Obscure texts and invalid translations

Francois Gouget fgouget at free.fr
Wed Feb 22 16:07:14 CST 2012

On Wed, 22 Feb 2012, Frédéric Delanoy wrote:

> 2012/2/22 Lauri Kenttä <lauri.kentta at gmail.com>:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Wine has many texts, especially error messages, that are almost impossible
> > to translate without knowing what they're really about. Some are also easy
> > to misunderstand.
> >
> > An example from dlls/kernel32/winerror.mc:
> > msgid "Notify change request in progress.\n"
> > 1) What should I do if I wanted to clarify a msgid? Just change the original
> > .rc file?
> Adding a message context. Wine translating page
> (http://wiki.winehq.org/Translating) has some info on this. Not sure
> if it applies to winerror messages, though

Wine's winerror messages a pretty terse and usually not full sentences. 
One thing we noticed recently(*) is that the Windows ones are much 
longer and form full sentences and as a result are likely less 
ambiguous. So in the case of the winerror messages the correct fix is 
probably to simply rewrite the message so it is an unambiguous full 

(*) http://www.winehq.org/pipermail/wine-devel/2012-January/093969.html

> > 2) Is there a way to add helpful comments to all language files at once
> > without changing the msgid?
> See above


In theory message contexts are not the right tool to pass commentary 
about the string to translate either. Normally xgettext takes the 
comments preceding the string to be translated in a PO file as lines 
starting with '#. '. But in our case RC files are processed by wrc which 
I believe does not have a means to access the comments in the RC file. 
This is why in Wine we normally use message contexts and will likely 
have to continue doing so. For now it works fine anyway.

In the future we may get into trouble if we start doing that extensively 
and the same string gets two different 'comments' as this would result 
in different contexts, hence requiring translators to translate twice. 
For instance:

    "msgctxt#Shown in the File Open dialog#OK"
    "msgctxt#Shown in the Print dialog#OK"

 -> "OK" needs to be translated twice when that was not the intent

For now we can avoid this by limiting our 'commenting' to the cases that 
really need it.


> > 4) There has been discussions about some translation websites. Is there a
> > chance that such a website would allow easy tagging of potential errors?
> Problem is attribution of changes to respective authors (+ potential
> license conflicts). Search the wine-devel archives for more info.

Good starting points:

Francois Gouget <fgouget at free.fr>              http://fgouget.free.fr/
                     Avoid the Gates of Hell - use Linux.

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