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Re: Ping

Hi everybody.

The main reason for my reply is to cc: Kristgy's answer to Cristian, as he implied that he's not on the list.

But I have to agree with Kristinn, when I have the choice of Icelandic or English as an installation language, I usually go for the english version because it is easier, more consistent and contains fewer words that I don't understand (the "new" words invented for this purpose can be very stange indeed).

Most Icelandic kids have a firm grasp of the english language from the age of 12 or so, so the number people who would like to install debian but don't because of language restrictions can probably be counted on your fingers.

But this sounds interesting - not the translation as such but other aspects of it, like choosing LANG=is_IS as default and picking the Icelandic keyboard layout while installing (chars like /\"*@;:()[] are in different places so entering paths and using vim can be annoying).

Please let us know what needs to be done and how much can be done...

Einar Jón Gunnarsson

On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 11:26:54 +0000
 "Kristinn B. Gylfason" <kristgy@askur.org> wrote:

Hi Cristian,

thank you for your interest in Icelandic! Icelanders in general are very proud of their language. Since Iceland is very isolated (being an island in the middle of the Atlantic), Icelandic is the modern language that most resembles the common Nordic language that once was spoken in
Scandinavia and the northern parts of the British isles.

I have actually given this issue some thought and although it would certainly be heartwarming to have Icelandic in the list of translations of the Debian installer, my conclusion is that it is hardly worth the
effort for the following reasons.

1) Icelanders are about 290.000, of which probably over 80% use computers. Last time I looked 95% of the worlds PCs ran windows so Linux usage in Iceland is certainly below 5%. I remember some statistics for servers that show that Debian is run on about 20% of Linux boxes.
Thus adding up the numbers I find an upper limit of
290.000*0.8*0.05*0.2 = 2320 Debian users in Iceland. (My gut feeling, based among other things on the traffic on this mailing list, is that this is a gross overestimate).

2) Since Icelandic is useless outside Iceland a great majority of Icelanders speak English fluently. Each and every one of those Debian users is part of that majority.

3) The translation of technical documents (like the Debian installer) to Icelandic would involve "inventing" a lot of words that are currently lacking in Icelandic. Although this is considered a noble trade in Iceland, the result is that the Icelandic installer would actually be less understandable to the target audience than the English version. Most users would thus prefer the English one anyway (this is my own
experience with such translations).

4) Since such little demand is for the translation, the danger is that it will be poorly maintained and thus be a baggage to the overall project.

I hate to sound so pessimistic but I think I am being reasonable.

Just to bring the info into the discussion: How much work is actually
involved in the translation?

I would love to hear more opinions from others on this list since the question of translations is a rather fundamental one for Icelandic free software users.

All the best,
Kristinn B. Gylfason

On Fri, Sep 24, 2004 at 10:26:41AM +0200, Christian Perrier wrote:
Just discovering this list....

I send this mail just to see if some icelandic-speaking
users/developers would be interested in working on the Icelandic translation of the Debian Installer. Icelandic is now among the very rare european languages for which no translation currently exists and all subscribers in this list (if there are some) will agree that this
is a shame..:-)

Please keep me CC'ed to answers.

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