Re: open translations database


[Could someone forward this to gtk+ and gnome devel/policy lists;
 using babelfish is thing so much harmful that it must be stoped
 and it must be ensured to not happen again]

On Thu, Nov 02, 2000 at 08:22:58AM -0100, Stefan Rieken wrote:

> > >> The current translation of open source software suffers from a 
> > >> lack of manpower. Thjs usually doesn't result in a lack of translations, 
> > >> but in bad translations. Half of the time translation engines such as 
> > >> Babelfish are being used.
> > 
> > Are you sure of that ?
> I'm afraid I am. When I read the GNOME Users Guide, it stopped halfway
> being logical, and then it wasn't much more than a collection of terms
> and words thrown together in a Dutch-English mix.

Then whoever did that must be blacklisted for any Dutch localization project.
It is not acceptable that someone with no knowledge of the target language
does it, and if he has knowledge of the target language he doesn't need
If really an automatic translation tool has been used for the User Guide,
the person who did that must be told very clearly not to do that again, ever,
and ban him if he perpetrates again.
Doing such a thing is as rude to users as writting "you are assholes"
in capital letters in the first page of the manual.

We must take care of that kind of things, as that can be done on purpose to
hurt us by some individual or entity that wants to destroy the credibility
of Gnome and the free software.

>> If a translator is foudn builty of doing such an horror in total disrespect
>> for the users and the language he is supposed to help; then he must be
>> put in a blacklist and their contributions must be refused for ever.
> This are not translators doing this. This are developers.

A programer that does a translation becomes a translator when he does that.
All the above still aplies: if he doesn't know the target language HE MUST NOT

> made the whole Preview Release 4 unusable because the window became
> too wide in several languages including Dutch.

That is a different thing: lack of knowledge of the context, lack of testing.
But using babelfish (or other similar program) is simply and plainly evil
and extremely rude and unrespectful to the users, the target language,
and also the programmers that do the "translated" program, as such a thing
make their work look bad.

> When this was translated by individuals, I think they would surely watch
> their result.

Not always, also a single string can appear on several place; with only
one or a few of them being problematic for the width.

> To make sure this mail gets finished I won't answer all of your points
> as well. I agree on most of them with all my heart. The only thing that
> I didn't agree on whas this "Unix terms are common to all Unices" piece.
> I think (as I explained in another mail already) that a lot of GUI terms
> belong to one GUI paradigm,

Yes, KDE, Gnome, XFCE, etc can use different terms; what I meant by
"Unix terms" are the classical for the shell, command line, xterms, etc.

Windows talks about "folders", but all Unices talk about "directories".
What I mean is I don't think that a same thing is called differently in,
say, IriX, Solaris or Linux.

Ki a vos vye bn,
Pablo Saratxaga		PGP Key available, key ID: 0x8F0E4975

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