Hebrew CLI translations

David Planella david.planella at ubuntu.com
Mon Jun 29 18:18:16 BST 2009

Hi Eyal,

El dl 29 de 06 de 2009 a les 19:42 +0300, en/na Eyal Levin va escriure:
> 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].

Thanks for your reply.

It is currently not possible to disable translations of a particular
template for a particular language in Launchpad. What we can do at the
moment is the following:

* In terms of discouraging CLI translations: it is best to leave this to
each particular team to best communicate it to translators. A good way
to do this is through the translation team's guidelines, which I see
your team is using already. There each team can include a list of
translations which should not be done and an explanation why, etc.

* In terms of disabling the use of CLI translations: we could consider
disabling them at the package level as in Debian (removing the language
code in the po/LINGUAS file for those packages which use it), or we
could see if we can blacklist the imports/exports of those applications
in Launchpad.

In any case, I'd like to have more feedback from other translation teams
which use RTL before even considering this workaround.

As English is the lowest common denominator language in the list, could
you maybe move the list of CLI applications you are considering to
disable from this wiki [1] to your space in English the Ubuntu wiki [2]?

By the way, is apt the only application for which Hebrew translations
are disabled in Debian? Are there others which are disabled, and if so,
could you provide links to the bug reports? If we were going to go this
way, there is no point in duplicating work.


[1] http://bit.ly/PI0Ut
[2] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuHebrewTranslators

David Planella
Ubuntu Translations Coordinator

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