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Re: Icelandic translation update

Quoting David Geirsson (davidgeirs@gmail.com):

> Just wanted to drop a quick note, as I thought it might interest some. I
> just committed a major update to the Icelandic translation. Level 1 is
> now 45% done. Five of us got together at a local university for a small
> translation party monday night, and it went great. We now have some
> interest built up around the translation. One more such party, and we
> should be able to complete level 1.

This is actually great. I remember that the first time I tried to
motivate Icelandic users, I was pretty unsuccessful as I heard the
arguments I often hear:

-most of our users currently use English when using Unix systems
-the skill level in English in our country is quite high, so
 the interest is low

While 1) is true among geeks, it is bloody not true for the average
population most of the time, with very few exceptions (Iceland
certainly being one of these)

2) is true in some places (Iceland, Finland...in a lower level
Denmark/Norway/Sweden, Netherlands...) but that is not enough:

Having free software fit as much as possible the needs of all cultures
is part of what makes it so rich. This is why I give the same
importance to Icelandic translations with 200k potential users and
Chinese translation with 1 billion potential users.

So, I'm really glad that you, David, have been able to go over these
obstacles and make the Icelandic translation of our installer a reality.

It has been proven that starting with the translation of the
distribution installer very often leads to translation teams turning
their attention to other parts of the operating system, probably more
immediately useful to end users...this is one of the reasons for which
I push installer translations actually. This is like saying to people
who will try Debian (or Ubuntu): "hey, welcome, we support your language".

> Just wanted to forward a question from a volunteer: How much progress
> is generally necessary for a translation to be accepted into the test
> d-i snapshots? Is 100% level1 the target, or some of level2 as well?

This is completely empirical. The documentation actually says "50% for
level 1". This is just meant to give some goal to translators and
avoid us to activate a language with only a few strings translated
(which we did in the past).

So, given the effort you, Icelandic team, made, I will just activate
Icelandic in localechooser right now.

The 45% strings you translated probably cover 90% of the needs if you
took care of translating the strings in order in the template.pot file.

I would advise you to turn your attention to level 2, at least shadow
debconf translations, tasksel translations and base-config debconf

Then complete level1....then complete level 2 (with console-data
translations, especially keyboard map names....and the boring
iso-codes translation with all country names)

> Also, when is the next debian release scheduled? I'm wondering if it's
> practical to include Icelandic there.

"very soon"

We are in the process of building the images for the "etch installer
beta1" (sorry, no better name). It is quite unlikely that Icelandic
translation will make it in this release, though. The new
localechooser version, which will include activate "is" will not be
part of it...and, anyway, all D-I packages would need to be rebuilt for
including the new translations.

>From the beginning of this release process, the D-I team has decided
to not focus too much on l10n (*for this release*)..this is why we
won't make much effort in rebuilding packages. The goal is having new
features exposed and tested.

So, what will happen is that daily builds of "sid_d-i" images will
slowly begin to include Icelandic translations...and thus Icelandic
will be part of the *next* D-I release.

We're talking about *Debian* **Installer** releases here, not *Debian*
releases. The next Debian release is, for the moment, planned for the
end of 2006 and there will be 2 or 3 releases of the installer in the

So, yes, the next Debian release will list Icelandic as supported
languages from the beginning, you can be sure of that.

However, please pass the message: translation effort is not a one-time
effort. Translations need maintenance, otherwise they slowly lose
their completeness. This is what is currently happening to some
languages I'm a little worried about since their translators did not
make *any single update* since we released sarge. This is definitely
not good and I already whined about this..:-)

Anyway, congratulations again to the new Icelandic team...even if you
are not so many people, you can be powerful as, as far as I know,
about 90% of your country population lives in a quite narrow area
around Reykjavik which allows you to organise mini-marathons just like
you dit last week-end. Use this power! :-)

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