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 Post subject: Translation subtleties
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:09 pm 
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So... here I am on the totally Greek system, tweaking the details of the Greek translation, which is now complete.
I have ran on a problem, though, which I know you won't like one bit. The problem is the fact that you are reusing elements of the translation in multiple places, combined with the nature of the Greek language.
Contrary to English, everything in Greek has a gender (male, female or neutral) and a number (singular or plural). Take, for instance, the following element:
How large do you want the previews to be?
and the subsequent control elements
Large and Small
Also, let's take another element:
How large do you want dock icons to be?
which has the same control elements,
Large and Small.

So far, so good. However, in Greek the noun "previews", which is the defining word, is female. Therefore, the "large" and "small" adjectives have to be in the female form as well. But...
...in the second example, the noun "icons" is neutral in gender, therefore the "large" and "small" adjectives also have to be in their neutral form. But since you are reusing the same elements, that can't be done.

Basically, I've been having that problem all over, since that is the way the Greek language works. Also, Ancient Greek also had a third number, binary (yes, binary... as in, singular for one object, binary for two objects and plural for many objects!), and that binary number still resurfaces from time to time in modern Greek also. Anyway... all that kind of messes up the translation.
So, I don't know what to do. If I try to rephrase the text in a way that I can use the same word in every object, then I lose the manner which you are using throughout. For example, the line "How large do you want dock icons to be?", which is a first person familiar question, would turn into something like "What size do you want the icons to be?", which in Greek sounds a lot more formal than the former.

Also, I would suggest that you make some sort of a translation uber-helper, by showing all the screens and dialogs of the program, and having text fields with live preview in some sort of a mock-up for the real GUI of the programs.
I would, but I'm not, since I see that you've got plenty of translations now, and in all probability, you don't need to invest time for something that's already practically finished.
In any case, I've got a lot of translated objects that I have no idea where they appear, if they will fit, or what potential context flaws they might have.

Anyway... that's it for now... I'll go back to checking and tweaking...

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 Post subject: Re: Translation subtleties
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Another problem with the translation:
Dock Properties > Appearance
There's a button labeled "Open Folder"
Dock Properties > Themes
...another button labeled "Open Folder"

The second button is too small for the proper Greek translation for "Open Folder" to fit, so I had to make it more specific, in order to fit.
However, you're using the same object in all buttons, so, the first button, which is wide enough to fit the proper translation, makes no sense.
So, I either have the proper generic translation, which won't fit the second button, or I have the translation that will fit the small button, but the wide button won't make much sense.

Comments?

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 Post subject: Re: Translation subtleties
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:44 am 
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I fully understand what you mean - in fact, my native language, which is Portuguese, also has female/male genders, singular and plural (although I had no idea another language could have binary, eheh), etc...

Thing is, what we need to do here is the best we can, and that will be good enough.

The localization process had to be simplified in order to make it as efficient and automatic to add more options/words/phrases as possible - doing it otherwise would have turned the initial effort to localize Winstep applications a real, time consuming, and painful experience for me. As it is, any new options added to the program are automatically added to the language database - I don't have to worry about comming up with unique 'codes' for each phrase, or about forgeting something.

Yes, the same exact phrases are sometimes used in more than one place but with different contexts. I realize this works well in English but might not work so well in other languages - the only real solution is to identify the troublesome spots and use different words in English for each case, as I told you on another post.

The point is that the user understands what is going on (and he will, even if the translation for 'small' is female gender when it should be male in a particular spot).

Also, translation is not an exact science, nor should it be. You shouldn't have to worry about making a literal translation - as long as it makes sense, explains what the option does, and fits the space available, great!

In terms of spacing, the same English phrase translated to different languages can have wildly different lenghts. That is why as much 'spare' room as possible was added to account for this phrase lenght differences, but we are still limited by the UI and total available space in some cases.

So don't be afraid to use abbreviations where you need to.

As for knowing what goes where, well, with the current method the way to go is to finish a translation, open all the dialogs in the program, and adjust anything in the translation that doesn't fit in the allocated space.

There is no way to link a particular phrase with a particular dialog, first because the same phrase can be used in more than one place, second, because this would go against the goal I mentioned above of making adding new or changing stuff as automatic and transparent as possible.

So, the idea is to click every button or option that leads to a dialog in the program (and you know which ones they are by now), visually inspect the dialogs for troublesome spots, fix the translation if you find one, and so on. Don't try to be perfect, but don't do like others either who make the translation and then skip this inspection and fine tuning altogether.

As for any phrases you can't find in the dialogs, don't worry about them.

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 Post subject: Re: Translation subtleties
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:28 pm 
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winstep wrote:
I fully understand what you mean - in fact, my native language, which is Portuguese, also has female/male genders, singular and plural (although I had no idea another language could have binary, eheh), etc...

Yeah, I thought so. I like Portuguese... it sound so... juicy! :D
And yes... our ancestral language had... binary! And I bet your language has some elements too, because Latin is a (not-so-good) copy of Ancient Greek, and Portuguese is a derivative of Latin, no? Like, in English, there is "both", which refers to exactly two. Anyway...

winstep wrote:
Thing is, what we need to do here is the best we can, and that will be good enough.
....
Also, translation is not an exact science, nor should it be. You shouldn't have to worry about making a literal translation - as long as it makes sense, explains what the option does, and fits the space available, great!
....
So don't be afraid to use abbreviations where you need to.

Jules wrote:
I'm tryin', Ringo... I'm tryin' reeeeal hard to be the shepherd...


winstep wrote:
Don't try to be perfect, but don't do like others either who make the translation and then skip this inspection and fine tuning altogether.

As for any phrases you can't find in the dialogs, don't worry about them.

In that case, I'm done... :)

If you'd like to make the translation helper a bit better, would be to group elements together, based on where they are or how they're used, and add a 'search' function. Like, you translate something and realise you've made a mistake, or you came up with a better word. You should be able to search back and replace that word directly, and have the program give you all the elements in which that particular word exists, instead of having to go back 100 elements, and then another 150. And of course, group things as much as possible. Like, have a header saying "You are now translating Dock properties" or "You are now translating effects settings". Or even "This element appears in more than one place (slider caption)".

Anyway... I've done the best I could. Now, is the Winstep Xtreme trial -- the one that I can download from the main site -- feature complete, or do I have to download it from somewhere else, to try out the full translation?

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 Post subject: Re: Translation subtleties
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:40 pm 
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skagon wrote:
winstep wrote:
As for any phrases you can't find in the dialogs, don't worry about them.

In that case, I'm done... :)


Don't worry about them in terms of wether they fit in the space available or not, they still need to be translated.

skagon wrote:
would be to group elements together, based on where they are or how they're used


Not possible, unfortunately. New English phrases added to the application are always added to the end of the language file.

skagon wrote:
Anyway... I've done the best I could. Now, is the Winstep Xtreme trial -- the one that I can download from the main site -- feature complete, or do I have to download it from somewhere else, to try out the full translation?


It's feature complete. But if you're running Nexus Ultimate, then the NextSTART translation will be missing. Plus I'm just about to release a private beta of 11.1, so you really should wait just a little bit for that.

Tell you what: send me the Greek files to the Winstep support address and I'll get them ready for release (and since NextSTART and Nexus Ultimate/WorkShelf share a lot of text, I can import the translations you already made for Ultimate into the NextSTART language file, so you don't have to duplicate your work, and then send the resulting file back to you).

See? If translations were depended on dialog location as you suggested, it would probably not be possible to import WorkShelf/Ultimate translations into the NextSTART language file). :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Translation subtleties
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:14 am 
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winstep wrote:
Don't worry about them in terms of wether they fit in the space available or not, they still need to be translated.

Like I said... I'm done...

winstep wrote:
It's feature complete. But if you're running Nexus Ultimate, then the NextSTART translation will be missing. Plus I'm just about to release a private beta of 11.1, so you really should wait just a little bit for that.

Tell you what: send me the Greek files to the Winstep support address and I'll get them ready for release (and since NextSTART and Nexus Ultimate/WorkShelf share a lot of text, I can import the translations you already made for Ultimate into the NextSTART language file, so you don't have to duplicate your work, and then send the resulting file back to you).

You've got mail; I expect whatever you want to send back, so I can finish.
(I sent you the /Languages/Workshelf/ file)

winstep wrote:
See? If translations were depended on dialog location as you suggested, it would probably not be possible to import WorkShelf/Ultimate translations into the NextSTART language file). :wink:

Yeah, but you could take that into account in the translation helper, and do it automatically. ;)²

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 Post subject: Re: Translation subtleties
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:40 pm 
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skagon wrote:
You've got mail; I expect whatever you want to send back, so I can finish.(I sent you the /Languages/Workshelf/ file)


There's a beta of Nexus Ultimate v11.1 on the Beta Discussion section of this forum. Download that, it already includes your Greek language file.

It's critical that you translate the text for the Update Manager too, though. :wink:

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