[Xfce-i18n] About German translations

Enrico Tröger enrico.troeger at uvena.de
Mon Oct 20 18:50:20 CEST 2008

On Mon, 20 Oct 2008 01:51:42 +0200, Christian Dywan
<christian at twotoasts.de> wrote:

>Am Sun, 19 Oct 2008 20:35:23 +0200
>schrieb Fabian Nowak <timystery at arcor.de>:
>> > >
>> > >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.
>> > 
>> > 
>> > Full ACK.
>> > "enable" has never a similar meaning as "einstellen".
>> Contra, but seee other post, I admit its confusing when it can be
>> misunderstood in that very context. But you do it with your favorite
>> music player and other things among "anstellen, aktivieren".
>For the record, one needs to be aware that 'einstellen' can have
>several meanings depending on the context. And 'to switch sth. on' can
>actually be translated as 'etwas einstellen'. However I would

IMO translating 'to switch sth. on' with 'etwas einstellen' can maybe
correct but doesn't sound well. For me it sounds like old German, not
sure how to explain but you certainly know the language and use of words
older people speak if different from what younger people speak. Not to
mention what the current 'Jugendsprache' does with the German language,
but that's another topic :).
Summarising, I think for 'enable' we really should use something like
'aktiveren', 'einschalten' or 'verwenden' and don't let sound the
translation like the translator was 90 years old.

>> > >
>> > >(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.
>> > 
>> > Full ACK again.
>> > 'Knopf' sucks. It reminds of the buttons I have on my jacket to
>> > close it when I'm freezing :D.
>> And this is where it comes from. You can push it, there's an action.
>> That's actually just the poit why I do not like  the toggle
>> button-like "Schaltfläche".
>>From my experience I'm used to understand 'Schaltfläche' as the same
>as a normal clickable button in English. The difference between
>'Schaltfläche' and 'Knopf' is basically the level of formality. And I
>think that's why 'Schaltfläche' is so dominant that it feels wrong not
>to use it, comparable to the use of 'Sie' forms.

I don't think so. Regardless of any formaility level of both words,
'Knopf' is simply wrong, IMO. Translating 'button' into German near its
meaning I'd say 'Drücker' but this sounds silly, obviously. But it gets
very close to the real meaning. 'Knopf' doesn't do that even not even


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