[Xfce-i18n] should console messages be translated?

Enrico Tröger enrico.troeger at uvena.de
Wed Jul 23 07:41:08 CEST 2008

On Tue, 22 Jul 2008 23:41:49 +0200, "Nick Schermer"
<nickschermer at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have stopped marking them as translatable. If you think the
> warning/error/message is important, you should use a dialog (or what

IMO a GUI app should work on the GUI and not on the console. Any expect
warnings or error messages should be presented to the user using
dialogue boxes, statusbar messages or whatever as Nick said.
Console messages in GUI apps are nice but should be optional for the
user to be able to fully interact with the user but they are helpful
for developers and people who are willing to help development in
whatever way and those should be able to read and understand console
messages also in English.

> Some warnings are also hard to translate, which leads to more
> confusion for both the user and the developer when receiving the bug
> report (like Jean-François already said),

Yes, I'd be afraid to get any console messages in Hindi, Chinese or
Japanese (these languages look totally weird for me personally as I
don't know them :D) in bug reports. It would just cause more
conversation as I first have to ask the reporter to provide me English
error messages which I can't actually read and maybe I even need to
explain the reporter how to change the locale to get English messages.

My suggestion as Developer:
Don't make console messages translatable to keep things easy when
getting feedback from users and to help understanding first time
reports, without the need of another three mails to know what the
report is about.

My suggestion as Translator:
Don't make console messages translatable to not increase the amount of
translatable strings too much unnecessarily. When translating an app,
it's nice to get it finished at some point :D. If there are tons of
technical warnings or error messages which need to be translated, it
might get frustrating quickly and maybe this causes in loosing interest
in continuing the translation.
Additionally, translators need to fully understand the console messages
which obviously will contain fairly many technically terms. If they
translate them wrong, users might be even more confused by getting
wrong or partly wrong messages about the application's behaviour.
Well, this can happen for strings in the GUI too but probably it's less
dangerous as in a GUI strings are less important because of the context
in which they are found, IMO.

Just my 2cents :).


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