en-US language presumption

Matthew East mdke at ubuntu.com
Sat Aug 29 17:25:44 BST 2009

On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM, Tollef Fog Heen<tfheen at err.no> wrote:
> AIUI, the human language that the «C» locale corresponds to is not
> defined, so English, German or Finnish, Klingon or just code words are
> all fine, with the caveat that they have to be ASCII, which makes
> writing German or Finnish trickier, but probably not impossible.

I can see that it's technically possible to write non-English
languages in software, but I can't see how it could be a sound policy
choice for a project like Ubuntu which gets its contributors from all
around the world. If I were to introduce an Italian string into an
application, that would appear as an untranslated string in Rosetta
for a Chinese translator, who wouldn't have a clue how to translate it
into Chinese. I'd have to get the Italian translation team to
translate it into English first, and then the other translation teams
(who only have English as a common language) could work from that.
That can work for individual cases, so that an Italian developer
interested in writing an application could work together with the
Italian translation team to release it in Italian and English at the
same time, but I find it difficult to see how we could have a general
policy that developers can write strings or whole pieces of software
in their own language without releasing it in English at the same
time. I may be misunderstanding how Rosetta or software translation in
general works, though.

Matthew East
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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