[Xfce-i18n] About German translations

Brian J. Tarricone kelnos at xfce.org
Sun Oct 19 21:38:01 CEST 2008

On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 18:01:38 +0200 Jannis Pohlmann wrote:

> Right. BTW, I don't agree on full stops at the end of tooltips. In
> English you usually also have full stops at the end of sentences but
> in tooltips you don't. Personally, I'd vote for doing the same in the
> German translations. However, I'm not so sure and maybe the GNOME HIG
> has some information about that.

Opinion and practice seems to vary a bit here (for English), but I see
far more instances of tooltips without terminating periods than with.
But I guess there are also two kinds of tooltips:

* Short tips intended to 'remind' you of what something does, like
perhaps a button that only has an icon and no text.  Like my mail
client's "Compose" button has "Compose Mail" in the tooltip.  (This is
possibly not the best example, as I have text+icons enabled for these
buttons, so the tooltip is entirely redundant and useless.)

Here we have brief commands that are often technically valid (if short)
sentences in their own right, but would be unlikely candidates for
ending in periods.

* Longer tips that attempt to act as 'mini-documentation' for a UI
control.  The xfdesktop settings dialog has radio buttons for "Single
image", "Image list", and "None" -- each radio button has a tooltip
briefly explaining what each mode does, e.g., "Automatically pick a
random image from a list file".

While these do tend to be full sentences, most don't end with periods,
and I personally prefer this style, even though it's technically
incorrect English usage as Jannis notes.

Last week when I redid the xfce4-session settings dialog, I noticed a
couple tooltips that did end in periods, and I ended up copying them
over as-is (it was very late and I didn't want to think about it).  But
on second thought, I'll be removing them.

On a related note, as Jannis also points out, all of the UIs in Xfce
need a string review.  As most of us know, Xfce is written by people
with a large variety of English skills, and there are certainly various
inconsistencies and instances of poor usage that need to be fixed
before string freeze.  Hopefully we can get to that soon...


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