Translation Teams: A Request for Help

steveking steveking at
Mon Jun 27 10:59:38 CDT 2005

Lübbe Onken wrote:
> C. Michael Pilato wrote:
>> Thanks, Steve!  That's actually a pretty cool idea.
>> Quick question, though -- I assume the granularity of a entry in the 
>> bundle file is like ... a paragraph, or something.  If so, do your 
>> translators not find working with chunks of that size and that 
>> particular file format unwieldy?
> Since I'm the guy who set up the TSVN translation process and takes care 
> of the GUI and doc translations (besides translating German myself), I 
> think I can tell you a few words about it.
> If you use tools like poEdit (multi platform) to work on the .po file 
> it's not unwieldy. The .po format itself is kept away from the translator.
> * You can always look up the context of a paragraph.
> * You get some sanity checks for free.
> * You always know which paragraphs are outdated.

   * it does automatic translations if only a few words changed in the 
original (e.g. fixed spelling errors) so you don't have to translate the 
whole string again.

> The only thing I find annoying are too long paragraphs (msgids). If the 
> chunks are small, they are a lot easier to translate. A nice (bad) 
> example is the help for 'svn st'. It's almost impossible to spot changes 
> in the original without having a visual diff tool and the po Editor open 
> side by side.

But that's true even if you translate the docbook xml files directly, 
not just for the po file approach.

> xml2po plays nice most of the time. Only if you are using own entities 
> (like &version; to get your version number everywhere into the docs), 
> you can choose between hell and damnation.
> Since you don't want that entity to be expanded before creating the .pot 
> file, because that would make existing translations obsolete, you 
> extract the .pot file without expanding.

Again, that's also true if you translate the docbook xml files directly.

 From my experience, even big paragraphs aren't really a problem when 
translating. I even think it's a good approach to always translate a 
whole paragraph and not just single sentences. I often find myself 
rearranging sentences in the translation, just because it feels more 
natural in the translated language.


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