Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be changed

Discuss and coordinate development of mainline and user-made content translations.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

User avatar
Nobun
Code Contributor
Posts: 129
Joined: May 4th, 2009, 9:28 pm
Location: Italy

Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be changed

Post by Nobun »

Hi... I am here to report a VERY OLD problem around current translation policy.
I don't know if also other countries experienced a similar problem, but in Italy seems impossible to contact the official mantainer (and responsable) of Italian translation.

So.... when a person try to contribute with a translation, we have to bypass official italian mantainer (becouse unreachble or becouse he doens't reply at all... it is impossible to know when no one of us has never received any single answer of any kind).

This problem is not recent but is a very old one (I speak about years of the same problem) and I think it is the time to speak about it. There are a group of person who wants to cooperate with translations (I always speak about Italian country becouse I can speak only about what I know) and that they are "blocked" to contribute (on official campaigns) becouse if they try to follow the istructions about how to contribute they will experience the "no reply at all".

So... having a "main language mantainer" (mainly if he never replied to anyone) seems a thing to be considered overpassed.

What is my purpose. Instead of having one single person as mantainer, perhaps could be an idea to refer to every single wesnoth-country community for submitting new translations.

Coming back to Italian exaple the Italian comunity is WIF (it is listed here in wesnoth official site as italian community). Giving a direct contact with a delegate of a community can have several advantages:

1 - Not only a single person, but an entire community can verify the quality of translation before reporting it, so it can improve the quality of translations

2 - A more flexible way to manage translation, becouse every single community can verify who truely is active and who not in a particular moment (so, for example, delegate of community can change).

3 - No more a impassable wall for possible translation contributers.... instead of uselessly try to contact a person who has no intention to reply at all (or who has no more an active mail).

More or less this is my purpose.... I know.... this purpose need to be well studyed in order to make it operative.
But, at this first step I'd like to see if this idea is theorically applicable.
Becouse, if it is so, we can try to organize better the discussion and I can try to open a discussion on Italian Community in order to organize well the thing.

Note: I am not an admin of WIF (I am only a "trusted member" of WIF) and this suggestion is a personal idea. This idea started also becouse this problem is very old and a lot of people around WIF reported this kind of problem (the fact they cannot contribute with they "already done" translation). I will report a sentence said yesterday from a very trusted member (mich)
"Italian translation project seems to be almost dead... the only way to contribute is to contact direcly the main responsable of wesnoth translations directly in the official forum".

Now I'd like to know your first impression about my purpose... after that we can perhaps try to study better the idea.
User avatar
Elvish_Hunter
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1444
Joined: September 4th, 2009, 2:39 pm
Location: Lintanir Forest...

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by Elvish_Hunter »

Nobun wrote:I don't know if also other countries experienced a similar problem, but in Italy seems impossible to contact the official mantainer (and responsable) of Italian translation.
Did you try sending him a PM (user luciano)? His last logged visit to the forum was on 4th December, and when I tried to PM him, on 15th November, he answered me on 16th November (and no, I don't have any special power to contact him due to my redname); later, my translations were committed.
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life, The White Troll (co-author), Wesnoth Lua Pack
1.12: Children of Dragons
User avatar
Nobun
Code Contributor
Posts: 129
Joined: May 4th, 2009, 9:28 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by Nobun »

No.... becouse I am not directly involved on sending translations... but there are so many years, as an active user (not here becouse I have my own reasons to be not so active here) that I listened a lot of users that reported the same problem.
I thinked, instead on continuing reporting it internally only in national community to report this problem to official forum.
I can redirect here some people that experienced directly this problem so we can see what kind of problem happened, if you don't trust me. Perhaps the solution can be easier than the one I suggested, as you implicitly said (and this would be nice... the simpliest is the solution the better result we can have). So, if you agree, I'd suggest to call here italian people who directly experienced the problem in order to unrerstand what was wrong and if the problem can be solved without policy change.
But..... If the problem is not as easy as it seems, perhaps my idea should be re-analized.... however, seeing the thing is complex, like I prefaced, it is important to make order... so I will open a discussion on WIF in order to redirect here people who had direct experience of this problem.
This can require some days (need to take informations - becouse now I don't remember more than 2 users that experienced the problem - and the time to find them and contact them)
User avatar
ivanovic
Lord of Translations
Posts: 1147
Joined: September 28th, 2004, 10:10 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by ivanovic »

Yes, it can always happen that a maintainer gets inactive. If there is no more team left, you try to contact the maintainer and get no reaction after a reasonable time you (can) become the maintainer yourself. If there is a working community and the maintainer says "sorry, I don't have the time anymore to continue" someone else from the community can/should step up. Yes, in general a maintainer who steps down should make sure to remove his entry from the translations page as maintainer or at least mark themselves inactive.

The matter is that the function of a maintainer still remains valid. The function is to gather work and teach new people how to best get started. Optionally a maintainer can also review stuff before sending it upstream to make sure that the quality of the translation is fine. Of course lots of this stuff can be done in a complete community, too. But imagine that there are translations out there consisting of a single person. The entry on the translations page should always reflect the best way to get in touch with someone feeling responsible for the translation at hand. This can be a link to some mailing list (for a community) or just the address for the sole single translator left.

The problem with "no maintainer at all" is: how to coordinate stuff if several new people want to work on stuff and somehow start with exactly the same files. What is to be committed? Yes, the task of the maintainer is to moderate in those cases and to try to plan who should work on what to reduce duplication.

Of course you are welcome to suggest (and add) improvements on the translations howto page in the wiki.
User avatar
Aleph
Posts: 4
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 10:03 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by Aleph »

I think Nobun was not trying to suggest that maintainers are eliminated, and I believe we all know the importance of someone instructing new people interested translations. Moreover, Nobun is not talking his own interest: this discussion is in part linked to some made on WIF, or in its chat.

I can confirm that being considered while translating a part of the game is not so immediate as one could hope, even though my experience concerns just an unofficial campaign. I have made great part of the translation of Invasion from the Unknown, and I talked about this to luciano, the Italian translation maintainer and Torangan. What I needed was to know whether someone else was working on it, to try to cooperate and to have some information about some basic aspects of the translation, such as style, expressions, names of units, characters and places, and so on. I cannot say luciano didn't answer when I looked for him: in fact, he didn't make me wait longer than a hour, but he couldn't give me the information I was searching for. Part of my work has been published by Torangan on the gettext page, though most has never, after he stopped answering my emails, but none has appeared in the campaign. Eventually, I interrupted translating since I didn't know whether what I was needed or desired, or even just appreciated. Recently I have searched for some information, as I wanted to restart translating the campaign for the new version, but I have found nothing. I have even written to Shadowmaster, not knowing he was no longer the campaign's maintainer.

My point is, even though I cannot properly say that I had no answer, I still haven't found collaboration. What I was looking for was *not* help in doing the translation, but only some information about the previously done part of it, and of what would be of my work - and no one could give it to me. The work is not well organized, and not clear, and it gives no space to new arrivals. I don't know why I couldn't find the discussions I was looking for: maybe I didn't search enough, or I might have looked in the wrong places, and maybe the reason why luciano couldn't help me is that I did not express properly. What I am afraid of, anyway, is that such discussions have been kept private - or worse, have never been made at all. Both cases are bad: I believe a translation cannot be based on one only person's judgment, so some discussion must be done; on the other hand, I think it should be easily reachable by someone who has never worked on it, to tell his own opinion, or to find some explanations about certain choices.

The Italian translations' situation is a bit sad, I dare say, as one can easily realize just looking at this page: http://wiki.wesnoth.org/ItalianTranslation. According to what it reports, Liberty, Delfador's Memoirs and Legend of Wesmere are *not* official campaigns, and some translations which have not been used for years are indicated as official. Right, it's not so important, as no one will never look at that page searching for important information, but it gives an idea on how inactive the group is. It's not just matter of disappearing for a week or a month, or not answering to emails. I am quite convinced that the "official" group has evident difficulty in handle the task it was given. I don't really know what it depends on, but it's quite clear that they need help. I am not here to argue, I hope this is clear (even though I could speak my mind in a wrong way, due to my rusty or bad English): what I want to say is that the current situation is hard to face. Not only the group now working is inefficient, but it also gives no means to other people to give their aid, or to substitute them in what they are not doing. My position is that new people should be given the possibility to cooperate, in all the ways I have talked so far. The work should be publish, and it should be possible to follow it in any phase and to understand, in any moment what has been done.

An important fact, that should be considered, is that we are talking about free software. I am new here, so maybe I am excessively simplifying the matter, and I apologize if this is the case. Anyway, I think that this game's spirit should be that of letting no distinctions been made between producers and users. In this sense, I think that it makes no sense that translations are made on the official, general forum or website, while the local forums, which are directly interested, are not taken under serious consideration. Such matters should be more directly accessible to those who are really interested in it, and this is one (although not the only) reason why I support Nobun's proposal. It could give the translations visibility among them who want to work on them, without need to search through the *enormous* official forums, and the possibility to new users to cooperate dealing with a smaller and reasonably wormer environment. Moreover, it would make it easier to keep discussions in order, reducing the risk to lose parts of it in the huge amount of posts present on the official sites.

Last, but not least, consider this: the Italian translation interests only Italian community. There is no reason why such topics have to be discussed on the official website (in spite of other purposes); instead, working in a smaller forum could be more comfortable, and probably easier.

This all does *not* mean work without a maintainer: this means just giving the local forums the possibility to handle directly the translations they play with. Maintainers can surely be kept, just in another place. In some sense, it is really matter of a better coordination and more collaborative work, as ivanovic says.
User avatar
ivanovic
Lord of Translations
Posts: 1147
Joined: September 28th, 2004, 10:10 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by ivanovic »

You are right, Aleph, translations are a rather hard to handle beast. With open source software it is common that a translation starts as a project done by a single person and others *might* join in later. The single person does know what they are doing and sees no need to keep some extensive documentation about common terms. But once more people join this can get rather complicated after a really short time. In this post I won't mention the status of "unofficial" campaigns like Invasion of the Unknown since they have even more problems (eg you send in the translations for wescamp, the po files is updated and the mo file is generated, now the content maintainer has to fetch the translations manually which results in stuff easily being forgotten when new stuff gets uploaded).

The general problems many translations face are probably the following:
* What are common terms (unit names, locations, ...) to use?
* How/where to best discuss stuff so that some consensus is found?
* Who keeps documentation up to date and organizes stuff?

My own experience just comes from the German translation which is IMO working out rather nicely. Here are the main points we try to do:

1) Make use of the wiki!
We use the wiki to keep information aboutwho handles which content (so that it is easier to contact someone directly per mail) as well as a list of common terms. Besides we also gather some mistakes that still have to be fixed in the wiki, though this list is meant to be as empty as possible. ;)
The list of common terms was initially just a list of translations of the unit names. This was created using a script that elias wrote up, no idea if/where this might still be available. Later on it was filled manually by translators whenever they found something which sounds like a generic term (names of places, common terminology, ...). Due to this list there is already a good base of stuff that every translator can use.

2) Discussions
Okay, this was more relevant in the very early days of our translations. In those days we were really busy in the irc chan #wesnoth-de on ircfreenode.net. There we discussed whenever something came up and also had regular team meetings where everyone tried to attend (once a week, taking about an hour). Yes, the irc chan also has public logs, so it is/was possible to look stuff up rather easily.

3) Everyone helps wherever possible
About keeping documentation and stuff up to date, there is only one sane solution. Everyone does their share. When someone finds something which *might* be relevant, add it to the wiki. If something is not clear, discuss it with the others, eg during a meeting or when someone else is around in irc and got some mins.

4) One translator per textdomain/area
Yes, this is a rather important point to keep stuff consistent. Different styles during a single campaign are its death. So we try to have one "main" translators for a campaign who sets the style. Once the translation is ready, other translators jump in and help proof reading whenever they have time. This way you get a rather consistent style throughout content while still being able to find mistakes.

As you can see in my points this is something where the whole team has to work together. The maintainers task was/is mainly to eg moderate during irc discussions, gather translations that should go upstream and possibly have another look at stuff to make sure that things really are okay. And of course keep contact to new translators and help them get started. But basically you have to make use of the resources like the wiki to generate "easy to use" lists of terms. Having the logs of long discussions won't help there, though the discussions can lead to single entries in the list. Still you need the help of every translator to add generic stuff in the list.
User avatar
allefant
Units Database Administrator
Posts: 516
Joined: May 6th, 2005, 3:04 pm

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by allefant »

This was created using a script that elias wrote up, no idea if/where this might still be available.
I don't have the script anymore - but it was a precursor to the script generating http://units.wesnoth.org/trunk/en_US/mainline.html (which is available in all languages). I could easily adapt it into a script which produces wiki output again. Should it keep that tree-structure for units or is an alphabetical list better, maybe grouped by race?
User avatar
BioHazardX
Posts: 11
Joined: January 12th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by BioHazardX »

Hi there,
I'm from the Wesnoth Italian Forum (WIF), and I'm here to confirm that the translation project is not very active, maybe dead.
I have send three e-mails to the Italian maintener, he replied me ONLY the first time, give me some suggestions. So I tried to contact with him other two times to update my works, but he never reply, maybe he's inactive, or maybe he starts to ignore me for no reasons, I don't know.
In my opinion, we should re-organized the whole project, editing the wiki and creating a new translators' team, with ACTIVE volunteers...

(and sorry for my bad English)
(and YES, I'm agree with Nobun and with Aleph)
User avatar
Aleph
Posts: 4
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 10:03 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by Aleph »

Once again Germans have proved to be far better organized than Italians... XD

@ Ivanovic:

You are killing a dead man! :augh:
You made a list of basic features required so that a translating group can work fine. That's exactly my point: we have a dead translating team which doesn't really follow the simple guidelines you have just suggested. What we are asking for is the possibility to do so on our own.

The wiki is fundamental, of course, but as I showed our is dead: just look at the campaigns! Dead Water isn't even mentioned, even though it was made official more than a year ago. On the other hand, there is plenty of people who would like to work, and work indeed, but are not taken in serious consideration. I just wish we could make use of it without need to contact the previous team.

As you can see, this is my second post ever on this forum, and I don't know exactly how things go here - maybe they are more complicated than I think - but I know how things go on WIF, and I believe it could offer the chance to work following the suggestions you made.

Here I want to make an example: my goal is not to talk about me, but just show how things could be. When I started translating Invasion from the Unknown, I opened a discussion on WIF about particular expressions, style matters such as use of "tu", "voi", "lei" ("du" and "Sie" in German, a problem English version doesn't consider as this language lacks of this kind of forms), and so on. I was given the answers I needed, and the advice I was looking for. I went on translating on my own, periodically updating my work on the download section so that people could tell me their opinions, even though it was still me at work. Moreover, I made a list of strings I wanted to revisit, and having no wikis to base on, I created a text file to attach to the translation. To be honest there is a wiki on WIF, but I never made use of it - I actually never thought to - and probably no one has for long time. You can find the discussion on http://wif.altervista.org/index.php/topic,1859.0.html, but if you are interested in checking what I uploaded you have to register.

As you see, I did more or less the same way you suggest. Still, it is difficult for us to contact those who could, for example, update the official wiki, which we should base on, or make a translation official. It makes no sense that who wants to give an active contribution has to contact some one no more active. I am specifically interested in Italian situation, and for this context, I am really convinced that the local forum has all is required to make a good job - even better than what is considered the official team.
mich
Translator
Posts: 134
Joined: November 11th, 2008, 8:54 am
Location: Italy

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by mich »

Elvish_Hunter wrote:
Nobun wrote:I don't know if also other countries experienced a similar problem, but in Italy seems impossible to contact the official mantainer (and responsable) of Italian translation.
Did you try sending him a PM (user luciano)? His last logged visit to the forum was on 4th December, and when I tried to PM him, on 15th November, he answered me on 16th November (and no, I don't have any special power to contact him due to my redname); later, my translations were committed.
I sent a pm to him with an updated version of TRoW translation (21 Nov). He logged to the forum the next day, so probably he saw it, but I had no response.
No response from him on the italian translators mailing list too...
Well, 1.10 is near, we have possible translators, but without a lead or guide it will all come to nothing.
User avatar
ivanovic
Lord of Translations
Posts: 1147
Joined: September 28th, 2004, 10:10 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by ivanovic »

Aleph wrote:You are killing a dead man! :augh:
You made a list of basic features required so that a translating group can work fine. That's exactly my point: we have a dead translating team which doesn't really follow the simple guidelines you have just suggested. What we are asking for is the possibility to do so on our own.
As I said before, if there is no maintainer anymore, someone else of those willing to work on the translation should step up and simply become the new maintainer. Simple as that.
Aleph wrote:The wiki is fundamental, of course, but as I showed our is dead: just look at the campaigns! Dead Water isn't even mentioned, even though it was made official more than a year ago. On the other hand, there is plenty of people who would like to work, and work indeed, but are not taken in serious consideration. I just wish we could make use of it without need to contact the previous team.
Actually you can! You just need an account for the wiki and you can start editing anything in the wiki. Basically we trust that those people editing stuff got a sane reason for doing so and won't start to vandalize.
Aleph wrote:As you see, I did more or less the same way you suggest. Still, it is difficult for us to contact those who could, for example, update the official wiki, which we should base on, or make a translation official. It makes no sense that who wants to give an active contribution has to contact some one no more active. I am specifically interested in Italian situation, and for this context, I am really convinced that the local forum has all is required to make a good job - even better than what is considered the official team.
Yes, really, no need for someone "official" to edit the wiki. Even a plain user can just edit something, after generating an account in the wiki. The wiki is open intentionally. Though in general it makes sense to do both, work together with others who want to contribute as well as do your own share in the wiki yourself. By the way, there is no "elected official team". The "team" basically consists of those that contribute something. Once someone new joins and sends something in the maintainer tells whom to add in the credits and that's it.
Dret
Posts: 79
Joined: June 13th, 2007, 11:06 pm
Contact:

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by Dret »

Hi to all,

many times passed since my last visit... but I'm happy to be here again!

I'm Dret, Admin of WIF the Wesnoth Italian Community.
In the last 4 (almost 5!) years, we have actively supported the Wesnoth project in our country.

I would like to support the request of our community users (also part of the big international Wesnoth family), to be an "active point of reference" for game translation process in our mother tongue.

In particular, I would like to purpose a direct channel between our translation group (with a chief project) and the main Wesnoth developer group.
The target is impressing a new impulse to Italian translation project.

Any suggestions to realize this "official channel" is good for Us...

Waiting for replay, have a good day!
Dret.
User avatar
Elvish_Hunter
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1444
Joined: September 4th, 2009, 2:39 pm
Location: Lintanir Forest...

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by Elvish_Hunter »

mich wrote:I sent a pm to him with an updated version of TRoW translation (21 Nov). He logged to the forum the next day, so probably he saw it, but I had no response.
No response from him on the italian translators mailing list too...
There is a way to check if your translations were committed.
The last translation update for TRoW happened on 4th December. At http://svn.gna.org/viewcvs/wesnoth/trun ... 4&r2=52159 you can see the differences before and after that commit.
If this was your translation, you can be added to the credits in /trunk/data/core/about.cfg, and added to the forum's Translators group (and gain a pink name) as well. :)
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life, The White Troll (co-author), Wesnoth Lua Pack
1.12: Children of Dragons
luciano
Posts: 36
Joined: December 13th, 2004, 2:26 pm

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by luciano »

Elvish_Hunter wrote:
mich wrote:I sent a pm to him with an updated version of TRoW translation (21 Nov). He logged to the
If this was your translation, you can be added to the credits in /trunk/data/core/about.cfg, and added to the forum's Translators group (and gain a pink name) as well. :)
It was. I did check for typos and style conventions, but the credits go to him, for sure.
User avatar
Elvish_Hunter
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1444
Joined: September 4th, 2009, 2:39 pm
Location: Lintanir Forest...

Re: Translation Policy... perhaps something need to be chang

Post by Elvish_Hunter »

luciano wrote:It was. I did check for typos and style conventions, but the credits go to him, for sure.
Well then. I added mich to the Italian translation credits in trunk, r52586. mich, if you want to be added with your real name, just drop me a line. Ivanovic, can you please add mich to the Translators group? :wink:
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life, The White Troll (co-author), Wesnoth Lua Pack
1.12: Children of Dragons
Post Reply