[François Pinard <pinard iro umontreal ca>] Re:Do not use gettext (was Re: what is gettext?)

With François permission, I'll forward the following message to the


Hi, peole.

> |   Really usefull would be a central dictionary server which can be
> |   contacted with a key for the word and the name of the language.  The
> |   server can look up the word in his translation database and give you the
> |   translation.
> Often, the word per se isn't the problem; and the translator might work
> quicker if she whould check the word in a printed dictionary than if she
> would contact the dictionary server somewhere on the internet first ;-)

Terminology is a problem in itself which is worth being addressed.  Even if
mere word lookup sometimes yield interesting results, in general, it has to go
much beyond that.  Lexicographic cards usually study words in various contexts
and hold a few references and quotations, it is an art in itself to produce
useful and usable lexicography.

Besides lexicography, the problem remains to translate short sentences as a
whole, and once the necessary lexicographic research has been completed, a
significant part of the translation work is still writing text and using the
goal language correctly, respecting the grammar, while trying to fit in the
artificial limits of the application.

> François has started to work on some helper features, he wants to add to
> po-mode.el (auxiliary files).  This way, it should be possible to load
> several PO files in Emacs buffers and to reuse translations form all of them
> (with the side effect, that unifications of translations could be
> transformed at the same time).

By the way, auxiliary translation files are already available in most recent
PO modes.  They are really meant for translators culturate enough to know many
foreign languages at once.  Compendium files and lexicographic tools are yet
to be programmed.

> |   Furthermore it would be possible to place some central servers in the
> |   Internet.  If the people use them, they will grow without any further
> |   work.  And in the end we have a really big global dictionary database
> |   and you can kick your 10kg Oxford-Whatelse out of the window.

I may be a bit old-fashioned, but I think that a good team of linguistic
specialists, who carefully craft their work, would achieve a quality that just
cannot be equalled by a database of random contributions, even when done
through clever groupware.  Not that we could not find nice pearls here and
there, but the overall quality would not very appealing.  I'm not an English
speaker, but nevertheless, I have the prejudice that Oxford is well worth the
reputation they have, and there is more in there than just kilograms!

François Pinard                            mailto:pinard@iro.umontreal.ca
Join the free Translation Project!    http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~pinard

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