[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: About dpkg translation, please consider i18n when choosing words

On Tue, 2005-06-14 at 03:37 +0300, Eddy Petrisor wrote:

> I agree with Konstantinos on this issue (and his proposal) and I would
> like to add a few other remarks that I gathered during the painful
> translation of dpkg before sarge's release:
At the disk of being confrontational, I actually don't agree with either
of you.  I think it's important that the English messages in dpkg be
good, clear English.  I do not believe that this should be sacrificed
for the sake of making it easier for non-English speakers -- that's what
the entire i18n effort is for, providing those people with their own
native language version.

On Mon, 2005-06-13 at 20:40 +0300, Konstantinos Margaritis wrote:

> gobble replaced file `%.255s'
> I find the word 'gobble' highly untranslatable, at least not without 
> choosing a synonym.
I'm not sure what your point is here?  If there's no direct word in your
language, isn't choosing a synonym exactly what you ordinarily do?
That's a pretty common word in British English, and "dict" provides many
definitions (including the jargon file) that should be useful for

I would agree that the position of that translation is difficult, but
that's a side-effect of the current internal API of dpkg which I do not
think was ever designed with translatable strings in mind.

So in effect, I agree that "X is not a clear English message" is a valid
bug; and I agree that "this string is incomplete, and not translatable"
is a valid bug (cf. "unable to %s"); but I do not agree that "I can't
translate this because I don't understand the English" is a bug --
that's what dictionaries are for.

On Tue, 2005-06-14 at 03:37 +0300, Eddy Petrisor wrote:

> for upstream:
>   dpkg --print-installation-architecture   print host architecture
> (for inst'n)\n
>       inst'n = installation/installations?
Installation -- this shortening is unfortunate though.  Note that this
string is removed anyway.

> multiple spaces:
>  dpkg, string 432 (main/main.c:154)
> 	"... in this run !  Only co..."
>  dpkg, string 313 (main/enquiry.c:96)
> 	"...nstallation.  The ins..."
I'm not sure what your point is here?  Two spaces after a full-stop is
correct, one would not be?

> please stop silly quoting stile! "`" is NOT the pair of "'"
GNU standards say otherwise, and dpkg has always used them.

> can it get more cyptical than this?
> dpkg, string 241 (main/configure.c:175)
> "unable to stat new dist conffile `%.250s'"
> What the hell am I supposed to understand from this?
> Can you please full _English_ words?
> stat is not a verb
Correct, it's a syscall.  This error is reporting the failure of a
syscall, so has to use the name of the syscall that failed, obviously.

> dist is not a substantive
yes, this word is not useful.

> conffile is not a substantive.
conffile is a (dpkg) jargon term used to describe a particular type of
configuration file; again, as this message is reporting a failure,
clarity of problem is more important.

So this message is telling you that the stat() syscall on a conffile
(something in DEBIAN/conffiles) failed.

> "Version of dpkg with working epoch support not yet configured.\n"
> Please use _English_ language. Please use full blown sentences
> Did you mean: "A version of dpkg ...." or "The version of dpkg...." or
> "There is is no version of dpkg..."?
This is entirely valid English, there is no definite or indefinite
article because it's referring to a definite member of an indefinite
set.  There are many versions of dpkg with working epoch support, so
"The version" would be wrong.  However you have chosen a particular one
to install, so "A version" would also be wrong.

If one needs to be definite, one could use something like:
"The half-installed version of dpkg, which has the working epoch support
you need, has not yet been configured."

However that's rather unnecessarily prissy.

> "dpkg not recorded as installed, cannot check for epoch support !\n"
> "dpkg is not recorded as installed, so I cannot check for epoch
> support !\n or what?
This is entirely valid English.  For dpkg to use the term "I" would be
incorrect English (though correct in most other IE languages, at least).

> "compiler libgcc filename not understood: %.250s"
> What do you mean? who does not understand? whose filename?
No idea ;)  that's a bad message :p

Have you ever, ever felt like this?
Had strange things happen?  Are you going round the twist?

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part

Reply to: