[Xfce-i18n] About German translations

Fabian Nowak timystery at arcor.de
Sun Oct 19 13:46:24 CEST 2008

Am Sonntag, den 19.10.2008, 02:49 +0200 schrieb Jannis Pohlmann:
> Hey,

Hey back (I guess I was meant),

> 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,

hey, these are beta translations -- I did not yet revision them. Do you
apply as voluntary revisor? That'd be cool.

> and
>   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. 

	Sorry, I don't understand that point. Please elaborate more.
> 	     - If a group of labels ends with ":" in English, don't drop the
>        ":" in some of their German translations but not in others.

	Ah yes, when there are 20 strings marked fuzzy and you repair one by
one, some msgstrings might stay unchanged with the colon left or removed
-- part of the revisioning process.

Though, it sometimes is better to use an individual style for the
translations, thus always using the colon or never in contrast to the
original strings. In most cases, tooltip texts are concerned where
ending them with a regular period is preferrable independently from what
the developer chose formerly.

>   b) - "Enable" does not mean "einstellen". It means "aktivieren",
>        "einschalten", "verwenden", "benutzen" or whatever depending on
>        the context it is used in. 

Uuh, you can't say that in general. The thing is that sometimes the devs
themselves just use *some* string; and the translators have to fix it by
choosing the correct words, not the direct translation. Of course, you
might still be right; please point to the exact translation then.

>      - "Button" is not "Knopf" - it's "Schaltfläche"! 

Button is "Knopf". See your given URL, way more translations for
"Knopf". Thus, I asked a MAC user how she would translate it. Her first
reply was "Knopf". Asked about what to expect from "Schaltfläche", she
answered "a wide button", meaning like a toggle button. She later
admitted, that Apple might have chosen "Schaltfläche" everywhere, but
asked on how to label the OK buttons on the small information dialogs
etc, she answered "Knopf" again. So it depends on the context; but in
general, "Knopf" is correct, "Schaltfläche" is something different.
(Actually, one part of my in-depth examinations at university was
usability in real-time systems such as big terminals etc.: Human-Machine
Interfaces in Production Environments)

>      - "Images" or "Icons" are not "Abbildungen" - they're "Symbole"! 

Sorry, don't know where that came from, only found that mistranslated in
the UI as well after having it translated correctly previously, and  I
totally agree, especially on using "Symbole" in contrast to not
translating them. Still have to find out where the borked translations
are, didn't find them yesterday at the first glance. Again a typical
revisioning issue.

>      - "Tastendrücke" and "Mausklicks" are two completely different
>        things. Don't confuse them.

Sure, just recently tried to differentiate on them; so please report
directly the context or lines where you find it confused.

>      - Don't upload translations like "... udn den SChwellwert ...",
>        will you? 

Uh, depends ;) That's what revision and revisors are for, aren't they?

>   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.

See above and link refernced further down and my education on usability
of control systems in real-time environments.

> You know, there's this cool website on
>   http://en.de.open-tran.eu/suggest/ 
> 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!

Cool site, didn't know that before.

Though, there's lots of things translated in a bad way, e.g. you simply
can't use "Fenster-Manager-Hinweise" and the like as is frequently done
in Gnome translations, it must be "Hinweis des Fenstermanagers" or
something similar and in general, it is already in English language a
bad text for the interface: people don't crea too much where the hint is
coming from. So please, when using it, do use your own mind for
estimating the correctness of the proposed translation.

I recommend using the free-dictionaries and the webster and other
dictionaries to always get a good understanding of a word's meaning and
how it is used and understood in (American) English language.

> 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 ;)

No, I regard it as a revision and am happy that both someone else
started revisioning them and  that I can update the translations that
far. Please report further changes/recommendations either directly or
via the list if you find more issues. I would also like to encourage
other translators to take part in translation discussions as was the
case recently.

But before finishing, there's other issues as well: 

- someone introduced the informal "Du" style which is very similar to
IKEA or to junior environments where it is indeed appropriate. Many
years ago, we agreed on using the proper "Sie" style. Please stick to
that. We are not IKEA, the saturation of the blue is different, there's
no yellow. Xfce might be used in surgeries, waiting rooms and on
terminal stations, servicing adult people in the most cases.

- I had used "Verwaltung" as often as possible for 4.4, though people
tended to use manager like a sports manager everywhere, which simply is
wrong; we are not playing football or rugby. Instead, "Verwaltung" is
way better for most applications except for the "file manager" as
Windows made "Dateimanager" popular. We still should revert "Window
manager" to "Fensterverwaltung" as is also proposed by the translation

- when translating the accelerators, please have a look to use different
ones for the whole dialog and to not use a or O or c as they are used
for _Abbrechen and _OK and S_chließen. Unfortunately, this still is the
case frequently and most work to revise. I invested lots of work in
that, though due to interface changes they got lost over the weeks, but
I am still working on them as far as the window manager settings are
concerened (this is where I know of them especially and things changed
since the dialog is embedded).

- the exaggeration of Deppenleerzeichen: due to unknowingness of
language and unwillingness of package designers and creators of
advertisements to stop that "Compayname Product<DLZ>name" scheme, German
language is now regarded correct when using "Xfce Einstellungen". Of
course, "Fenstermanager Einstellungen" is still incorrect and at least
companies are beginning to revert these faults -- have a look at Maggi
and Knorr instant meal things and the older and newer packages: you can
see them chaning back to separating with a dash or concatenating the
words again properly. We should see/think again where we can remove the
Deppenbindestriche and improve readability and usability without
breaking (common) German language.



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