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Connrad

Standardize Translation Strings

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Hey there !

While playing in French, I noticed many descriptions for similar instances (such as building descriptions for example) used different tenses and formulations. I just joined the Transifex team to suggest some modifications but realised that the strings' formulations aren't standardised even in English (for instance, some buildings descriptions are "Train units" while others are "Trains units").

Thus, the question is : should all these strings be standardised ? If yes, through which conventions ? Then, as language differences may bring formulations that cannot be literally translated, these conventions may need to be language-specific.

If I can contribute to this one way or another, please tell me how !

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3 hours ago, Connrad said:

Hey there !

While playing in French, I noticed many descriptions for similar instances (such as building descriptions for example) used different tenses and formulations. I just joined the Transifex team to suggest some modifications but realised that the strings' formulations aren't standardised even in English (for instance, some buildings descriptions are "Train units" while others are "Trains units").

Thus, the question is : should all these strings be standardised ? If yes, through which conventions ? Then, as language differences may bring formulations that cannot be literally translated, these conventions may need to be language-specific.

If I can contribute to this one way or another, please tell me how !

@Nescio 

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9 hours ago, Connrad said:

Hey there !

While playing in French, I noticed many descriptions for similar instances (such as building descriptions for example) used different tenses and formulations. I just joined the Transifex team to suggest some modifications but realised that the strings' formulations aren't standardised even in English (for instance, some buildings descriptions are "Train units" while others are "Trains units").

Thus, the question is : should all these strings be standardised ? If yes, through which conventions ? Then, as language differences may bring formulations that cannot be literally translated, these conventions may need to be language-specific.

If I can contribute to this one way or another, please tell me how !

Hello and welcome!

Very good points!

In A23 and earlier stable releases strings are indeed inconsistent and often incorrect. This bothers me as well (I like consistency). In the past year or so progress has been made on improving them for the next alpha:

  • a style guide for user-facing texts has been created: https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/EnglishStyleGuide
  • loading screen tips have been updated in D1377 / rP22137
  • aura descriptions have been standardized:
  • many, though not all, technology tooltips have been standardized as well
  • structure tooltips are standardized in D2578 (it's accepted but not yet committed; let's hope it's not too outdated by now)
  • bonus attack tooltips are standardized in D2610 (idem)
  • information in the civilization overview (“History”) pages is being updated in D2720

Hopefully all tooltips will have been standardized when the next stable version (A24) is released.

If you want to participate in the development of 0 A.D., create an account on Phabricator and comment on patches (or commits) you have an opinion on (very easy) or propose patches yourself (more work).

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42 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Hello and welcome!

Very good points!

In A23 and earlier stable releases strings are indeed inconsistent and often incorrect. This bothers me as well (I like consistency). In the past year or so progress has been made on improving them for the next alpha:

  • a style guide for user-facing texts has been created: https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/EnglishStyleGuide
  • loading screen tips have been updated in D1377 / rP22137
  • aura descriptions have been standardized:
  • many, though not all, technology tooltips have been standardized as well
  • structure tooltips are standardized in D2578 (it's accepted but not yet committed; let's hope it's not too outdated by now)
  • bonus attack tooltips are standardized in D2610 (idem)
  • information in the civilization overview (“History”) pages is being updated in D2720

Hopefully all tooltips will have been standardized when the next stable version (A24) is released.

If you want to participate in the development of 0 A.D., create an account on Phabricator and comment on patches (or commits) you have an opinion on (very easy) or propose patches yourself (more work).

Thanks a lot ! I'll create an account on Phabricator and see where I can help.
Would it be relevant for me to write a French version to the EnglishStyleGuide on Trac ?

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28 minutes ago, Connrad said:

Would it be relevant for me to write a French version to the EnglishStyleGuide on Trac ?

I'm not sure as it's unlikely people from Transifex would ever see it

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21 minutes ago, Connrad said:

Would it be relevant for me to write a French version to the EnglishStyleGuide on Trac ?

That's not for me to decide. I believe someone was translating parts of the wiki into German. However, I'm not sure how it is intended to be kept in sync.

The real question is how likely translators active on transifex are to look at the relevant page(s) on trac.

One way to check translations for consistency is using the search function on transifex. (I suspect not everyone knows this exists.) An example, the style guide recommends using a proper minus sign (− U+2212) rather than the hyphen-minus (-) for subtractions and negative values. Now let's see what the French translation does:

https://www.transifex.com/wildfire-games/0ad/translate/#fr/$/162510615?q=text%3A−

It uses hyphen-minuses everywhere, which is at least consistent, though a proper minus sign looks better in game. Now it doesn't really matter what individual translations do, but if someone feels like it, use a search filter to find all strings that have to be changed.

For checking other languages, replace the #fr in the url with the appropiate language tag. For checking a different string (e.g. × or Cavalry), replace the part after the text%3A. (I'm not sure what the number means exactly.)

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9 minutes ago, Stan` said:

I'm not sure as it's unlikely people from Transifex would ever see it

7 minutes ago, Nescio said:

The real question is how likely translators active on transifex are to look at the relevant page(s) on trac.

Is there a way to communicate standard guidelines/instructions to a team on Transifex ? Like linking a Trac page on the dashboard or something  ?

4 minutes ago, Nescio said:

That's not for me to decide. I believe someone was translating parts of the wiki into German. However, I'm not sure how it is intended to be kept in sync.

This is my first time looking into contributing to such a project hence I'm still a bit lost regarding how decisions are taken. If I actually decided to do a French guide and suggest changes on most strings on transifex to match standards, how acceptable would that be ?

I'll keep diving into the project and try to contribute to the "simple" tagged tickets for now to further get into it.

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On Transifex, in "Settings", an admin can set a "Translator Instructions URL" that is global for all languages. I have yet to find where a translator then sees that information - no idea where they're hiding it.

Then the admin could make an announcement, which will send an e-mail to all translators.

Edited by GunChleoc

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I guess we could create a french wiki page then. I also believe i am an admin of transifex so we could draft everything (mail + wiki page) and do this. I think the french translations could be better, but I won't demean the work that has already be done. :)

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Consistency is always difficult, even if you're the only one translating - especially when there is a history in the project of inconsistent source strings. A wiki page could definitely help to remember what you are going fore when you return to the project after a break, and within the team.

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Translating things properly is not straightforward. Lack of context doesn't help either; transifex does display where a string is from, but I doubt translators would really look up the file in the development version (I think this is an example that shows transifex was fundamentally designed by programmers, not by translators).

Furthermore, people tend to favour similar looking words (translating Latin humanitas with humanity is clearly wrong) and naively assume there is a one-to-one bijection between different languages, which is not really the case either; e.g. English has ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’, German has ‘Kultur’ and ‘Zivilisation’, and while they do overlap and go back to the same (Latin) origin, the precise meaning is different, and German scholarship often has ‘Kultur’ where English would have ‘civilization’.

Individual style guides tailored for each language could certainly help, provided they're easily accessable and people are aware of their existence, otherwise drafting them is likely a waste of time.

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Transifex does have an option for context. I guess we just do not use it for everything.

image.png

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2 minutes ago, Stan` said:

Transifex does have an option for context. I guess we just do not use it for everything.

39 minutes ago, Nescio said:

transifex does display where a string is from, but I doubt translators would really look up the file in the development version

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The gettext file format also allows adding comments for translators, and Transifex will display them if they are present. The system that extracts the strings needs to be configured to extract them though. I don't know what the setup for 0AD is here and whether XML comments are included.

Transifex also has a glossary function which we can use. It's helpful for vocabulary, but not for keeping consistency of phrases - that's what the translation memory function is for, in combination with a style guide that of course translators would need to be aware of and read.

Adding comments to the XML files would be preferable to adding them on Transifex, because it makes them independent of the translation platform.

Edited by GunChleoc

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Hello there,

I joined transiflex today in order to improve the translation and didn't came here before.

What a shame ... i think it will be a good idea to have guidelines in french.

I'll be happy to follow them !

Antonin GIRAUD-PERNETTE

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