en-US language presumption

Matthew East mdke at ubuntu.com
Sat Aug 29 10:27:02 BST 2009

On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 9:55 AM, Tollef Fog Heen<tfheen at err.no> wrote:
> ]] Matthew East
> | I personally think that using US English is a pretty reasonable
> | approach to take. If we don't standardise on a particular language,
> | then we'll need to create a US English translation team, and that team
> | will need to scour all the application strings to see what language
> | they are in, and translate them.
> The alternative is for all developers who are not writing US English to
> start doing so, and for some of us, that would mean learning a new
> variant of a language which is not our native.  I'm not sure that's a
> better use of resources than creating a US translation team.  I'd rather
> spend my time coding or fixing bugs than learning US English because the
> USAnians can't be bothered to translate text to their own
> language/variant.

That does sound reasonable, if the current position is that developers
are not writing US English.

I don't think it's a question of "bothered". These things tend to
arise out of a need so that, for example, a GB English translation
team would be created if GB Ubuntu users see spellings on their
desktop that are not correct in their locale. Given that a US English
translation team hasn't been created to date, I can only assume that
so far USA Ubuntu users don't have prominent wrong spellings in their
locale. If we establish a clear policy that application developers can
use whatever variant of English they wish, then perhaps we can also
encourage the creation of a US English translation team.

Having said that, I think it's difficult to go further, as Paul seems
to be suggesting, and have a policy that any human language (including
non-English languages) can be used, because then we have an issue that
most translation teams won't be able to translate the strings at all.
E.g. a Japanese translator, although they will understand English,
won't understand German or Finnish.

Matthew East
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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