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A humble request for the developers of WordPress.com

  1. I love you all, I do.

    Your code is nothing short of brilliant and each of your deploys (when you don't forget to svn ci first) is a nugget of joy. Yes, even when stuff breaks; as far as I'm concerned, it is only proof that it is alive and someone is tweaking it.

    However...

    You are not making this translator's life any easier, and I suspect I am not the only one. Here's why:

    • Strings need context, part I — Unlike WordPress.org, which most of us also translate, all of .com's strings files are in a gigantic file. Nothing against gigantic files, but .org's separation into smaller, specific files gives us an immediate idea of the general sense of the text (i.e. it's in wp-admin, in wp_admin/network, you get the drift).
    • Strings need context, part II — .org points each string to the source code that uses it. I can appreciate that this might be a sensitive issue on .com, even if I don't agree that it is, and that such functionality may not be desired here. That said, there must be some kind of middle ground, no? Retrieve just the line of code, maybe? (or do a better job at part I)
    • The same string in English, isn't the same in our language — I haven't researched this extensively , but I suspect that strings are unique; take "Search", which can be a verb (Procurar), or even a noun with more than one meaning, as in "Search term" (Termo de pesquisa) or "The search" (Pesquisa)
    • English has no gender, but we do — What does "New (%s)" mean? Its it a post (which for me is masculine)? A page (feminine)?
    • Do you know Otto? (he's cool) — Strings like these, aren't ideal… I'm sure there's something being injected before that string, and many languages (if not all) need the whole sentence, not just fragments, since the position of what's being injected isn't necessarily at the beginning of the sentence.
    • Finally, the obligatory minute request: countries — They aren't translatable, (see what .org did there?).

    Hence, in an ideal world:

    • Context everywhere! Use and abuse _x, _ex and _nx. It's never too much
    • Separate "areas" (whatever that means) into translatable projects, i.e. if the code for say, the Store, isn't something you want to show publicly, fine, don't. But at least create a separate project for it, it's not as if we don't know it's there (we just need to look at the dashboard, basically)
    • Look into the unique string situation, but perhaps separation would make that irrelevant.
    • Go have a drink with Otto (always a good idea)
    • Come have a drink with me (mostly a good idea)

    The blog I need help with is caveatautomattor.wordpress.com.

  2. Link to untranslated countries:

    http://wordpress.com/#!/my-stats/?view=geoviews

  3. Thanks, Zé! :)

    I'll make sure this gets to the right people!

  4. +1
    (for further ideas see this ticket from Martin(IQ): http://glotpress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/41)

  5. Completely agree with vanillalounge.
    A couple of years ago I had troubles trying to translate a few of Vigilance's strings, because I couldn't find some of them.
    For instance, may be the 'gigantic' file could be divided into 'theme' files? Even if there are strings that are the same in most themes, I believe more people would help with translation (and the overall translation would be better) if we could locate and concentrate on one theme at a time.

  6. I believe more people would help with translation (and the overall translation would be better) if we could locate and concentrate on one theme at a time.

    This is already possible!

    Just look at the link of the theme:
    For example: http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/triton-lite/

    If you take the theme name: "triton-lite" you can search for it in GlotPress. For German and Triton Lite it is:
    http://translate.wordpress.com/projects/wpcom/de/default?filters%5Bterm%5D=triton-lite&filters%5Buser_login%5D=&filters%5Bstatus%5D=current_or_waiting_or_fuzzy_or_untranslated&filter=Filter&sort%5Bby%5D=priority&sort%5Bhow%5D=desc

    For Twenty Twelve the link is http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/twentytwelve/ - so you have to search for "twentytwelve" and so on ...

    Kind regards
    Torsten

  7. This is already possible!

    ...assuming you know what you're looking for, and that we're talking exclusively about theme names. All else is impossible to locate.

    Try translating just the "Stats" pages (which are particularly important for .org users using Jetpack since the .com strings are what shows up in their dashboards), or anything else that's not a theme, for that matter.

  8. Hi Zé,

    look at my quote, I was just speaking about themes and how to get the right search string for them! :)

    For "Stats" it should be possible. For example:
    http://translate.wordpress.com/projects/wpcom/de/default?filters%5Bterm%5D=stats&filters%5Buser_login%5D=&filters%5Bstatus%5D=current_or_waiting_or_fuzzy_or_untranslated&filter=Filter&sort%5Bby%5D=priority&sort%5Bhow%5D=desc

    Everyone is able to export PO-Files from GlotPress and in this file you see a comment like this:

    #: wp-content/mu-plugins/stats.php:3831

    These comments are used for the search, so you "just" have to now the filename. Sometimes this is hard to find, but if you have found one string, you can export it and look at the comment and maybe you now know for what you can search for.

    It would be much easier if this would be shown in GlotPress, like on translate.wordpress.org, but often it is possible to go this way ...

    Best regards
    Torsten

  9. For "Stats" it should be possible

    This returns every string that contains "Stats", whether belonging to that module or not.

    As to

    you "just" have to now the filename

    This isn't public information, most of the time you need to guess and the whole thing sounds more like speleology than an actually functional way of translating.

    You and I are comfortable with PoEdit, GlotPress and generally with how strings relate to code, but most people are not.

  10. Case in point, please explain to me what this means.

  11. Or this.

  12. Can I get an amen for that? :-)

    Torsten and I have been talking about this for years. Nothing has changed basically. But good to read it all in one place. I'm totally convinced the lack of people translating WordPress.com is based in great parts on the reasons you listed above.

    I might also add that in the matter of design/UI WordPress is also solely optimized for english. I can't say how often I've seen new features added where e.g. multiple buttons are placed inline side by side with just a few pixels left over. As translated strings tend to be longer than the english ones, this will always look bad for international users. This means we sometimes can't translate strings the way we want them to be, just because the right translation might break the layout/UI in a way which looks really ugly.

    Some examples:

    Ok, it's not directly translation-related but I thought I'll add it here for the sake of completeness. ;)

    Cheers
    Martin(IQ)

  13. it's not directly translation-related

    It most certainly is :)

  14. Oops, I meant 'glotpress-related'.

  15. Zé, you are absolutely right. I don't wanted to contradict your general statement. I just wanted to add a workaround for interested people. But it is absolutely true, that this can be optimized!

  16. I absolutely agree with you. Most of the time, causing headaches and make it difficult to work. If you divide a sentence, it almost becomes impossible to translate for a SOV language: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subject%E2%80%93object%E2%80%93verb Word order: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_order

  17. As expected, this isn't going anywhere. Thanks for your attention, and I'll try again next year.

  18. Saw that coming. Maybe you should modlook this discussion. Otherwise no one at Automattic will see it. I usually wait roundabout 2 - 3 weeks for an answer in the translation forum. If I get one at all. :(

    Maybe no one at Automattic is in charge of the translation forum. To be honest I don't even know who's responsible for i18n at Automattic now that you're not working there anymore.

  19. Good idea, modlooked. Not that my expectations are any higher, mind you.

  20. Thanks for re-tagging this, I've notified our translation team again.

  21. Hi!
    As a translator for Japanese, I admit I also run into these problematic areas while working on GlotPress. I think it's great to get these feedback and I'd be happy to report back. Things will not improve overnight, but we certainly can have each problem fixed as they are brought up though.

    Please don't hesitate to report issues as you find them. That way we can share tangible problems and comunicate with developers who may be new to i18n support.

  22. Makes sense.

    I think the most pressing issue is clearly the context of strings; we could probably start by looking at a first batch of very widely used words, since those are the ones most prone to confusion. I'm referring specifically to words like 'post' (which can mean 'to post' or 'the post'), 'comment', 'view', and so on.

    I'm not sure in where such a survey (in the sense of cataloguing) would take place, however. The forums hardly seem to be the best option (I could be wrong), as we'd be introducing a significant amount of noise for other users. This, of course, leads me to suggest a .com-polyglots-p2 or something similar. It would give the devs a place where they can see global issues with i18n, not just one or the other language in particular.

    Does this, in turn, make sense?

  23. ...and on a personal note: my tone before wasn't meant to come across as harsh; knowing most of you in person as I do, I've allowed myself a more colloquial tone. Perhaps I shouldn't have, in which case the martinis are on me.

  24. A WP.com-Polyglots-P2 would be great!
    I always ask myself, where do I have to put my question: Polygots, GlotPress trac, Translation forum, ...?

  25. Noting here that @vanillalounge and I chatted today about this topic.

    For now, could you please post all i18n/L10n to this forum and modlook as necessary? If it makes sense, please group similar reports into one thread. The Translations Forums is not too busy at the moment, let's see if it gets maxed out or not.

    Also, to set the expectations correctly, while we'll record any reported bugs, not every bug might get fixed and not right away, depending on things like priority, complexity, and overall availability of developer resources. This is the same for all bugs, not just i18n bugs :)

  26. you "just" have to now the filename

    This isn't public information,

    It is public. Everyone can export the translation file:
    http://translate.wordpress.com/projects/wpcom/de/default/export-translations

    And in there you can find all filenames ... or did I get something wrong?

    But context is always important and a comment in the sourcefile is not really useful for WP.com translators, see this thread. Something that seems to be not widely known.

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