Hebrew CLI translations

Eyal Levin eyalev at gmail.com
Mon Jun 29 17:42:29 BST 2009

2009/6/29 David Planella <david.planella at ubuntu.com>

> Hi translators,
> Recently an issue has come up involving Hebrew translations for CLI
> applications [1] [2]. In a nutshell:
> * GNOME Terminal (with vte as the standard terminal emulator) cannot
> correctly display RTL text [3] (the direction is reversed). Other
> terminal applications (e.g. Konsole) might do a better job, but none of
> them can get it working perfectly.
> * This is a hard problem to solve [4].
> * Using BiCon [5] inside VTE might be an alternative. Question? What's
> the status of the project?
> * This does not only affect Hebrew users, but all of those with RTL
> (right-to-left) languages.
> * On Debian some applications use a workaround whereby translations are
> disabled by removing the 'he' language code from the po/LINGUAS file
> (see this example on apt [6]). In this way, apt translations are not
> simply discarded, but they are not shown in the UI.
> So here are my questions:
>      * Eyal, Yaron, as Hebrew Translation coordinators in Ubuntu: if we
>        were to take the same workaround as in Debian, would you be
>        happy with the translations of CLI applications not being used?
>              * You have to take into account that GUI applications
>                (which if I'm not mistaken would be able to display
>                those texts correctly) sometimes use the translations
>                from CLI applications (as an example update-manager
>                using apt's translations), so if we disable the
>                translations the GUI applications would also display the
>                messages in English (i.e. not translated).

I think that as a rule we should not translate CLI applications into
Hebrew (or any RTL) for the default installation of Ubuntu. If
someone would like a BIDI terminal he can use a solution like mlterm [1].

If we have collisions with other GUI apps it should be taken care of

In that case, the Debian workaround, although bringing new
challenges, is better than the current situation.

>              * If we were to consider this, we would need a list of CLI
>                applications for which the translations should be
>                disabled
>              * There is currently no way in Launchpad to disable the
>                translation templates for individual languages, so you'd
>                have to make sure you explicitly mention in your style
>                guide that CLI applications (probably with a list
>                containing all of them) should for now not be
>                translated.

We actually have that kind of list [2]. It is not perfect, so I guess a
more complete list in the wiki [3] would be a good idea indeed.



[1] http://mlterm.sourceforge.net/
[2] http://bit.ly/PI0Ut
[3] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/TranslatingUbuntu/

>      * Danilo, Henninge, Jeroen, Arne: if we were to consider this
>        approach of disabling the translations, would it be possible to
>        block 'he' translations a) at the import level (import queue)
>        and b) at the export level ('he' langpacks). Note: I'm not
>        saying this would be the best approach, I'm just trying to
>        assess which options we've got and how doable they are.
>      * All other RTL translators/users: do you consider this an issue
>        in your language? If so, are there any workarounds you are using
>        which you'd like to share?
> As I said, this is an issue affecting not only Hebrew users, so before
> we take any decision in how we can best solve this, it would be good to
> have some more feedback.
> Regards,
> David.
> [1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-terminal/+bug/325324
> [2]
> https://bugs.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-terminal/+bug/389428
> [3] http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=321490
> [4] http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=321490#c9
> [5] http://www.arabeyes.org/project.php?proj=BiCon
> [6] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=313283
> --
> David Planella
> Ubuntu Translations Coordinator
> david(dot)planella(at)ubuntu(dot)com
> www.ubuntu.com
> --
> ubuntu-translators mailing list
> ubuntu-translators at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-translators
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