As promised, our next addition to the MLZ suite of legal site translators is for Mongolian Legislation. The site covered by this translator hosts statutes and administrative orders of the national government, the capital city Ulaanbaatar and the nation’s twenty-one provinces (aimag), as well as judgments of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court (Undsen Khuuliin Tsets), all of which is covered by the translator. While the site is entirely in Mongolian, the translator supplements scraped metadata with English translations of boilerplate terms, as an aid to consistency when material is cited into English documents.
Like my native California, Mongolia is a nation of startling contrasts. My single experience of horseback riding since my ranch-hand days of youth was on a research-related trip in the summer of 2000—I well remember the horse-friendly forward-slung riding position of the local horsemen. Since then, visits have been limited to interview excursions to the capital city in mid-winter, the most recent in 2006. I certainly hope to visit again. In summertime, if possible. :-/
But to return to the details of the translator. Building this one was a particular challenge, because the target documents, from heterogeneous sources and with varying internal structures, contain no embedded metadata. Thankfully, essential details for each document are provided in the search listing, but because it is not possible to reverse-navigate reliably from a document to its search list entry, the translator works only in multiple mode, via the folder icon circled in red in the illustration.
Supplementary details of each item with translated phrases are derived from the navigation menus of the site, via a mapping table filled out by Erdenchimeg Dashpuntsag, who originally pointed me at this site as a reliable source of legislative information. Dashbalbar Gangabaatar provided the initial translation of navigation headings that helped me make sense of the site, and Munkhsaikhan Odonkhuu provided guidance on the structure and content of the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court materials. Our work is not yet finished, and other graduates of our programs at Nagoya—you know who you are!—will no doubt be accosted with a plea for help when appellate court judgements come around on the rotisserie.
The documents themselves are are in HTML. We pull them in without modification, stripping off the site navigation, with the customary attribution header and a link back to the original copy of the document on the site. The logo mark of the government body is retained, as shown in the sample to the right.
While I have taken care to avoid information loss in the quite complex screen scraping performed by this translator, there may be some unevenness, particularly in item titles. Infelicities can be ironed out in the light of experience, but it seems that we are off to a good start.
That’s it for this item. Tomorrow, watch for an important announcement concerning support for US case law.