Re: Translators needed?

Marnix Klooster marnix.klooster at
Fri Feb 2 07:13:08 CET 2007

Op 31-01-07 15:22, Robert Michel schreef:
> Salve Engin!
> On Wed, 31 Jan 2007, Engin Erenturk wrote:
>> In my opinion the translations must be done professionally for such a product like this. Instead of volunteers who are not professionals, volunteers who are professionals and volunteer who can provide a professional translation must localize this product. I localized RSSOwl into Turkish, and I gathered 3 of my friends and discussed every one of the phrases translated. But in the end it is not like a professional translation. It's very important to give the same meaning of the sentence in the localized language instead of pure translation. Sometimes it is very hard to do such a thing. The best example is the Microsoft products, even I don't support or like them, they did great job in localization... They got a big book of meanings of words/phrases which are used in Microsoft products, books etc. If someone wants to do a translation for the books etc. they gave this didctionary to them to use it as reference dictionary... As I said if there are volunteers who are
>>  professionsals and who can localize it with professionals must be found... I'll try to get in touch with a professional translator who is experienced in technical translations if there is a need for Turkish localization.
> I would like to disagre. Open translation has the big 
> advantage that people could give feedback about the
> translations - many opensource projects include the
> wikipedia are working without the support of professional
> translators.
> Getting in touch with professional translators would help
> in some rar cases of doubts/dispute. IMHO more important
> is that the people who translate does know what the software
> device do at that moment.

Hi Rob,

First, as Engin already wrote in another response I think, "open" and 
"professional" are not opposites.  His suggestion is, if I understood 
him correctly, to find volunteers who are already software translators 

Also, yes you are correct that "many opensource projects [...] are 
working without the support of professional translators."

And it shows.

I absolutely do not intend any disrespect with that-- I'm really very 
grateful to the people (volunteers mostly) who make OpenOffice, GNOME, 
Evolution, Thunderbird, Firefox, etc. etc. available in Dutch on my home 
Linux box, so that also my wife can use the system comfortably.

However, there definitely are many problems: inconsistencies between 
applications, inconsistencies with Microsoft software (yes, 
unfortunately this is important), different views of translators (most 
keep the English "website", some translate it to the horrendous 
neologism "webplek"), missing translations because the translation could 
not keep up with new releases of the application, etc.

Such problems are minor, in the sense that they usually do not block 
understanding of what is going on, what should I do next, etc.  But they 
make the experience less polished and more botched.  And for a device 
that we want in lots of non-developer hands, we need polish.

Translation is a thing that Microsoft does really well, as far as I've 
seen.  In my opinion, the officially-blessed-by-OpenMoko software feed 
also should aim for a high level of translation quality, consistency, 
and completeness.

So again, professional volunteers are welcome :-)


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