8 Internationalization - Metadata in multiple languages

EML supports internationalization using the i18nNonEmptyStringType. This allows an element in EML to contain text in a default language, as well as optional representations of that element in other languages.

Fields defined as this type include:

  • Title
  • Keyword
  • Contact information (e.g. names, organizations, addresses)

TextType fields also support language translations. These fields include:

  • Abstract
  • Methods
  • Protocol

Core metadata should be provided in English. The core elements can be augmented with translations in a native language. Detailed metadata can be provided in the native language as declared using the xml:lang attribute. Authors can opt to include English translations of this detailed metadata as they see fit.

Example 2.1. Internationalization techniques

The following example metadata document is provided primarily in Portuguese but includes English translations of core metadata fields. The xml:lang="pt_BR" attribute at the root of the EML document indicates that, unless otherwise specified, the content of the document is supplied in Portuguese (Brazil). The xml:lang="en_US" attributes on child elements denote that the content of that element is provided in English. Core metadata (i.e. title) is provided in English, supplemented with a Portuguese translation using the value tag with an xml:lang attribute. Note that child elements can override the root language declaration of the document as well as the language declaration of their containing elements. The abstract element is primarily given in Portuguese (as inherited from the root language declaration), with an English translation.

Many EML fields are repeatable (i.e. keyword) so that multiple values can be provided for the same concept. Translations for these fields should be included as nested value tags to indicate that they are equivalent concepts expressed in different languages rather than entirely different concepts.