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Re: Bug#407746: [URGENT] Please update debconf PO translation for the package libpam-ldap 180-1.7

On Sat, Mar 10, 2007 at 02:42:22AM +0100, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) wrote:
> On Friday 09 March 2007, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > Can I ask why a number of sentences in the English text that were phrased
> > as requests have been turned into questions in the translation?

> sure, basically that's the result of a discussion on debian-l10n-dutch back 
> in september 2003. Brief overview of the consensus in that discussion is 
> that:
> - the literal translation of the "Please select/enter ..." (which we started
>   with) has to formal a connotation for most people, making it sound weird
>   when written (at least in most places, that's less so in the middle of a
>   paragraph).
> - Leaving out the please in the translation is also undesirable as that
>   makes it an imperative, where it's a polite request/gentle direction (when
>   speaking you'd add inflection to make that clear, but that is obviously
>   not possible in writing)

> -> the best solution in most cases seems to be to make it a question form


> I'm curious, and a bit puzzled though. gcide defines request as:

>    1. The act of asking for anything desired; expression of
>       desire or demand; solicitation; prayer; petition;
>       entreaty.
>       [1913 Webster]

> so I would expect going from request -> question would be a style issue 
> mostly, but since you asked about it I'm guessing there's some subtle 
> difference to a native speaker?

Well, the one gives the user instructions, the other asks a question; asking
a question seems to me that it will usually be a repeat of the short

Anyway, yes, it is a style question -- I just know that the question style
is a style that Christian has specifically discouraged the use of in
English. :)

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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