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Subject: Arg! Bad translation deutsch.lang (general problem)

Arg! Bad translation deutsch.lang (general problem)

From: Uwe Freese <>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 22:31:30 +0200

Hello Daniel,

DS> Update of /cvsroot/rockbox/apps/lang
DS> In directory usw-pr-cvs1:/tmp/cvs-serv18476

DS> Modified Files:
DS> deutsch.lang
DS> Log Message:
DS> René Reineke's update (patch 613957)

This was a really bad "improvement", I nearly had a heart attack! :-(

The bad translation is not your fault, of course, but it shows the
problems of new translations.

How to translate is often a matter of taste. If there are new words to
translate and someone fixes (correctly) some wrong
translations/strings (adding closing quot. marks, deleting too much
space characters,...), he also will change some words that were better
left as they were.

Example: If I tell you that "Loudness" is the usual word for that
function (also in german) and someone changes it to "Lautstärke"
(=volume) because he has a new 'Langenscheid dictionary' and found
that word there, I write a mail and hope that it is changed again to
The next day the next person goes through the lang file and translates
"Loudness" again ("Verstärkung" = amplification this time) and ARG!
this is the wrong word, again!

So what can we do to prevent this? I suggest that only one to three
people (native speakers of that language, I'd do that job for the
deutsch.lang if all agree) are responsible for each lang file and that
you developers (with cvs write access) only accept lang diffs from
these people. The 1-3 responsible people then discuss (private mail)
if/how they change something.

Sorry that this is so complicated but without some reglementations
there will ever be "improved" lang versions that you apply (because
you don't speak that language natively) and I get a headache from time
to time when I see that new translation.

Errors in the actual version:

- some terms imply wrong things
- it was not compileable because some closing quotation marks were

DS> desc: in playlist.indices() when playlist is full
DS> eng: "Playlist"
DS> -new: "Playliste"
DS> +new: "Spielliste"

Argh! As already discussed there are terms that one can translate but
one shouldn't because the original word is used usually. "Playliste"
is also neither german nor english (play: eng, Liste: german), but I
prefer it. When talking in german, I ever say Playlist or Playliste,
never Spielliste! (And I think the most people do.)

DS> desc: Used in a lot of places
DS> eng: "On"
DS> -new: "Ein"
DS> +new: "an"

I think "Ein" is correct. And Ein is more distinguishable from "Aus"
(off) than "An".

DS> desc: in settings_menu
DS> eng: "Disk Spindown"
DS> -new: "HDD Ausschaltzeit"
DS> +new: "Stromsparmodus HDD"

Argh! Stromsparmodus (Power Saving Mode) implies that something can be
turned on that makes the HDD consume less power the whole time.
Instead, the power off time in seconds is set here. So it should be
something with time/"zeit"/seconds.

DS> desc: in settings_menu
DS> eng: "FF/RW Min Step"
DS> -new: "FF/RW min. Schritt"
DS> +new: "FF/RR min. Schritt"

FF=Fast Forward, RW=ReWind (I think)

What should RR mean? I NEVER saw that somewhere.

DS> desc: in settings_menu
DS> eng: "Follow Playlist"
DS> -new: "Folge Playliste"
DS> +new: "Spielreihenfolge einhalten"

Argh! "Spielreihenfolge einhalten" means "regard the right playing
order". But this option does not change the playing order at all. It
makes the cursor go to the current played song (or not if turned off)
when going to the dir browser.

DS> desc: confirm to reset settings
DS> -eng: "Really?"
DS> -new: "Sicher?"
DS> +eng: "Sicher?"
DS> +new:

No, actually, the english term IS "Really?" and the german is

DS> desc: in sound_settings
DS> _at__at_ -359,17 +373,17 _at__at_
DS> desc: in sound_settings
DS> eng: "Loudness"
DS> -new: "Loudness"
DS> +new: "Verstärkung"

Argh! Verstärkung/verstärken = amplify. That is not only a simple
amplification. Several frequencies are amplified depending on the volume. The usual
german term is "Loudness" and no one ever would think of a Loudness
function when it's called "Verstärkung".

DS> desc: in sound settings
DS> eng: "Bass Boost"
DS> -new: "Bass Boost"
DS> +new: "Tiefenverstärkung"

Hm, one of the terms I would better leave in english. BTW: "Bass" is
also a possible german word.

DS> desc: posible answers to resume question
DS> eng: "(PLAY/STOP)"
DS> -new: "(Wiedergabe/Stop)"
DS> +new: "(Wiederg./Stop)"

The keys On and Off are labeled in english and I would call all other
keys also with the english word. (e.g. the "play" button)

- - - -

I also put the changed version to the patch tracker, hopefully that it
is applied (and compileable again) and that something's done that
prevents more bad translations.

Bye, Uwe.
Received on 2002-09-27

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