Multilingual taxonomies


Heather Hedden
MultiLingual April 2018

Translating a taxonomy extends access to documents and other digital content....

A common problem with any taxonomy and particularly with multilingual taxonomies is long-term maintenance. Taxonomies and their various language versions may be created, as projects, by contractors, consultants or freelancers, who are not needed and thus not available for the low-level ongoing maintenance of a taxonomy. A taxonomy, unlike a document, is not simply created and translated and then is done. A taxonomy needs to represent the body of content it is indexed to and serve the needs of its users. Over time, the body of content will change, as new content items get added and others removed, and even the users may change, if additional markets are added.  The unified concept (SKOS) model for a multilingual taxonomy is easier to maintain across languages than separate linked taxonomies. Changes or deletions in concepts or their relationships extend to the other language versions. If a new concept is added, however, it must be remembered to create additional language labels....