[Sugar-devel] Multilingual Help activity: which localisation tools (was Re: Potential volunteer offering technical writing)
cjlhomeaddress at gmail.com
Wed Oct 5 15:54:40 EDT 2011
On Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 3:26 PM, samy boutayeb <s.boutayeb at free.fr> wrote:
> Hola Gonzalo,
>> We do not have translations in Help Activity.
>> And is not a good idea use the same tools/strategies to translate a few
>> strings in a activity
>> and a full text document.
> Quoting Martin in a previous post, Id like to say "Yes and no" ;-)
> I agree with you that we have 2 different types of activities.
> My point is that, altough we are faced with 2 different cases, it makes
> sense to use a common reference (in the form of a so called "translation
> memory", which refers to the content" of the activity) and, why not, a
> set of common tools designed to manage this content.
> Let's me illustrate my argumentation with the exemple of the FotoToon
> activity  and of the potential corresponding chapter "Fototoon" of
> the Help activity, and in particular from a triple point of view: from
> the developer's perspective (which I am not. As you are the developper
> of this activity, Gonzalo, please feel free to correct me if my naive
> understanding is incorrect), from the translator's/localizer's
> perspective (which I happen to be) and from the user's perspective.
> 1/ Developper
> * FotoToon Activity: You develop fonctions and commands which should be
> executed from a graphical user interface (with UI elements, as buttons,
> menus, tooltips, etc. and eventually a help file, both online and
> offline. You provide to this end a set of text strings, which are
> embedded in your code.
> Examples: "Add Whisper", "Add Box", "Bold", "Save as Image"
> * Help Activity: The documentation writer writes a chapter "Fototoon"
> dedicated to the corresponding activity "FotoToon". The document
> consists of a succession of whole sentences, which refer to the
> functions of the "FotoToon" activity and uses to this end :
> - simple text
> - screenshots (located between chapters)
> - names of functions/commands (located in the sentences)
> - symbols of the user interface (located in the sentences)
> 2/ Translator/localizer
> * FotoToon Activity: You provide the translators/localizers (one for
> each target language) a list of translatable text strings (in form of a
> po file) which you extract from your code.
> Then, each translator provides with the equivalence of your strings in
> his respective language:
> Example (French):
> 4 Add Whisper Ajouter un chuchotement
> 6 Add Box Ajouter un cartouche
> 10 Bold Gras
> 13 Save as Image Enregistrer sous une image
> For this task to be achieved, a "localization tool" has proved to be
> efficient, helping to manage a bi-/multilingual localization project,
> including various consecutive releases of the activity/program. Here is
> the key-word "consistence".
> File type: po file (bilingual text file of strings backed up in a
> translation memory)
> * Help Activity:
> The document (consisting of chapters) is divided in sentences. Those may
> embedd symbols (non editable) and names of functions/commands, which are
> localizable and should be consistent with the localized version of the
> strings of the "FotoToon" activity, as they refer to the GUI which is
> displayed by the user, according to the locale (EN-US, ES-UY, FR-FR,
> etc.) selected.
> This is where the "translation memory" function is useful, especially if
> the localization workflow includes the translation of the names of the
> GUI elements. This is not mandatory, then a variant consists in mark the
> GUI elements as variables, which are merged later with the content of
> the po file.
> File type : (a) text document (either 2 monolingual documents or one
> bilingual document in with the sentences are segmented by the
> localization tool and backed up in a translation memory).
> (b) 2 sets of screenshots (one for each language)
> 3/ User
> * FotoToon Activity: The user "plays" with the "FotoToon" activity in
> the language set at the system level.
> * Help Activity: The user reads/searchs/browses the Help activity in the
> language selected. The screenshots and the names of the functions should
> match the GUI displayed.
> My conclusion: altough the standard activities and the Help activities
> have distinct use cases (for the developer, the translator/localizer and
> the user), and use different contents (single strings versus complete
> sentences plus screenshots and symbols), from the localization point of
> view, it makes sense to use a common localization tool and a common
> "translation memory" in order to achieve a consistent experience for the
> developer, the localizer and the user.
> The fact that actual localization tools are able to manage efficiently
> those different contents speaks in favor of a sigle translation memory
> and, for the sake of simplicity, of a single localization tool.
I am in agreement with many of the challenges (and opportunities) that
Samy raises. To provide a specific example, we host the WavePlace
lesson plans for learning with eToys. This is a form of
documentation, but one that lends itself particularly well to simple
text treatment and division into individual strings as the original is
a bulleted outline.
It is essential that when the documentation (lesson plan) refers to a
button name or a function, that the localization of that term in the
text matches that used in the activity itself, which is the context
issue raised as the second point here:
I'm not sure that every goal is achievable through the existing
technology, great diligence on the part of the localizers will always
be critical, but I think the scenario that Samy lays out highlights
the desirability of working towards high levels of integration between
solutions to achieve the highest quality L10n with tools that provide
affordances to assist in maintaining consistency.
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