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Re: Use of the first person in messages from the computer

Quoting Ian Jackson (ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk):

> Finally, the reviewer revealed in the review that they're not a native
> speaker of English.  Is it normal for l10n reviews to be conducted by
> non-native speakers of the target language ?  Are we really so short
> of native English speaking l10n reviewers ?  If so I would be happy to
> help (although you may find me too opinionated...)
> PS I have not named the reviewer because I get the impression that the
> matters I'm questioning are general practice in the English l10n team,
> so I don't want to make any personal criticism of the reviewer.

Well, I think that many know who is the reviewer and "he" has no
problem with the entire world knowing he's not a native speaker..:-)
(apparently, he now even speaks about himself at third person, doh).

So, well, that was me.

For sure, it may seem weird that English reviews are most of the time
triggered by a non native English speaker. It's even more weird when
the review is done for a text that has been written by a native

Well, this is mostly how it is and works since April 2007, when I
started working on these issues because I was puzzled by some very
very very bad wording we had in packages. If you remember, many people
indeed thought that I was doing an April Fool's joke when I sent this

The current work method is what you witnessed for your package : I
volunteer to coordinate the work and I propose the first review. It
usually helps other contributors to focus on important issues. We
*are* very short of contributors, indeed. Most of the time, Justin Rye
is the only person who reviews my review. Thankfully, Justin is an
incredibly picky and competent person and always comes up with great

A few other native speakers contribute from time to time as well as
some non native (often translators and often people much more clever
in English than me)

Actually, as a side effect, I learned a lot in English language thanks
to this work and particularly Justin's reviews and comments.

Even better, we always try to find a good balance between the various
local variations in English (en_US/en_UK as first example, of course).

I think that, in general, the result is quite worth the effort and
also does not require too much from maintainers. Most indeed seem happy
with the process and we always follow their feelings when they
disagree with us (as you did, Ian, on some of our suggestions).

We can improve the process, for sure (and I think we did so in nearly
5 years) and we definitely welcome new contributors to help. Anyone is
welcome, particularly native speakers (but non native ones also bring
interesting light as English is our defacto "lingua franca" and we
have to be intelligible for as many people as possible).

I will take care to read comments in this thread and improve our
processes, suggestions and reviews in light of them. 

Thanks anyway for your comments and for bringing that topic. All
processes sometimes need to be questioned in order to be improved and
contradiction is also welcomed.

(and I hope I didn't break too much rules of English grammar in the
above text)

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