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Re: [RANT] French translation for debconf templates stucked at 90% : analysis

* Christian Perrier [2004-06-30 07:48:53+0200]
> At the minimum, English does not have the tu/vous or du/Sie
> problem. Lucky people...:-)

Well, same problem (?) with Turkish as 'sen/siz' :-)

> At this time, as a matter of fact, using these familiar ways to speak
> to people *is* perceived as unprofessionnal quality.
> Just let me take a reference I often use even though some people
> around won't like it : Microsoft Windows localisation. I thinks that
> most serious people (I mean people which are grown up enough and
> forget about "MiKroSofT Suckz") will agree that MS Windows
> localisation is quite professionnal and generally well written
> (generally.....I have counter examples for French, but very few) and,
> geesh, I daily work with MS Windows, blame me.

AFAIK, Microsoft has been working with a special company here for 
Turkish translations (not sure, but I guess the same company also works 
on Apple MacOSX).  I sometimes think if they could at least put a 
dictionary like reference in public domain ;-)  This could particularly 
help to desktop (i.e. GNOME/KDE) localization teams.

> This leads me to a more general consideration : I have written
> scientific papers for years and years before I turned bad and started
> working in computer science. I still work in a scientific institution
> and daily interact with scientists.
> Scientific papers writing is a very special way of writing, by using a
> very neutral language (never use 1st person, be factual, never use
> exclamation marks, large use of passive form). 
> Indeed, in good documentation AND in user interaction in our software,
> I have found that the best written screens or documentations are the
> ones which use these concepts we use in scientific papers writing.

I fully agree.  There are a lot of debconf strings which use 'we' or 'I' 
(e.g. "I can configure this automatically ...").  During the translation 
review stage, I try to correct it so as to speak a more neutral 
language.  Could it be a policy item stated in Debian policy, or 
somewhere else?


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