[Xfce-i18n] About German translations

Fabian Nowak timystery at arcor.de
Sun Oct 19 20:29:16 CEST 2008

> I didn't you know there is something like 'beta' translations. But as I
> plan to improve strings in Xfce before the next beta I can as well try
> to revise the German translations for them.

Yeah, not in the direct sense, but string freeze didn't happen and this is 
yet work in progress/continuation. I will also try to check for consistency 
during the next weeks, as I subscribed myself to that as well (and was 
annoyed about noone having noticed "Lausträke" für a long time.)

> Take two dialogs like 'Appearance Settings' and 'Accessibility
> Settings'. If one is translated as 'Erscheinungsbild' and the other is
> translated as 'Barrierefreiheitseinstellungen für Xfce 4' this not
> consistent. Personally, I'd prefer to use generic names. 'Xfce4',
> 'Xfce' and 'Xfce 4' doesn't have to appear everywhere. 

Totally agree. Was somehow on my TODO list as well. Though, we should
try to make it suit the menu where they are listed as well as the
settings dialog. I think this is where the dilemma arises from.

> > > 	     - 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.
> Ideally you'd translate, then install the translations and see how they
> look in the actual UI. If you do that, you'll notice the differences.

Sure, and you note roughly 80 to 99 percent of the changes and mistakes,
and you don't see everyone, you will also not see every string simply
because you're human.

> > > 
> > >   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.
> It's right, a lot of our English strings could use some improvements.
> But "einstellen" is neutral (it doesn't say whether something is
> going to be activated or deactivated) whereas "enable" clearly is the
> opposite of "disable" and thus explains what it does.

Ah, I see what you mean. Of course, it's not used in the sense of
"configure", but "anstellen, einstellen, aktivieren". Though, I do
personally like "einstellen" way more than the others, but I agree on
the confusing effect for users, so better not use "einstellen" there.
> > >      - "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)
> (That doesn't impress me too much. My minor subject at the University
> is all about user interfaces and usability as well.)
> Personally, I strongly prefer "Schaltfläche". But I agree that you can
> argue about that. If you check
> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schaltfl%C3%A4che or
> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grafische_Benutzeroberfl%C3%A4che you'll
> not find "Knopf" anywhere. To me it sounds just wrong.

C'mon on, you are not going to reference Wikipedia at all, are you?

> > 
> > >      - "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.
> In the case of xfce4-settings, I've already committed updated
> translations for all the things mentioned here. See 
>   http://svn.xfce.org/index.cgi/xfce/revision/?rev=28302
> for what I changed.

This is what I don't like too much; actually there's Maximilian to
commit our changes. Or there should be a real coordiantor for the German
translation process again (I do *not* volunteer on doing that, I like
translating some modules; not managing the team).

> > >      - Don't upload translations like "... udn den SChwellwert ...",
> > >        will you? 
> > 
> > Uh, depends ;) That's what revision and revisors are for, aren't they?
> Additional revisions are good, but translating carefully right from the
> start doesn't sound too bad either ;)

Nothing to argue about, things happen ;)

> > 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.
> Dictionaries are important, that's for sure. But don't stick to them
> too much. Quite often 1:1 translations are just wrong.

That was my point in using Webster as well.

> > 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 might have introduced "Du" in xfce4-mixer but I'm not sure.
> Personally, I think the "relationship" between the user and his
> computer should not be a formal one. You can say "Sie" to your
> Professor if you're a student or to adult people you don't know but
> your computer should not call you "Sie". That creates a formal distance
> between the computer and the user and I don't think that adds to the
> user experience. But that might just be me.
> > - 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
> > suggester.
> "Fenstermanager" seems to be used a lot in GNOME and KDE (more than
> "Fensterverwaltung") and I think that's good. "Verwaltung" sounds
> passive whereas "Manager" sounds like an object that actually does
> something.

Once again, neither Gnome nor KDE are reference, especially if you look
at how the translated "window manager" - they also included
Deppenleerzeichen and made other mistakes as well. Once again, even
Microsoft wasn't able to differentiate passee composee from the
infinitive; but no French translation team should argue on that.

> > 
> > - 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.
> You can avoid things like "Xfce Einstellungen" (which I think is wrong
> because it should be "Xfce-Einstellungen" and that still sucks) by
> using generic names like "Einstellungen". You can also avoid things
> like "Fenstermanagereinstellungen" by just using "Fenstermanager". 

So, let's enhance these translations as much as possible, if noone
argues against.


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