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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)
I've made it to ~97% >99%, only some rare key identifiers (like LEFT_THUMB) left there.
It's tested here & 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
 - Mistakes like regard "Nade" as "Node", along with some mysterious transliterations
 - Messed up "capture" of flags (夺取) and "capture" of control points (占领)
 - 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

.po file attached in the zip below for testing, extract & put to "~/.xonotic/data/", then start & enable in game.

3 updates so far:
- translated some bit more
- fixed mis-translation of "drop" (of previous people), other minor refinements
- fixed bunch of mis-translations of server info related strings (of previous people. Aaarrrgh!)


Attached Files
.zip   common.zh_CN.zip (Size: 59.57 KB / Downloads: 0)
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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?
Reply

#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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