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Re: [Translation-i18n] [translate-pootle] gettext with non-en source language

Sorry it's taken me so long to answer this.

On 04/10/2006, at 2:11 AM, Martin v. Löwis wrote:

Jean-Christophe Helary schrieb:
There is tremendous localization activity in African countries (not
limited to South Africa) and other developer-poor areas. See Javier
Sola's work in Cambodia. Of course, people who work on localization
create pools of users and developers who do not need to communicate
in English. Do you see a lot of Chinese developers on the net
expressing themselves in English ? If you do are they not only the
tip of an "iceberg" of Chinese only (or close) developers who do not
feel the need to share with English only (or close) developers ?

This is more-and-more getting off-topic. However, I see no problem
with the gettext documentation (which is written in English) stating
that msgids should be English (or a language close to it, like
Computer English :-). Users which can't understand English won't
see that recommendation. Users which understand and disagree are free
to write their own alternative recommendations, in a language more
likely adequate for their audience.

I don't think that's entirely a safe assumption, Martin. The original version of any text (usually English so far in free software) is taken as the model. Translator _translate_ it, they don't change its meaning. In any case, we don't want competing documentation in different languages: we want localization to propagate definitive information, not diverge from it.

So the original text (the model) needs to be written in a way that either covers the main issues, or requests that the missing ones be described as a supplement.

Languages other than English are already being used as the original stringset; they are also being used as secondary languages in translations. We have been told by representatives of several cultures that these modifications are not only useful but necessary.

So I think a statement in the gettext manual that original strings, while so far usually in English, may be expressed in other languages (augmented with details as they appear), and a reference to the possible use of an intermediate language in translations, would reflect the current usage and not detract from the main "intent" of the document.

from Clytie (vi-VN, Vietnamese free-software translation team / nhóm Việt hóa phần mềm tự do)

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