Thanks for the localisation



  • My Wacom tablet quit working. I tried the driver properties in the start menu, and a somewhat small dialog box told me (in Dutch) that there was a problem with the driver and I needed to--
    Thanks.

    ......

    In multiplayer Need for Speed Hot Pursuit gives you status updates on how your team and the enemy team are doing. I suppose that text is fairly short in English. In Dutch it stretches across the screen, directly in front of the road so you can't see a thing. Solution: none, because the game doesn't offer a language option or editable strings.
    Thanks.

    ......

    And they wonder why Generation Y prefers English.



  • Well, Need for Speed is an EA game, so of course it sucks shit. No shocker there. It's probably just as bad in English.

    Wiki says Dutch has about 22 million speakers. How is localization from larger companies, like Microsoft and Apple? I always wonder about the economics of a company like Wacom, how many of the hardware they sell vs. cost of localization... I'd like to see their numbers.

    @Brother Laz said:

    And they wonder why Generation Y prefers English.

    Is it still just X and Y? Do we have a Z at this point? Generation X is like... buy a Ferrari and get some young arm-candy range.



  • Some years ago, I once visited a friend who has lived in the Netherlands for many years, and had a 'while you're here…' to get his new printer working with his existing DOS copy of Ashton-Tate Framework (!). Despite my somewhat limited knowledge of Dutch, he seemed impressed that I puttered around the menus for no more than 5 minutes on my own before I needed to check a couple of words with him to make sure I was in the Printer Setup part of the program.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Wiki says Dutch has about 22 million speakers. How is localization from larger companies, like Microsoft and Apple? I always wonder about the economics of a company like Wacom, how many of the hardware they sell vs. cost of localization... I'd like to see their numbers.

    The quality of Microsoft translations is great: basic terminology that is hard to translate gets replaced with new terminology that is actually consistently used (eg. 'extra' instead of 'tools'). Drivers and third party applications should probably realise that specialised English terminology (multisampling, adjustment layers) should be left as is, because translating it won't make it any easier to understand and now you can't google for it - the ATI control panel does this properly, Nvidia not so much. Less visible drivers, freeware tools and games invariably have horrible localisation: I just looked at Pixlr, an otherwise very useful online image editor, and it translates 'box blur' to 'vierkant vervagen' ('fade [the] square').

    It seems to depend on the amount of text: the more text, the better the translation. If a tool has only a total of 10 lines of text they'll blow it, if it's a whole operating system or office suite it's perfect.



  • @Brother Laz said:

    It seems to depend on the amount of text: the more text, the better the translation. If a tool has only a total of 10 lines of text they'll blow it,

    That probably crosses the "oh hey, I have a cousin who could do that for us" barrier.

    @Brother Laz said:

    if it's a whole operating system or office suite it's perfect.

    I bet it's more related to copies sold. It would be interesting to compare the quality of localization for Microsoft Office to WordPerfect Office, for example... I wager the latter has significantly worse localization, because they sell fewer copies, and have less budget for it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Brother Laz said:
    And they wonder why Generation Y prefers English.

    Is it still just X and Y? Do we have a Z at this point? Generation X is like... buy a Ferrari and get some young arm-candy range.

    </p>

     The border between X and Y is somewhere between 1979 and 1982, so depending on the definition used I could be in either (I'd prefer to be in X).

    Z starts around 1995 and apparently "Generation Alpha"  is for the babies born in 2010 (and onwards, presumably until 2025). I don't know who decided that 15 years is a good length of time for a generation. Maybe too many single teenaged mothers.



  • My coworker has a version of VS that speaks Dutch, and he often can't understand shit about the error messages it's spewing.

    My rule: dev tools should not be localised. Programming is in English. Period. Deal.

    I  mean, look at this gem from firebug:

    URL's van zelfde oorsprong activeren

    That's Dutch in te most basic grammatical sense, but it is entirely meaningless gibberish. I could go on, but I think I'll just post a message at the google code thing.



  • @dhromed said:

    I  mean, look at this gem from firebug:

    URL's van zelfde oorsprong activeren

    Google sez this means: "URLs from the same origin activation"



  •  I (being Dutch) read it as "Activate URLs from the same origin.", basicaly the same as google said, only active.

    But I can't figure out what it is supposed to mean. Maybe the original English was something like "Highlight URLs from the same source."?

    By the way, for me (apparently I can choose to be in generation Y), some English words got their computer science meaning first. A 'string' is a short piece of text, learned years later that this originated from chaining letters together.

    And I recall being suprised that people used the 'string-sign' as a money denominator ($ in C64 Basic). Seemed like an odd choice to me.

    (And even weirder 'fork' meant the start of a loop, as in 'FORK=1TO10', although I did know it was used for cuttelry as well.)

    <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>




  • Well at least EA is a tiny bit better now. In the past the games had only the localized version on the disc. For example, I bought Need for Speed Underground 2 and it was entirely in Dutch, and nothing I tried changed it to English (I ended up downloading it "illegally" to be able to have it in English). With the new Hot Pursuit, you can change your operating system regional settings to change it to English. But this raises another WTF (observed in many products) that you have to change the way dates and money is displayed to change the language of the installer. Dear Windows, the fact that I live in the Netherlands and that I pay with the Euro and write dates in a Dutch way does NOT mean I want programs to be installed in Dutch... (some products base their choice on your "Location", which is wrong too -- imho there should be a separate preference for it, although I would think that having an English Windows installation would imply I prefer applications in English).

    @dhromed said:

    My coworker has a version of VS that speaks Dutch, and he often can't understand shit about the error messages it's spewing.

    My rule: dev tools should not be localised. Programming is in English. Period. Deal.

    I  mean, look at this gem from firebug:

    URL's van zelfde oorsprong activeren

    That's Dutch in te most basic grammatical sense, but it is entirely meaningless gibberish. I could go on, but I think I'll just post a message at the google code thing.

    I agree. My Flex Builder IDE is constantly spamming me with Dutch errors and warnings, which make no sense at all. For example:

    [code]1112: Array(x) gedraagt zich hetzelfde als het de nieuwe Array(x). U kunt een waarde casten naar type Array met de expressie x als array in plaats van Array(x). [sic][/code]

    They actually translated ActionScript keywords ("new Array(x)" -> "nieuwe Array(x)" and "x as Array" -> "x als array"). I'm kind of glad that every error and warning has a number, so I can at least Google on that to see the original message and possible solutions.

    If it were up to me, the entire world would be speaking English.



  • @dhromed said:

    My rule: dev tools should not be localised. Programming is in English. Period. Deal.
    Indeed.

    I can barely understand technical terms in my native language, even when they are as accurately translated as possible.



  •  You guys should try finderr.net

    I use it quite often 🙂

    P.S.: https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/178411/



  • Speaking of localization, while Microsoft's Slovenian translations are generally fine, I noticed that Slovenian Windows 7 translates "Online" in Disk management as "On the web". They seem to translate some things anew with each version of Windows, since in XP this was translated as "Available" and in Vista as "On the Internet", and there's also a few things that are translated in XP and Vista, but are left in English in 7.



  • @dhromed said:

    My rule: dev tools should not be localised. Programming is in English. Period. Deal.

    I'm agree.

    Not a dev tool, but still annoying: the function names in Excel. I've used Dutch versions of Excel, and not only do suddenly CSV files not work (unless you go through the import wizard), but all functions have different names, so vlookup suddenly changes to vert.zoeken or something (I never remember). To prevent this and similar annoyances, I want English versions only. Thank you.

    However, I also know how hard it is to get localization right (or rather, how easy it is to get it wrong). I once created a little throw-away tool that 4 years later was used by thousands of users in 22 different languages, and I can assure you, I made every mistake in the book in localization. On the plus side, in my current project, we decided that localization was a key factor, so we made sure we implemented the tools to do that first. Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions, that kind of thing.



  • @b-redeker said:

    @dhromed said:

    My rule: dev tools should not be localised. Programming is in English. Period. Deal.

    I'm agree.

    Not a dev tool, but still annoying: the function names in Excel. I've used Dutch versions of Excel, and not only do suddenly CSV files not work (unless you go through the import wizard), but all functions have different names, so vlookup suddenly changes to vert.zoeken or something (I never remember). To prevent this and similar annoyances, I want English versions only. Thank you.

    However, I also know how hard it is to get localization right (or rather, how easy it is to get it wrong). I once created a little throw-away tool that 4 years later was used by thousands of users in 22 different languages, and I can assure you, I made every mistake in the book in localization. On the plus side, in my current project, we decided that localization was a key factor, so we made sure we implemented the tools to do that first. Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions, that kind of thing.

    Some of the projects I work on have to be both in Dutch and English, that's not much of a problem (although my English isn't that good). I just make sure that all texts and UI elements are looked at by both Dutch and English people to ensure all texts make sense. But when a project would be bigger and needed multiple translations, it would only be the engineer's job to facilitate that and it would be a translator's job to do the translations.

    But as I said, I think the whole world should just switch to one language. Having so many languages is just not modern and a destruction of capital (decapitalization? I don't know the correct word - in any case, a big waste of money), if you ask me.



  • @pbean said:

    But as I said, I think the whole world should just switch to one language. Having so many languages is just not modern and a destruction of capital (decapitalization? I don't know the correct word - in any case, a big waste of money), if you ask me.
    The destruction of culture is worse, though.  English is a nice language and all, save some much-needed spelling reform, but it would be a pitty for all others to become lost and forgotten...



  • @Xyro said:

    The destruction of culture is worse, though.  English is a nice language and all, save some much-needed spelling reform, but it would be a pitty for all others to become lost and forgotten...
    The destruction is already happening. I am not sure of the exact stats but I vaguely remember that the number of languages in use in the world is on a trend to plummet from something like 2000 to 200 in a very short time.



  • @Xyro said:

    @pbean said:

    But as I said, I think the whole world should just switch to one language. Having so many languages is just not modern and a destruction of capital (decapitalization? I don't know the correct word - in any case, a big waste of money), if you ask me.
    The destruction of culture is worse, though.  English is a nice language and all, save some much-needed spelling reform, but it would be a pitty for all others to become lost and forgotten...

    Why? What inherent value does a language have other than maybe sounding nice or having a rich history? Language is meant for communication, and with there being so many it's doing quite a bad job actually. Surely grammar and spelling and such suck in all languages, and should be reformed into one logical set of grammar and spelling (logical as in 1+1=2, not as in "this word is from ancient latin so we should spell it like this or that").



  • @pbean said:

    Why? What inherent value does a language have other than maybe sounding nice or having a rich history? Language is meant for communication, and with there being so many it's doing quite a bad job actually. Surely grammar and spelling and such suck in all languages, and should be reformed into one logical set of grammar and spelling (logical as in 1+1=2, not as in "this word is from ancient latin so we should spell it like this or that").
    No no, it's much deeper than that.  It's about the way people think, about how they draw metaphors and relate to abstract concepts.  Language has a very significant role in the way we conceptualize the world, and for everybody to conceptualize it form the same language can only be a bad thing.  The current destruction of languages and their associated cultures is a sad passing indeed.

    We have a direct analogy to computer languages here.  Would you advocate everyone programming in only one language?  I'm sure you can enumberate the reasons on your own; the reasons for human language diversity are even stronger.



  • @pbean said:

    Surely grammar and spelling and such suck in all languages, and should be reformed into one logical set of grammar and spelling

    Except you can't.


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