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Offline Spike

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Testing the translator
« on: November 03, 2010, 03:25:37 PM »
Now and then I mentioned that I think the translator facitlity does not produce good texts, because people can't see the context of their use in the game.

Today I finally have overcome my dislike of the translator and edited a text. The German version of the "game saved" message needed a second newline at the end, because otherwise the message box is too small and the text appears below the middle of the box, which looks bad. (Tested with Simutrans 102.2.2)

Now ... the next person who comes across my edited translation entry will wonder why there are two newlines. They might think the second one is a mistake and remove it. Particularly because the corresponding "game loaded" message only needs one trailing newline to look correctly, but this can't be seen from within the translator.

I'd like to leave a message in the translator why there are two newlines needed for this text, and that the second one is not a mistake. But seemingly I can't. There is a "note" label, but I don't seem to have an option to enter a note. And so the next person to edit this text won't get to know about the issue and happily remove the extra newline.

I'm not quite as much against the translator as I was in the past, but without a form of communication about edits and issues of the entries, I still think the danger of bad entries or even bad edits of good entries is high.

Edit:

As I said earlier - without the context from the game mistakes are way too easily made. The second trailing newline does apparently nothing and the message still looks badly formatted in the box :-[  It is quite a frequent message, and I'd like it to look good.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 03:38:06 PM by Hajo »

Offline jonasbb

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 05:22:20 PM »
So, do you have an idea, how it would work better?

The notice field can be set by the uploader of the text.

Offline An_dz

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 07:12:04 PM »
About 2 weeks ago I started to create a translator.tab

This new language show all texts as numbers, and each string have an unique number. I created a Translator_help.tab file too, with a description of where the string can be found and sometimes what it do.

Still have lot of work to do, but I'm working on it. I started this project to help translator find the strings to test them and find the best translation. I've done it with whole Portuguese language. It can help the programmers to clean unused strings too.

One string that I think it's unused nowadays is "New vehicle now available:\n%s\n" cause now string "New %s now available:\n%s\n" is used.

Offline Spike

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 09:47:51 AM »
So, do you have an idea, how it would work better?

The notice field can be set by the uploader of the text.

Besides the technical problem, I think there is a psychological problem, which is harder to solve than any sort of technical problem. I might be wrong about it, but I'll try to sketch my concerns.

If a person accepts to be maintainer for a language, they take some responsibility. They accept and feel responsible for the language they take care of. Also, people with ideas for translations have someone to talk to, and discuss issues. I think the feeling of being responsible, and to have one person to decide about the whole language file will ensure a good level of quality.

I'm afraid that the "cloud-translation" that the translator tries to employ cannot do this. It can't bring up the same feeling of responsibility, because people know they are only one of many translators. People also do translations in a "fly-by" manner, without thinking or knowing about the bigger context.

In the past I worked with maintainers for each language. They changed over time, but they were responsible for a full translation, and I think they did good work there. I don't want to talk things worse than they maybe are, but I think the translator, despite 5 or 6 years of existence, has not produced high quality translations - and with "high quality" I do not necessarily only mean correct, but also visually pleasing, and consistent appearance of the UI in the language. A bad counter example are texts running out of the assigned space, because in the translator people cannot see how big the button/label/window area is that will display this text.

You sure can improve some of these issues by technical changes, like giving previews of the text how it would look inside the game (-> does it fit into a button?). But I do not think you can implement the psychological aspect of feeling responsible for the translation file, as a named maintainer of said file would have. This is a problem of process, and the process of the translator is a distributed, fractured and anonymous one, which just doesn't raise the feeling of "I'm the maintainer of the <language> translation. I want it to be as good as possible, because there is my name on it, and I want my name be linked to good work."

Edit: Examples of inconsistencies in the English translation:

In the  display settings dialog, there are some entries with each word capitalized, and others with only the first word capitalized. For the player, this inconsistency is very apparent, since they see all entries in the dialog at once and can easily compare the style. In the translator, one cannot see this so easily, and so it happens that some people think "headline - all words capitalized" and others think "sentence - only first word capitalized" when they edit the translation.

The fact that many independent people do the translation for one language also emphasizes this problem, since several people are more likely to have different ideas about the correct style of dialogs than one person would have, but each only edits a few entries.

I think (I haven't tested this recently) that in the original language files of Simutrans 102.2.2 the new world and climate setting dialogs which are shown first to the player, also have a colorful mix of capitalized and lowercase and mixed caps entries. I think this does not make a good impression to new players who see this as first view of Simutrans.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 10:38:14 AM by Hajo »

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 03:37:13 PM »
Then, If I've understood it correctly, the problem would be that there're too many translators with the same privileges, instead of a single translations manager and several minor translators for each language, right? Maybe we can implement a role system, I don't know if it's already implemented, where all translations of each language always have to be checked and approved by a single person, maybe two or three as much, who are considered as translator managers, while the rest of translators of that language just make the dirty work, or perhaps it's just a matter of reducing the amount of translators by language to four or five as much, specially for those languages where most of the texts are already translated, and manage the rest of the work through the suggestions.

Offline jonasbb

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2010, 04:09:01 PM »
I could steal everyone the right to submit translation (and give the right back to a few). Everyone without the right can only submit suggestions (as every person without an account).
This would not be a problem.

But I think people with an account which suggest translations should also be mentioned in the tab files.

We need only a few persons who want to maintain it (the translations)...

Offline VS

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2010, 04:25:35 PM »
I think that houses etc. can be crowdsourced, but it's the program texts that need particularly more care...

Online prissi

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2010, 07:45:34 PM »
But certain languages, which are mostly complete, can be locked in the translator.

Offline An_dz

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2010, 10:18:40 PM »
On Portuguese forum we have a discussion board for translations, and Igor, Francisco and I discuss about the translations, but we can't know when another portuguese translator will appear and edit the files by himself and mess with our tested translations.
I agree that a solution for that is cool to maintain the language in best conditions. I think that Hajo idea is cool, only one guy to edit the files. But maybe a choose for paksets too, cause every pakset can have different translators.

Offline EnternalD

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2010, 01:45:43 PM »
Hello, who now is administrator of translator?
After some intensive new translation and maintenance of my old translation (made in old translator). I found that my language (Lithuanian) has wrong encoding (ISO-8859-2). Recommended is UTF-8. (because I did most work in it at old translator and it is most widely used in local sources).
Less common is ISO-8859-13 (ISO-8859-4 is outdated) - those I do not want, but if this is unavoidable then OK.

the second part of this comment has been posted as a new bug report here ~vilvoh
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 05:30:48 PM by vilvoh »

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2010, 05:07:38 PM »
Hi EnternalD, please be patient and wait for the reply of jonasbb, the current Translator admin.

The other problem could be related with the fonts and characters used by Simutrans, not due to Translator encoding. I'm going to split the second part of your comment and create a new bug report, if you don't mind.

Offline EnternalD

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2010, 11:45:45 AM »
Hi EnternalD, please be patient and wait for the reply of jonasbb, the current Translator admin.

The other problem could be related with the fonts and characters used by Simutrans, not due to Translator encoding. I'm going to split the second part of your comment and create a new bug report, if you don't mind.
No I don't mind. :) I only want that everything would be Ok. Encoding is really an issue too.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Testing the translator
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2010, 11:55:53 AM »
They are working on both issues, Simutrans and Translator... thanks again for noticing it :)