[Xfce-i18n] About German translations

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at xfce.org
Sun Oct 19 02:49:07 CEST 2008


I just gave the German translations of xfce4-settings some love. Please
don't take this as a rant even though I know it is one. I just think
the translations could be significantly improved if they 

  a) were consistent,
  b) were correct,


  c) would follow common language conventions everyone knows.

To give a few examples:

  a) - Don't use generic titles like "Erscheinungsbild" in one dialog
       and non-generic titles like "Einstellungsverwaltung für Xfce 4"
       in another one. 
     - If a group of labels ends with ":" in English, don't drop the
       ":" in some of their German translations but not in others.

  b) - "Enable" does not mean "einstellen". It means "aktivieren",
       "einschalten", "verwenden", "benutzen" or whatever depending on
       the context it is used in. 
     - "Button" is not "Knopf" - it's "Schaltfläche"! 
     - "Images" or "Icons" are not "Abbildungen" - they're "Symbole"! 
     - "Tastendrücke" and "Mausklicks" are two completely different
       things. Don't confuse them.
     - Don't upload translations like "... udn den SChwellwert ...",
       will you? 

  c) I've mentioned this before in the discussion about
     "Netznavigator": please honor and stick to common language
     conventions. "Knopf" is another example of a word that is not
     commonly used. If you're unsure about a word, look it up on the
     web, see how and and in what context it is used and whether it's
     appropriate in your case or not. Don't rely on your memory too
     much. Unless you are a computer linguist your memory will betray
     you a lot of times because user interface language is not the same
     as "normal" language.

You know, there's this cool website on


which helps to pick the right translations for almost everything. It
also ensures there is at least a certain amount of consistency
across different projects. It's fun and illuminative. I encourage
anyone to use it!

Please let this not discourage you in your work. A lot of people
appreciate what you're doing, so do I. And I know you can do even
better ;)

  - Jannis
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