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Re: More info about #228486 / #235759

Denis Barbier wrote:
> I am not a German native speaker and have thus no opinion, but I was
> quite surprised to read that guillemots are uncommon in German, since
> most GNU and GNOME translated applications use them.

At least WRT everyday use I maintain that point. For typesetting, my
opinion seems to be a minority one.

> OTOH KDE uses
> English quotes, and there is no occurence of ,," in German localized
> catalogs, so your conclusion that (b) is worse than (c) cannot be true.

b) maps quote signs to guillemots, with a different shape than the
author had in mind, potentially losing information on that way.

c) tries to emulate the correct shape (but fails, IMHO).

That's why I wrote "probably worse", as it is a matter of opinion.

> Let's review other points in your previous post:
> ]  - The usual de-latin1-nodeadkeys keyboard layout hasn't even a
> ]    definition for quillemots, it can only be typed in via
> ]    AltGr+<Codepoint>. The X11 keyboard has a common definition for
> ]    all latin charsets (M-y, M-x), but this isn't marked on the
> ]    keyboard, so most people don't know how to type guillemots (and
> ]    they don't have to).
> This is irrelevant, this issue is about transliteration, not how text
> should be typed.

It shows how important guillemots are in everydays typing. And IMHO
everydays reading should use the same characters.

> And even if it was relevant, the same argument works for Unicode quotes
> and for French keyboards (some people also argue that guillemots and
> accents on uppercase letters are not valid in French because our
> keyboards have no such symbols, but those people are usually not very
> fond of l10n -- no offense in mind)

If possible, we should optimize for the average people. Well, not
necessarily for the 5 percentile. :-)

> ] The last drawback for any change is that it will AFAICS be a long-term
> ] deviation from upstream glibc. I believe upstream had already made the
> ] decision to stay with c) until utf-8 is found everywhere.
> Why is a deviation a problem *in this particular case*?

It is a (small) maintenance overhead for the glibc maintainers.

> [Back to your current post]
> > > Regardless from personal impressions of what's the most often used case, 
> > > Duden (the German authority for orthography) recognizes both as valid. 
> > 
> > Agreed.
> Huh?

The standard allows both. That doesn't make the alternatives equivalent.

> > [snip]
> > > > So a) is IMHO the best.
> > > 
> > > This would be a consense until there is no special Swiss translation.
> > 
> > I have to raise another point:
> > If guillemots are actually in such wide use, we should IMHO avoid to map
> > german quotes to guillemots. They may be used in different contexts at
> > the same time, or for nested quotes.
> In your previous post you asserted that guillemots are uncommon and will
> confuse readers, and now you tell that if they are common, they should
> not be used.

If an author uses german quotes and guillemots for e.g. two speakers of
a dialog, the mapping will lose that information.

> What about English quotes?  They are the best choice
> because they are quite common and thus will not confuse readers, and
> will not interfere with other English quotes since they are seldom used?

Generally, there are two strategies to find a good replacement for an
original: Either choose something that is very close, or, if there is
no sufficiently similiar alternative, choose something that is obviously
different and unused otherwise. The middle ground leads to confusion.

I think english quotes are close enough to be a good choice.

> > > The big problem is that ,, and " is the something absolutely never being 
> > > used. If U201E and U201C is not available, people use »...« or "...". 
> > > Nobody would ever think of replacing U201E and U201C with ,, and ". Do 
> > > you agree (I only ask to let gotom here your opinion on this)?
> > 
> > Well, I, personally, use "...", and I think it's the most legible style.
> > The human eye/brain does pattern matching, so the correct shape is more
> > important than orientation ('ä' vs. 'a:' works surprisingly well),
> > which in turn is more important than the position (subscript vs.
> > superscript).
> It is not clear to me whether you want to have German translators use
> English quotes or want to have U201E/U201C transliterated into these
> symbols.

I would say, english quotes in non-unicode text, and transliteration
from german quotes to english quotes for unicode text on non-Unicode


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