[Debian-l10n-devel] Translations cleanup

Arne Goetje arne.goetje at canonical.com
Wed Jun 9 08:57:17 UTC 2010

On 06/09/2010 04:18 PM, Martin Bagge / brother wrote:
> On 2010-06-09 10:02, Arne Goetje wrote:
>> How we deal with this on a case by case basis would need to be
>> discussed. E.g. we could expect the fr.po file to mainly include strings
>> from fr_FR, however if a software originates in Canada, translators
>> might have used fr_CA terms which might not be appropriate in France. In
>> that case it might make sense to put the fr_CA strings into fr.po and
>> use a fr_FR diff for those strings which would be used different in
>> France. Or, we modify those strings, so that fr.po is always equal to
>> fr_FR and put the diffs into fr_CA.
> I might have looked past some nuance here.
> If we place fr_FR in fr.po in some cases and have fr_CA.po as diffs to
> that and in some other cases we have fr_CA in fr.po and fr_FR.po as diff
> to that I think we might have a messy situation on our future hands.
> For most languages I would guess that there won't be much of a problem
> to determine to use one "version" as the top level (fr_FR as fr and then
> diffs (fr_CA?) where needed).

This would be preferred, I think. I just picked this example, because 
Christian mentioned the case, where only fr_CA is available for French. 
Then it needs to be decided what is preferred. Either keep fr_CA as 
default for French and make a diff for fr_FR, or rip fr_CA apart, build 
a new fr.po with common strings and the rest leave as diff and fill up 
the remaining strings in fr.po with fr_FR ones.

>  > This would need to be discussed and we should establish a common
>  > policy for this.
> It would probably need some updated translation tools to work with the
> diff situation.

gettext handles this just fine. All we need to do is to set the LANGUAGE 
environment variable correctly.
LANGUAGE=fr_FR:fr for French users and
LANGUAGE=fr_CA:fr for Canadian users.
This way, if the string is not found in the first .po (the diff), the 
second choice gets used.
For Users from New Zealand, this would look like this, btw:
LANGUAGE=en_NZ:en_AU:en_GB:en :)

If the application in question does not use gettext, we probably need to 
keep separate .po files with complete coverage anyways... or hack the 
code to make it support gettext. ;)


More information about the Debian-l10n-devel mailing list