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Subject: Translation guidelines

Translation guidelines

From: Jonas H. <>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 16:44:25 +0200

This is not a guide of the technical details of creating or updating a
Rockbox translation. Such a guide can be found here:

However, I noticed some discussion on IRC about which words should and
shouldn't be translated. Apparently someone was under the misconception
that I think that all words should be translated. That is not the case.
I do, however, firmly believe that all strings should be investigated
and either translated or left alone. Using the original string for the
translation is fine with me, if that's most natural to your language.

However, I have personally translated pretty much all words into Danish,
even where it feels somewhat awkward. The reasoning behind this is the
following (borrowed from a Danish LUGs translation guide):

1. The translation exists for all people. We want all users to be able
   to use Rockbox - not just those who understand what words like
   "Crossfade" or "Replaygain" means (alright, in the case of Replaygain
   you'd have to know the term to use it in other programs). Rockbox
   shouldn't still be half English.

2. If the translations are clever enough, experienced users will also
   benefit from them. Some of the meaning is lost when using an English
   word without thinking of what it means (I've done that with the word
   Bookmark myself). With a local name, you get the deeper meaning also.

3. You get used to the translation. At some point it stops feeling

I'm not advocating this as the One True Way of translating. If leaving
English words seems more right to you, then do that. I was just
explaining why *I* think the above is a good idea. Actually, I didn't
like this approach at first, but after thinking about it, it started
making more sense to me.

Jonas H
                                                   -- Watch this space
Received on 2005-08-26

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