On Sat, 27 Sep 2003, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
Pekka Savola wrote:
> Some of my observations from technical translations:
> 1) more often than not, they seem badly translated, or there just isn't
> useful local Language terminology which would be commonly understood.
And how deferring translations is going to improve quality ?
Short of actually paying technical translators (and yes some of them are
quite good, don't confuse summer intern work with real professional
stuff) the only way to have quality work is to expose translations as
soon as possible and have people report typos and errors (exactly what
rawhide is doing now)
Deferring is not improving the situation, of course. It's just stating
that it's not the most important problem of *Fedora*. Proper translations
will probably need worked on in other fora..
> 2) technical folks don't even know what the local Language
term X refers
> to (compared to the English version), as the terms aren't stable, and
> globally common.
The terms aren't stable or common when the translated body is small.
Any big translation effort will find good terminology and standardise on
it. The worst thing that can happen is small teams doing bits without
any coordination (which happens when the translated works are not
published as soon as they are translated).
That the terms have no relation with the technical english equivalents
does not matter. Poetic nature matters more since that's what makes a
living language. When you look at it most english terms started as a bad
analogy (from a technical point of view) or joke anyway.
Some of the best translations I've seen have nothing in common with the
english terms or the accepted accademical/commercial translation. But
they make perfect sense because someone at some time had a great
inspiration and found out a term that just fit. And this was in open
translation groups works btw.
And didn't you notice most of free software has an irc piggin english
that's no better that the translations you criticize ?
I'm not advocating that the translations resemble English. What I tried
to say is that when I see, e.g., a Finnish term X (which is used *by the
translator* to refer to the English term Y), I have no idea what it means:
English term Y, Z, W, or anything else.
> So, using the local language is often a much bigger
> problem, especially if you report bugs, discuss features or such in
It poses a problem in reports all right. Just live with it. Reporters do
not speak C anyway. You might as well forbid icons because not two
persons will describe these colourfoul thinguies the same way.
Please note that Fedora is meant for the early adopters, enthusiasts, and
developers. An increased amount of cluefulness should be assumed.
Especially with these user groups, getting feedback (e.g. bug reports that
can be understood) is critical -- because you don't typically get bug
reports (except maybe through official support channels, which don't exist
for Fedora) otherwise.
> 3) translations are often not really in sync with the latest
> some translations are missing, or not everything is translated anyway.
And software is not perfect too. That's why we have a QA infrastructure.
Demanding that some work should be held to higher standards just
because it belongs to another profession is the higuest form of
What I try to say that IMHO it is more important to spend the energy on
development, testing etc. _in this specific distribution, which should be
a "moving target", than continuously revising the translations.
But I don't really mind translations, especially if they're done by the
folks for which that's the way they can contribute to the project.
However, what I do object to is getting into the state where we expect
translations to be one of the number one priorities in this particular
Pekka Savola "You each name yourselves king, yet the
Netcore Oy kingdom bleeds."
Systems. Networks. Security. -- George R.R. Martin: A Clash of Kings