Splitting translations?

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Kess
Posts: 52
Joined: February 10th, 2006, 6:27 pm
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Splitting translations?

Post by Kess »

Consider this string:
text domain: wesnoth (1.6) wrote:In appearance, orcs are half men and half beasts. They are taller, sturdier and stronger than humans. They are warlike, savage, and cruel by nature. Their blood is darker and thicker than that of normal humans and they have little care for personal hygiene or their personal appearance. Although Orcs are violent even among themselves creatures, they are pack-oriented; an orc never travels long or lives alone in groups smaller than half a dozen.\n
\n
<header>text='Society'</header>\n
Almost every orc are a member of a tribe or a clan. Relations between neighboring tribes are usually violent, except in cases of a mutual enemy threatens their existence or prospects of great plunder override mutual animosity. Occasionally, a single strong chieftain may emerge to lead multiple tribes from time to time, usually through intimidation of followers. An orc tribe in times of peace tends to focus almost solely on strengthening itself in preparation for the next armed conflict. Orcs are known to possess a crude system of writing - usually in blood - although it's most commonly used to trade insults or threats among tribal leaders.\n
\n
Orc societies are based on little else but strength; might makes right, and a leader leads and survives only as long as no one manages to wrest the title from him. A constant struggle for power simmers among potential tribal chiefs. An orcish leader rarely lives more than a handful of years to enjoy his absolute authority before being killed for his position - although history knows some notable exceptions. Orcs hold no particular honor code and while indisputable raw strength is usually the preferred method of displaying power, assassination, poisoning and backstabbing are completely viable means to further one's own goals.\n
\n
Orcs mostly live in rural areas, often in foothills or mountainous regions, sometimes in caves. They grow no crops nor keep livestock, but are competent hunters as a result of their physical stature and brutality. Due to their large numbers they are capable of hunting an area virtually clean of anything larger than rodents in relatively short period of time. Due to this and their unstable leadership, orcish tribes tend to lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle, never settling in one region for too long. The larger tribes may establish themselves firmly in an area for years or even decades and build large encampments almost resembling cities, but even these are easily dismantled and abandoned if there is a need to relocate the horde.\n
\n
The oldest known orcs have been around 50 to 60 years of age, but very few individuals ever live to see over two or three decades before meeting their end either in war or by the hand of one of their kin. The oldest orcs are often shamans, which are perhaps the only ones most of their kind sees as being trustworthy and neutral. The origins of this custom are unknown, as the shamans do not directly contribute much to orcish societies but only act as advisors - not something orcs tend to otherwise tolerate. Shamans are in many ways the opposite of most other orcs: they are often physically withered and frail in comparison and lack skill in battle. Despite their reliance on raw strength, not nearly all orcs are destined to grow to possess any. Many orcs are born smaller and weaker than the rest, and already almost as newborns are put in their place by their stronger siblings. The stronger ones will routinely grab most of the food and thus grow stronger still, while their weaker siblings do not. Many of these individuals tend to specialize in other skills, like archery or assassination.
Any arguments for not splitting it up into smaller sections, perhaps following the paragraphs? It would surely be a blessing to translators.
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ivanovic
Lord of Translations
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Re: Splitting translations?

Post by ivanovic »

Kess wrote:Any arguments for not splitting it up into smaller sections, perhaps following the paragraphs? It would surely be a blessing to translators.
Yes, a *very* simple one:

"Context". In general there should be as much context for a string as possible. With everything complete it is also possible to eg leave out a paragraph if somehow required. The translators do have a whole lot more freedom. Yes, the downside is that the stringcount is not very satisfying. And if the string gets fuzzy, it is more difficult to find the place why it happened, but in general such "monster strings" are an example of all content provided directly so that nothing gets lost.
Polarina
Translator
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Joined: March 24th, 2009, 10:01 pm

Re: Splitting translations?

Post by Polarina »

First of all, I agree with Ivanovic.
Second, if a translator wants to, for example, translate one paragraph a day, one could simply translate one paragraph and mark that translation as fuzzy.
silene
Posts: 1109
Joined: August 28th, 2004, 10:02 pm

Re: Splitting translations?

Post by silene »

Personally, I agree with Kess. When unfuzzying these monster strings a few days ago, it was a real pain finding what had changed. As a matter of fact, I just unfuzzied this exact sentence (or perhaps it was the "human" one) without modifying the translation, because I just didn't find what part of it had changed. So perhaps the translation is now out-of-sync, I can't tell.
Kess
Posts: 52
Joined: February 10th, 2006, 6:27 pm
Location: Some hemisphere

Re: Splitting translations?

Post by Kess »

I agree that the context is important, but to me it’s secondary as it is much easier to look up the context in the source files if needed (most of the time it’s enough to look at the neighbouring strings). Though, it would be handy if Poedit could do this automatically on demand. EDIT: Seems this might be possible if I change my settings. Have to test later.

On the other hand, I guess I could take the time to look at the changelog and diffs for exactly what changed in a given file, especially if it’s a file that doesn’t change often. Well, either way work, I just personally prefer smaller (albeit complete) strings.

Thanks for your input. :)

A second issue with splitting these strings is that it is possible that some languages doesn’t want to split paragraphs with newline in this way, and keeping them together allows that to be changed. But then again, not much else is done to facilitate for these languages/writing systems. And to what extent it would be used, I do not have many clues. (I’m was mainly thinking of Brahmi descended scripts, but it chould be relevant for any non top-bottom left-right writing system.)
caslav.ilic
Translator
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Location: Brunswick, Germany

Re: Splitting translations?

Post by caslav.ilic »

The main problem here is that, for compatibility reasons, Wesnoth POs are not merged using --previous option. I've inquired about it here last year: http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=20397 Perhaps the compatibility issues have vanished in the meantime?

(I personally merge POs locally, so that I can have previous fields, and hence diffing. For a Wesnoth-type content, with longish text and a lot of style and spelling fixes in between major releases, I'd downright cry if I'd have to update translation without diffs. Got spoiled, probably...)
Chusslove Illich (Часлав Илић)
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