[Openstack-i18n] Including the final : with strings

Yves-Gwenaël Bourhis yves-gwenael.bourhis at cloudwatt.com
Fri May 2 17:06:35 UTC 2014

Le 02/05/2014 16:05, Douglas Fish a écrit :
> Am I correct in understanding that single words are the biggest candidates
> for using contextual marking?


> In exchanges with a French translator I've heard that the word "None" is
> often problematic when it's a standalone word.  If I understood and recall
> correctly "None" might be masculine or feminine depending on the context
> its used, so for a high quality translation, a different word should be
> used.

Indeed, in French 'None' can be "Aucun", "Aucune" or "Rien", depending
on the context, but there is also a plural form for 'None': 'Aucuns',
'Aucunes', 'Riens'.
The word 'None' alone is totally impossible to get right.
This is not limited to French, German has the same issues and even more
often than French for other short words, where 'None' is 'Kein',
'Keine', 'Keinen', 'Keinem', 'Keiner' depending on the context.

French has only masculine and Feminine, but e.g. German and Romanian
have Masculine, Feminine and Neutral.
German has accusative and nominative forms also...
You must even consider English as an exception language for not having
different words or spellings for the gender or form, because the
majority of languages make a difference.

So the gender can not be the context. The context is the sentence where
the word takes place.

> Taking a look at our translation
> https://github.com/openstack/horizon/blob/master/openstack_dashboard/locale/en/LC_MESSAGES/django.po#L2974
>  it looks like there are 30 or 35 instances of the words "None" in
> Dashboard over 8 or 9 screens.
> Are you envisioning that the developers put in 30 or 35 different
> contextual markers so that the translators can choose which translation to
> use for each word?  or maybe 8 or 9 markers is the right granularity?  or
> maybe there is another way the markers should be used?

It's impossible to say if the word is masculine/feminine in the context,
because in can be masculine in French, Feminine in German, etc... and
vice-versa... (and extra genders in other languages).

So either the context is an example of the sentence where the word takes
place, either developers should as much as possible avoid using single
words and should use a full string instead.

Even though the word "None" is used in 30 or 35 different places, I
seriously doubt it would require as many contexts, It's often used in
the same kind of sentence and these kind of sentences should be the context.
The best I think would be to use a context chart so that we use the same
contexts and avoid to many markers.

So Single words should be used in the same limited amount of contexts,
and we should use full sentences (which are the easiest to translate
without a context string) as much as possible.

-- Yves-Gwenaël Bourhis

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