Re: [gnome-cy] sut mae rhestr

On Sun, Sep 21, 2003 at 12:11:05AM +0100 or thereabouts, Dan Field wrote:
> Helo.
> I have just been reading up on Welsh courses (and trying some out on the web) 
> and I was wondering if there is anything that a complete novice could do 
> to help the project?
> I thought it might be fun to get into the tranlating efforts if it can be 
> done with a dictionary/lexicon. 

No-one's replied, so I'll have a go.

The policy for translations in Gnome is, as far as I know, that it
should be native speakers who do translations, because they are the
only ones who fully understand the connotations of some words. I
know I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to people here debate
words and come up with "but that just sounds... more friendly/correct/

On the other hand, I will admit to having filled a few bits in myself.
There are parts of the evolution po file, for example, which are just
lists of placenames. Unless the place has a name in Welsh, they're
just copied straight into the place for the translated word. (And
sometimes, even if it has a name in Welsh: there was one Newport
which nearly ended up as Casnewydd until we realised it was in

And a dictionary can help a lot. We have quite a collection between
us so there are occasional "what would people use for...?" conversations
on IRC where Dafydd is frowning at the GyA, I am quoting from the
Termiadur, Bryn is looking at his (which I forget) and someone else 
is saying "Well, KDE is using..."

I don't know whether it's just a natural bent, or whether it's being
a learner, but I have spotted my fair share of typos. I think it's
because I have to read each word and work out the sentence. In English
I just skim a sentence as a whole and move on. In Welsh, if it's a
word I don't know, I have to stop and look it up.

When we start working on Gnome 2.5 (which will turn into Gnome 2.6)
there will be a lot of grunt work I feel reasonably confident I can
help with. It consists of taking the strings from Gnome 2.4, running
msgmerge on the po files from 2.5, and going through the results. 
Unless it is an absolutely perfectly character-for-character match,
the new translation will be marked as fuzzy. So if "Close Window" has 
changed to "Close window", it will mark it as fuzzy, and it has to be 
un-marked. Things like that can be a pain when there are 800-odd. 
(And there will be, in some files.)

However, msgmerge is a bit more cavalier than that and will also 
see a new "Open window" message and potentially think it looks the
same as "Close window" and suggest the translation for closing it
as the new fuzzy one for opening it. I have seen almost exactly
that example happen. So you have to be careful.

(Occasionally, it just gets surreal, and the results are entertaining
enough to post to IRC.)

Also, when we were frantically chasing the deadline, I did do some
amateur attempts at translating all the easy messages in a file.
However, I did send them to Daf or Chris or someone for checking
first. Whilst I was quite chuffed with the results, it was a very
good job I didn't commit any of them: there were mistakes in all
of them. I hate bad strings in English, so I am glad I didn't
commit them in Welsh.

> I'm currently working for Ceredigion County Council as a DBA/Developer 
> but have recently applied for a job at the National Library of Wales 
> on a welsh portal project (bilingual), so I guess this ties in with 
> that possibility too :) 
> If I can be of any assistance, I'd love to help such a worthwhile project.

Well, there are some thoughts above.

We also sorely need people just to run the thing in Welsh and note
bits that don't make sense, that are in English (shouldn't be any,
but..), where keybindings are blatently missing from the menu entry
and should be there, and so on. 

The keyboard accelerators are defined by putting an underscore in the 
po file. So that msgid "_Close" will throw up a button with the C 
underlined. We don't have to use the same letter, thankfully. My
close button says Gadael with the G underlined. And I have seen
screenshots in other languages where it will give the word in 
non-Roman characters and then have in brackets the letter on a
Western keyboard to hit.

But it's very easy accidentally to omit the underscore when editing
a po file. Particularly because it is typical to have "Some Word" (the
tooltip, perhaps) and "Some _Word" (the button), with the underscore
in one only.

Finally, re-reading, I notice "or a lexicon" and it reminded me
of one other thing. We started out with a list of words we intended
to use whenever certain words in English came up. This list,
though, changed over time. I think there are at least four ways
to refer to bookmarks, for example. And I'll bet we have more than
one of them in Gnome. Finding the multiple words being used for
the same English word is going to take time, and we shall need
help with that, too. Dafydd (Harries -- there is more than one
Dafydd on this list) has started a more up-to-date list than
the one we began with. Every so often, someone convinces the
others that we should change word, too. We did this with "Preferences",
for example. And finding and fixing all occurrences of it is
something else that takes time. The more the merrier. 

Telsa (subject to correction :))

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