Re: [gnome-cy] Kartouche (a possible translation aid) - request for feedback

Kevin Donnelly wrote:

For a few months we have been trying to carry on the good work started by Elfed Lewis in translating KDE into Welsh.

I'm still awaiting Elfed's response to the work done by myself in translating major parts of KDE two years ago using standardised terms based on Cysill and Y Termiadur Ysgol.... Most of the work on KDE could have been accomplished by now... Please give credit to those who have worked on this task.

While working on this, we began to think that it would be nice if we could use the Web to give other people an easy way to provide input into the process. There are many advantages to this, and after some work we have put together an application (Kartouche) that seems to meet most of the initial requirements. The purpose of this posting is to ask for feedback on the idea and the implementation, in the hope that Kartouche might prove useful for Gnome and other other free/open-source apps (eg, various PHP apps, etc). I am emboldened to post a K app on the Gnome list by the fact that Kartouche has imported without complaint the cy.po file that was posted here earlier, whereas KBabel (the current standard translation tool for KDE) refused it :-)

This sounds like a good idea, see also Dewi Jones's MTT/L10nzilla translator for Mozilla/Gwe-lywiwr. Please note that there are other programs as well: Gtranslator and poEdit - poEdit certaily opened the cy-po file.

Kartouche uses PHP to load the pot files into a MySQL database (one file to a table), and then provides a front-end for people to add suggested translations, and a back-end for the translation co-ordinator to accept or reject those suggestions. More information is at:

The Kyfieithu

I would suggest that you do not use K as letter within a term for a Welsh language tool, it may have been used in the middle ages but not in modern Welsh and will be viewed as an anglicized term and therefore negatively.

site has been set up as a clearing house for the KDE translation project, and uses a lightwight bilingual portal of our own devising (which, like Kartouche, will be available for download shortly). It is not really "live" yet, but (if all goes well!) will be so on 1 March, because on that

date, as you can see, we are planning a "translation campaign" - Kyfieithu mewn Kant, or K/100 - which will not only expand the number of translators (we hope!), but will also raise awareness of GNU/Linux and KDE in Wales.
Excellent, see also and where there are programs that have been translated and are available - Mozilla, Netscape, Abiword, K-meleon, Opera, Linux-Mandrake, Winamp, CDex, LeechGet, IZArc. OpenOffice is in the process of being translated.. Please give them attention...

If you have any comments or suggestions about this, I would also be glad to receive them - also any contact addresses. My wife (who is a first-language Welsh-speaker) thinks the response will be minuscule, but I (as an Irishman) live in hope ...

No doubt she is right, unfortunately.

The Kartouche user interface is at Suggested translations can be offered by using the "Start translating" link. The files (tables) available for translation are the ones suggested as essential for a Welsh KDE version - the planned translation campaign would start with those (around 4,200 strings out of the total of about 57,800),

I've translated much of those already...

and as those get finished, then add the others progressively. The admin interface is at,
Please correct the mistranslations and miss-spelling on this page...

and is currently not protected in any way (although it will be!). Suggested translations can be moved over to become final translations by using the "Accept suggestions" link. Please note that the Export and Import links do not work on the Web as yet - they are intended to be used on the co-ordinator's local copy of Kartouche. With both user and admin interfaces, feel free to enter suggestions (no profanities please!) and commit them, since the site is currently under test.

The trick here is to use standardised and well known terms - it's not really a democratic process.

The key issue, of course, is whether our import/export mechanisms will give acceptable po files. We have done a lot of work on this, comparing the originals and the Kartouche exports, and we believe that the answer is yes (only one of the 550-odd files refused to import correctly, and that was because it was the only one without comment lines). Clearly more testing would need to be done to ensure that the import/export filters are effective, but using this approach opens the possibility of preparing filters for other free/open-source apps, and leveraging existing translations/translators into those - this might be especially important in the struggle to keep translations in sync with new versions of the software.

Some figures:
- the 550 non-docs pot files get imported into the db in about 1min 40 secs;
- kdelibs gets imported in around 10 secs.

We are referring to the current version of Kartouche as 0.0.1alpha, which means that although it is stable and seems to work OK, it could do with some code-cleanup, a review of security, etc. However, its use on Kyfieithu will produce real-world information on its robustness - performance there will be useful in determining how Kartouche needs to be improved, and even if we end up copying everything by hand into KBabel, Kyfieithu/Kartouche will have served its purpose in raising awareness of open-source in Wales. We are working to get the files and installation notes packaged as a downloadable, and this should be ready by the weekend. Once that is available, it should be possible for more people to test it in the comfort of their own PCs.

I wish you well with the production of the software I'm sure it will be useful for the production of translation of .po files for the Welsh language and hopefully many languages across the world.

What gets me upset is talk and no action, and KDE has been a classic example of this. Creating a useful tool will not create a translation of KDE... Most of the terms for translating software into Welsh are already available in Cysgair and Y Termiadur Ysgol, others (the minority) are available from the Gwelywiwr site, or as .po files from the Linux Mandrake web site. Translation tools are available Kbabel, Gtranslator and poEdit and open source software producers are more than pleased to add another language to their programs. My request to people is, please _get on with i_t and stop messing about. If you prefer messing, please allow others to see that there is work to be done - the Welsh language cannot wait...

Rhoslyn Prys

Best wishes

Kevin Donnelly

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