing cultural diversity, greater local commercial autonomy, and the revival of local ancestral languages and cultures.

The second aim of this book is to discuss the technological, human skills and enterprise possibilities for Australia, a small, multicultural country in an economic region where the English language is becoming less important.

In this volume we are introduced to the notion of second generation digital technologies and their potential role in the global knowledge economy. We look at the current state if the Australian multilingual book publishing industry and explore avenues for future growth, as well as technological developments in the areas of multilingual typesetting and character encoding, and the future of translation in a digital environment that facilitates machine translation and human assisted machine translation.

The material in this volume has been developed as part of a wider collaborative research project entitled 'Future Markets and Future Products in the Book Production Industry: A program of New Knowledge Creation, Supply Chain-wide Awareness and Cultural Change', undertaken by Common Ground Publishing in partnership with RMIT University.

Our research is funded under the Infrastructure and Industry Growth Fund (IIGF) and the Book Production Enhanced Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme (EPICS) Grant of the Australian Government's Department of Industry, Science and Resources.


The aim of this part of the project was to analyse the technological scenarios for the conversion of Australian content management and book production software into other languages. This project milestone provided a practical assessment of the technical possibilities for industry players to get involved in multilingual book production. Research tasks included:

  1. Technical analysis of book production file management systems: multilingual metadata.
  2. Technical analysis of consolidated, multiscript typesetting systems.
  3. Technical analysis of the state of play of machine translation: its suitability for translation of book metadata, as well as machine translation.
  4. Multicultural and multilingual Australia: investigation of systems and resources for online translation of books or sections of books.
  5. Multilingual e-book and d-book publishing systems: an analysis of current products and services internationally.
  6. Analysis of requirements of the Australian book production industry for completing in non-English speaking and non-Roman script markets: issues of technical development, cultural compliance, local business and legal practices and language expertise.

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