My motivation in participating in threads like this are to ensure VideoBrainz starts off with issues like this handled from the start. This thread and threads like them have been very instructive. VideoBrainz has the benefit of not having an existing database and schema to migrate. I very much aspire to have a multilingual/multicultural VideoBrainz from the start.
I haven’t been involved in VideoBrainz at all so far. However, my day job is software engineering consulting on multilingual websites ang internationalization of software products. If it be helpful for me to get involved, please let me know how.
I have an aspiration to propose a design and plan to make MusicBrainz fully multilingual. Maybe a multilingual VideoBrainz first would be a good role model for MusicBrainz.
Hardly anyone has been involved in VideoBrainz thus far. It’s only good ideas on paper at the moment. Given the current level of involvement it probably won’t be alpha for a while yet. I’m taking my time to make sure the schema is right and to learn all the lessons from MB that I can. At this point I think it’s a bit premature to ask for your particular expertise; but keep your eye out for VideoBrainz threads. They’ll be coming.
You should keep BookBrainz in mind as well. It’s much further along than VideoBrainz. It’s currently in the alpha stage and I believe they intend to make it multilingual early on as well. There is a general desire to collaborate and share our efforts between the two projects.
I only skimmed this topic, but there seems to be some misconceptions about the “Sort Name” in the database. This is a useless column that ought to be treated as deprecated, and it’s actually already been dropped from some top-level MusicBrainz objects (like the MB Label).
What editors should actually be caring about is the locale-primary alias’s sort name. This is where locale sorting should be defined. Here’s an example of where you’d define the Japanese sort name (as well as the English name and English sort name): http://musicbrainz.org/artist/b539e453-c4fe-47e3-8a07-8517eac74429/aliases
Artist sort name
Maybe there should be some way to enter aliases from the “Add Artist” screen. I doubt many people are even aware of the aliases tab. And when you are entering an artist, you often have different locale names at the ready anyway.
I’ve added my vote.