Re: gnumeric: Note to translators

   Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 14:23:47 +0100 (CET)
   From: Dennis Bjorklund <db zigo dhs org>
   cc: Morten Welinder <terra diku dk>, <gnumeric-list gnome org>,
           <gnome-i18n gnome org>

   On 12 Feb 2001, Karl Eichwalder wrote:

   > > 1. The old word-by-word translation scheme.  The translations will
   > >    never become good.  "Mean" could become "heisst", "Durchschnitt",
   > >    "gemein", and probably a zillion other things -- you need context
   > >    to decice.
   > Put a comment at every occurence?  Yes, I know the will clutter the code
   > with "crap".

   I think is the better solution. Maybe also some new comment that can put
   strings together in a group and put next to each other in the .po file.

This, unfortunately, is *not* a solution.  Comments, however helpful, do
not solve the fundamental problem that there are strings that need two
different translations depending on context.  The current gettext just
cannot handle this and the translator is left to flip a coin.  Thus
our translations suck.

Typically such strings are short sentence fragments from glade dialogs
or the forms generated by the analysis tools.  In many cases we are left
with single words.  For example, I wanted a search-and-replace dialog
that looked like this:

        |                             |
        | Replace  _________________  |
        | by       _________________  |
        |                             |

But I know the translators would have killed me over translating the
"by" fragment.  And for good reason: your dictionary probably has a
full page of possible meanings, and surely some other place in Gnumeric
will want a different meaning of "by".

   There is a lot of context that is missing when one translates, and I don't
   understand what's wrong with having the programmer annotate the strings
   with this context.

There is nothing wrong with this, par se, it just does not relate to the
problem Karl raised.


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