Lost in translation

Spotted this slightly depressing IRC snippet tucked away on the GNOME marketing-list yesterday:

(03:42:26 PM) danilo: qgil: as a matter of fact, other approaches bring results we had with documentation for the past 4 years: no documentation has been translated to any language except for Sun contributed translations, and they were too hard to update because we only had docbook source on them

(03:42:48 PM) danilo: so, basically, we had to dump almost all of sun contributed translations

Could Sun have done more to avoid this? Were we made aware of the problem at the time? We still do sucky things occasionally, especially in the corners of the company (including L10N) who don't yet live and breathe open source in the way most of us do now, but I certainly hope we can learn from any mistakes we made here.

Comments:

I've been on the open source desktop project in Sun Globalization (the L10n group) about a year now. I would not have known this unless a colleague of mine noticed your blog and forwarded to a team of us. I'm interested in following up with the Gnome i18n community. We're trying to walk the talk of open source here as well. :-)

Posted by Young Joo Pintaske on November 01, 2006 at 11:46 AM GMT+00:00 #

That's really good to hear. I don't think anybody in the JDS team really knew about this either, so it sounds like there was a bit of a communications failure on both Sun's side and the community's. (And I'm certainly not knocking the huge amount of work our translators did-- it's knowing how much they did that makes things like this all the more frustrating when they happen. I also know we don't do all our translation in-house, which makes it even harder to have the translators engage directly with the community to work through anything like this.)

Posted by Calum Benson on November 01, 2006 at 12:55 PM GMT+00:00 #

:-/ This is annoying - partially because I spent a good 5 years of my life writing tools to make the use (and re-use) of translations easier, particularly wrt. documentation translations. I've since moved off to non-i18n-related pastures, but somewhere floating around Sun, there's a multi-million sentence translation memory that has all of this material ready to go. We've been using XLIFF for translation for years - if we can't do something to reuse this translated material, then that's a bad state of affairs. GNOME folks: are you using XLIFF yet, or are you still using £$%# .po files ?

Posted by Tim Foster on November 01, 2006 at 01:44 PM GMT+00:00 #

FYI, Danilo has replied here

Posted by Calum Benson on November 02, 2006 at 06:25 AM GMT+00:00 #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About


I am an Interaction Designer in the Systems Experience Design team, arriving at Oracle via Sun where I've worked since 2000. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
    
       
Today