Re: Translation of program names

Дана недељa, 02. новембар 2003. 02:08:56 CET, Evan Martin написа:

With that said, my personal opinion is that the "brand name" argument
made elsewhere is a good one-- something like "Спознаја" should stay
"Спознаја" or "Spoznaja" because than name is only useful as a
potentially meaningless mark used to uniquely identify the program.
For example, "sodipodi" means nothing to me, but I still identify and
use the program.  And though "epiphany" does mean something to me, it
doesn't help me identify it as a web browser.

If names were there only to use as identifiers, I guess you'd be right. But *luckily*, they're not. They have a lot of other meaning that is interesting to some (not all, and probably not even to majority). But I am hoping to pass those interesting bits to those who use my translation.

If it weren't so, I'd propose a different naming scheme for Gnome applications. We could start with developer platform, and enumerate:
- glib: 0
- gtk: 1
- libgnome: 2

So, I had a problem yesterday of using "f" of package "35" (or simply, "using 35f"), because it interacts badly with game 42b; and I was wondering if anyone can help me solve it. :-)

Aren't these enough to serve as identifiers? How come nobody uses such a scheme, yet, it's as much understandable, usable and easy to remember as scheme from foreign language? Surely no one will have problem differentiating between web browser 45 and web browser 73 (the one from 5th category ;-).

The point with GNOME menus is for the generic application task ("web
browser") to be used and translated; we only need "brand names" to
distinguish between applications that fulfill the same task, and in
that case an arbitrary name does just as well as any other jumble of
letters, because I can't know what makes the applications different
without trying each of them out anyway.  (Going back to (1), though--
it's much easier for me to remember/distinguish "sodipodi" from
"kontour" than it would be for me to distinguish two Cyrillic names.)

I'm giving up. The "problem" you mention here is one of distinguishing different apps that serve the same purpose by name. But I don't see why do you *mind* translation in here -- there's no rational explanation that translation would provide any adverse effects, unless you think some translator would choose to translate name of Galeon and Epiphany in the same way? I find that _highly_ unlikely.

Perhaps you have mistaken this for that previous thread? This discussion is not directly related to it, and I'm not questioning any of points brought there.

Name of program (eg. Epiphany, Nautilus) is used all over, so we've got messages like 'Nautilus cannot open this file', or 'Use Epiphany to load this page'. If name is not translated, it's really hard (if not impossible) to do declinations (this means that words change forms based on declination, eg. in nominative it's 'Spoznaja', while in genitive it's 'Spoznaju' and instrumental is 'Spoznajom', so it would be 'Use Spoznaju to view this page', or 'View this page with Spoznajom'; I cannot determine what suffix should I put for "Epiphany", because it's not a word of Serbian language; and keeping just one form all over is even uglier and grammatically incorrect; transliteration doesn't solve this problem fully). I hope I need not repeat all the other benefits of using translation (what's worse, I'm usually repetitive in same message, as Christian already pointed out ;-).

All the real reasons for keeping the name untranslated can be solved quite easily. Bug buddy provides solution for one of the most frequent problem already, and it's not a problem for translator to put original name along with translated one in About dialog, which basically sorts all other problems out.

All of this sounds a lot like "you don't know why it's not good, but you know it's not" (ok, I am overreacting, there are some valid points in the "cons" section of my previous mail, but not that they're impossible to solve).

So: (in my opinion,) marking application names as translatable makes
sense, but only so they can be transliterated.

I'd really like some real explanation of why do you think so (so I could see where am I wrong [if I am at all :-P]). In your message, you simply explain how different names are used in Gnome menus, which seems completely irrelevant.

Please take a look at my list of pros and cons of performing translation at

If you do disagree with any of the points I raised there, please do point them out. Otherwise, I'm not going to repeat myself anymore, and my excuses to everyone who was bothered by this thread.


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