Re: Use of American/British English
- From: Keld Jørn Simonsen <keld dkuug dk>
- To: Elros Cyriatan <cyriatan fastmail fm>
- Cc: GNOME Desktop Development List <desktop-devel-list gnome org>, GNOME I18N List <gnome-i18n gnome org>
- Subject: Re: Use of American/British English
- Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 22:16:20 +0100
On Tue, Feb 24, 2004 at 08:29:37PM +0100, Elros Cyriatan wrote:
> Op ma 23-02-2004, om 17:32 schreef Keld Jørn Simonsen:
> > On Mon, Feb 23, 2004 at 04:18:27PM +0100, Christian Rose wrote:
> > >
> > > 2) The de facto standard for this in most GNU and GNOME application has
> > > turned out to be the US English spellings, for better or for worse.
> > The difference is small, so not many have noticed.
> > > 3) Any developer contributing to the GNOME Desktop & Developer Platform
> > > should hence try to use US English spellings, and other terminology that
> > > the GNOME Project recommends, for example what's mentioned in the GNOME
> > > Word List.
> > No, they should use British English, as that would be best for the users
> > at large in the world. Think eg of India, which is a large market for
> > Linux, and who use British English as one of their business languages.
> > > 5) Anyone seriously unhappy with US English in the original strings can
> > > spend his or her time contributing to en_GB, en_CA or en_AU translations
> > > instead, providing much better use of anyone's time than ranting on a
> > > mailing list.
> > Why should people work on so many locales? Better have just work done
> > on a separate en_US translation.
> > > End of thread?
> > Probably, if you stay away from trolling.
> > But I think we should discuss this at Guadec, if you insist.
> He's not trolling. I personally don't care whether the source language
> is en_US, en_GB, en_CA or en_AU, but I strongly think there should be a
> single source language. Since en_US is currently the most frequently
> used source language, it makes sense to choose that. Otherwise, quite a
> bit of work would have to be done on changing source files and the big
> collection of current translations.
Yes, probably en_US is the most frequent language dialect choice today,
as thete has been an effort to clean up the sources to use en_US.
But IMHO this is a bad choice, for the developers, the translators and
1. Most developers have been taught British English in school.
2. The differences between the Englishes are much smaller between
British English and the other Englishes, such as Canadian, Australian,
South African, Indic, New Zealand, than from US English.
It would thus levy an overall smaller burden on the whole Gnome project
if we use British English, as less msgids need to be translated.
3. For users that use the apps without mo files, this would be more
according to their cultural expectations, eg in India, where they also
have smaller machines in avarage, than in the USA.
4. The USA is one of the more ressourceful countries, so the should have
the ressources to create a translation team for Gnome.
I see this as a trend away form US dominated specifications, that has
been going on for may years. When I first started with unix, many many
years ago, everything as in US English. Also the measurements, and the
defaults. Now we can translate to our own languages. And we even
can have the paper size in the A4 size that most of us want.
Eventually we will also have the source in a form of English
that most of the world would expect.
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