Re: [gnome-cyr] Re: gtksourceview/po/ru.po: ЭйчТМЛ? WTF?

Hi Mikhail,

Данас у 1:20, Mikhail Zabaluev написа:

> I see your point, the problem is there. That said, it's worth
> mentioning that your argument constantly revolves arount HTTP and
> C/C++, as these are the only two examples I can think of that can be
> misread as Cyrillic. These do require some bootstrap, but it could and
> should be provided by sources more appropriate than menu elements
> and such.

You probably never thought of TCP, CP (CodePage), PC, TP [Translation
Project]... ;)

And these are only the ones I thought of without trying to think of
special examples.  I suppose there are (many) more.

>> Besides, I think Microsoft should use translated names as well.  But,
>> they're not free software, so I can't do anything about it (not that I
>> care about non-free software).  Gnome *is* free software, and we can
>> do the best thing with it.
> I sense some Microsoft-bashing here. Of course, Microsoft is the Evil
> Empire, but they're anything but stupid. And they spend millions on
> usability studies. You can think you "do the best" here, but you'd
> better think carefully and come to know what the users really want.

They're trying to establish a brand, just like everybody else.
Foreign companies are always interested in establishing a brand --
did you ever see a Levis marketed as Левис or Ливаис in Russia?  That
doesn't make it right or good.  We're not trying to fish people up on
Gnome by marketing as something it is not.  I always remember the
storyline of Windows 95: people were standing in lines to buy it even
though they didn't own a computer.  No, it wasn't usability, it was

As a nice anecdote, once bombing started in 1999, some Serbian
youngsters trashed McDonalds restaurant.  Guess what they did: they
renewed it, and put out a big name in Cyrillic: Мекдоналдс.  Sort of
saying: "we respect you (at least now we do), so now you please
respect us".  And nobody trashed their restaurant again.  That's the
marketing when you need it.  "Branding" is what it is all about.
Microsoft wants to be known to everybody with one single name, and
they don't respect the rules of the language (Serbian has long
required putting correct pronounciation first, then perhaps the
original in parentheses). It's not usability, it's marketing.

My complaint about Microsoft was not directed at them in particular:
I don't have the power to correct what I consider wrong there, so I
*decided* not to bother.  I believe in Free Software, and I work with
no monetary compensation to further that goal.  I don't hate
Microsoft, I just don't respect them for not respecting me.

I'm positive that they didn't "spend millions" in doing usability
studies in either Russia or Serbia.  Perhaps they did invest millions
in marketing around Russia, but definitely not in usability studies.

And you surely don't consider it "smart" buying Rebook shoes only
because they're Rebook.  But hey, that's what "users really want".

If you check any psychology or sociology book, you'll soon learn that
most people are undecided: they use what is offered to them, without
any thinking.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it means that
if we offer them one thing, they'll accept it.  It currently comes
down to who is most vocal.  And old time computer users who used it
all in English are most vocal in Serbia.  That makes it look as if
they're a majority, while they're not.

>> When you want to do comparisons, don't compare languages using the
>> same script (such as German and English), but rather, try with
>> English and Russian.  When was the last time you saw Russian word
>> untranscribed/untransliterated in English book/newspaper, except as
>> an example of "a Russian text" or something?
> Why, never. But I've seen many computer-related product names (but few
> generic terms, in contrast) used as-is in Russian books/newspapers.
> That's what I try to get across: it's a common, established practice
> in Russian, and almost everyone seems to follow it. Well, except some
> old books from Soviet era and our GNOME po files.

Exactly.  But I'm pointing you at English books.  Can you elaborate
on the grounds of "usability" why in the world do not Americans use
Сојуз (or whatever, I know „ј“ is not used in Russian) for Soyuz, or
perhaps even Звезда for the ISS module Russia provided?  Why not?
They're completely technical, unique and definitely originate in

>> Yet, what if a kid sees "C++" there, and wants to learn more about
>> it.  It goes to the library looking for "S++", asks friends about it,
>> and nobody knows anything.  What then?  Why shouldn't it be easier?
>> In Serbia, if I write "Це++" there, whoever the kid might ask, be it
>> an expert, or not, will know how to direct the kid: "go buy
>> Stroustrup's book", or something.
> But that's wrong, the proper translation should be "Си-плюс-плюс".  Or
> should it be "Си-плас-плас"?.. Don't you see it's a big bad can of
> worms, and enforced transliteration is not even a solution?

No, it's not wrong.  I'm talking about Serbian here, and Serbian also
has a rich usage of Latin alphabet, where "C" is spelled-out as "Це"
(as in а, бе, це, де, еф, ге...).  Everybody pronounces it as such.

And what I'm trying to convince you is that the can of worms of
keeping all the names unchanged is as big as the one you see here.
It causes problems anyway.  I say problems you mention are far less,
you say the ones I mention are less.  But we agree that there are
problems in both approaches.  So, since we agree there are problems
in both approaches, I ask you not to dismiss current Dmitry's
approach at any cost: consider it viable alternative, just like there
are synonyms for many words.  There's no clear cut at "Correct", "The
One" or anything.  Of course, consistency over the project is pretty
much a must, so either live with it, or start another translation.

>> Yeah right.  And this is in what ways better (good?) than not having
>> to explain it at all?  Or perhaps having a paragraph or two explaining
>> that "Це++" is written as "C++" in English?  What's the difference?
> The difference is, English is much bigger in terms of users worldwide.
> If you insulate your readers from everything written in English,
> you actually do them a disservice, separating them from the
> rest of the world.

Well, I remember reading the books by Tolstoy, and never seeing a
mention of English there.  Yeah, the Language of the World was
French, and sometimes German.  But not English.  Don't you suspect
that this will change sometime?  I surely do.  Perhaps in 30 years
everybody will be speaking Russian.  I don't know, and I doubt you
know.  But I do not want to act foolishly and follow the masses now,
just to infiltrate my language with thousands of English words.  

If I do that, next thing I know might be I calling myself a pig or
something (like Bosnian people call themselves "раја", which comes
from Turkish, meaning herd or flock -- стадо).  By insisting on the
language everybody understands, we ensure no such things happen.

We've got a funny saying here (I believe it's from an ironic novel by
a well known Serbian writer from late 19th century):
"Ноблес је говорити немецки" (It's noble to speak German; notice the
noble=ноблес instead of the племићки or племенито).

If you so strongly believe in English, I suggest you not bother with
translation.  Unless you think of a translation as only a single step
toward people learning more English. :)

> Anyway, all this is pointless theoretizing. We should learn
> what the users really want. I'm not taking any more discussion.

I'm sorry to see you withdraw so soon ;)

Again, I'll remind you that we're not obsessed by marketing.  We need
not expend features and quality for the sake of users (remember users
shouting "I want this feature", and the other "I want that feature";
are we really responding to "what the users really want"?).  Since
this is mostly volunteer work, we should do what's best for users,
and I mean best to our own knowledge.  I certainly wouldn't want to
take part in something I disapprove (which might seem as my silent
approval).  I'm doing it for moral reasons, so I put moral before
anything else.  With Serbian it's easier: if it wasn't for my effort,
Gnome wouldn't be translated to Serbian at all, so anyone who
dislikes my translations, may choose to use what was otherwise
available: English original.

And these are the strenghts of Free Software.  If you dislike what
someone is doing, you create a fork.  If you want to do that, I've
even implemented a feature in status pages to hide your language from
the list (so official ru maintainer doesn't complain if you create
ru english po files ;).  If at some point in time it becomes obvious
that whatever you're doing is used by more folks, then GTP will
probably let you take over the ru translation itself.  That's the
process you need to follow if you disagree with some of the principles
which are debatable (as we saw here).  There's no clear cut, and you
should not withdraw from a debate.  I gladly change my opinion once I
realize I'm wrong (I'm not stubborn at any cost), but noone has so far
made me realize such a thing :)

I'm stepping out of this discussion as well, unless I see a good
point I want to agree with, or to dismiss it with such an urge that I
cannot resist ;)


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