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[SUGGESTION] Difficulty met during Translation work, and suggestion

#1
Lightbulb 
I costed a few days to fill the Chinese (Simplified) translation of Xonotic. (in Transifex)
It’s 100% complete as for now.
I always play with it here, gradually making it better and better, as such I'm confident about the quality.

While in my way of progress, I've found difficulty about how it's done.
It applies to the entire "infrastructure", more or less.

In a word, it's that Translation quality still can't be kept.
Let me try to tell, and provide my suggestion.



There is guideline in GitLab docs.
In which it clearly stated: do not risk adding an improper translation
But the opposite truly hit my eyes: I had the pain to deal with all the wrong translations, before I work on there are roughly 40% 45% (of the 56% "translated") of such.

Examples:
Code:
 - "cells" (电池), the ammo of Crylink etc., being translated to "细胞" (yeah, what a creature's body consists of)
 - "item" (物品), be it health bag or armor, being repeatedly translated to a super abstract meaning "项目" (to mean like what in your to-do list, or a totally different concept "project")
 - "remove" (移除) became "删除" ("delete"), as if you are going to delete your maps completely from disk
 - translations of some Terms are inconsistent, spreading some confusion
 - Messed up "capture" of flags (夺取) and "capture" of control points (占领) etc.
 - Very weird grammar, incorrect/annoying/distracting sentence order. Suspect machine translators?
 - Pretty much there. Nevermind.

(But, let's be optimist, the good translations left there saved lots of effort, and are beautiful indeed)

So, I have idea about dedicated guidelines per language team:
  • Every team could have a guideline page, which is flexible to update, to be used to progressively address & note down the ideas/tips/tricks/problems the members found, to serve a base of consistency and future housekeeping among other members.
  • When member do translation, read the guideline of their team. If there isn't one yet, write one by/for themself.
  • And don't overlook this "self management", it should be sufficient to prevent many of the potential pitfalls -- Good translator accepts it naturally, while bad one couldn't/shouldn't take the job in the first place.
If I'm going to write such a thing for Chinese contributors, I may say like these:
Code:
 - ... (intro first)
 - ... (let read official guideline)
 - Understand some essential terms/acronym well before starting, like "frag" "capture" "ctf" etc.
 - Try to don't use a machine translator. Search words with a good dictionary, and trust yourself.
 - Think twice about words:
   - Use correct nouns, e.g. "cells" is kind of ammo that powers up electricity themed weapons, not biological thing
   - Use correct verbs: e.g. know which "capture" to say when see "capture flags" versus "capture control points"
   - ... (more terms, maybe link to another section/page)
   - If in doubt, play the game & feel it, search through existing translations, read the source code, or just leave a question
 - Get grammar right:
   - Swap the sentence order with intelligence, thinking you are telling a native player about what's going on, not a machine translator/validator, and not a school teacher either
   - ...
 - Tips & Tricks:
   - Some strings are "gentle" versions, like "score against" versus "frag". Try to don't use harsh language when translating them.
   - Pay attention to spaces around placeholders, leave spaces between numbers / player names, and don't leave one between weapon / team / place names
   - Keep symbols symmetric, pair full-width or half-width parenthesis right
   - Try to keep it brief in Scoreboard titles (source strings are prefixed with "SCO^"), like "SCO^dmgtaken" to "受伤" and not "受到的总伤害"
   - Strings like "%senemy^BG" "%steam^BG" means to color the word dynamically. Preserve it like "%s敌人^BG" "%s队伍^BG"
   - ... (pretty much more appeared to be vital in my way of progress)

(Well, of course, many of these are about Chinese grammar & CJK text, and I'd write in Chinese if I "formally" make this guideline. Try to find what's special in your language.)
(Sadly, my GitLab account is "blocked" (mean entire GitLab). That isn't tasty at all, and I can't make code/doc contributions that way.)



That's it. And I'm waiting for a new game release, to include better translations and give more fun Smile

Note: newest versions of translation files can be found in data repository, in case testing or tasting is needed.
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#2
Just mention more, for cultural difference some meanings are hard to get,
like "tubular" and "wicked" as Slang terms (when winning "bulldozer") mean "perfect" and "cool", I had several researches before understanding.
(randomly seeking, current Japanese translation seems wrong at these, being "pipe" and "evil" Smile )

Maybe (officially) add more Terms and Notes in Transifex?
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#3
Tubular work!

Not knowing Chinese, why is Vortex translated as 星旋枪?
Code:
星 xīng a star, planet; any point of light
旋 xuán revolve, move in orbit; return
枪 qiāng spear, lance; gun, rifle

(https://xonotic.org/teamvotes/175/ linked to an explanation of the name "Vortex", but which has been deleted. In the reality, vortex is part of a turbulent flow, not a weapon.)
Reply

#4
(08-08-2022, 07:31 AM)oblector Wrote: Tubular work!

Not knowing Chinese, why is Vortex translated as 星旋枪?
Code:
星 xīng a star, planet; any point of light
旋 xuán revolve, move in orbit; return
枪 qiāng spear, lance; gun, rifle

(https://xonotic.org/teamvotes/175/ linked to an explanation of the name "Vortex", but which has been deleted. In the reality, vortex is part of a turbulent flow, not a weapon.)

AFAIK some other (famous or not) games have the concept "vortex", which is some kind of "star force", and in Chinese all being translated to "星旋".
So, it's a well-known fixed phrase/term.

And take a notable example, in Terraria, there are 4 star/lunar forces, all correspond to a "combat class":

Solar = Melee
Nebula = Mage
Vortex = Ranged
Stardust = Summoner

As you can see, "vortex" have the "ranged" theme, according to (at least) popular culture. So, perfectly, a gun.
In that game, weapons made with vortex are powerful -- and being used to defeat the final boss.

Xonotic "Vortex" is wicked, and deserve a cool name Tongue
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