And Woltlab main language is German
Woltlab´, German company with main language: German
And this is by no means a good reason nor an excuse to keep a translation in English that's not up to par with what the competition offers. Besides, I could name you plenty of European software companies (even German-born) that went the extra mile trying to convey an image that portrays them as international and not local brands. Belonging to a European country or another it is not an acceptable justification for not focusing on the one language that allows to reach and appeal to broader markets, and like it or not that language is English.
consistent structure independent from the used language.
In this case, the structure should not be kept consistent. You seem to forget that the software was first translated from German to English, in which the translation inherited the structure of the source language. This is one main reason there are so many oddly-sounding words and awkward terminology.
general meaning and structure should be equal regardless which language is used
General meaning can be similar while language structure is often sensible to change because the German and English languages do have different structures. Remember that different languages may use distinct words to express same/similar concept. You cannot and should not expect two languages to carry the same concept over literal translations. Actually, literal translations (word by word) is what Google Translate does, and we all know how incorrect and unnatural they can be.
It's probably rather pointless to suggest single phrases in single languages. The user interface should be most of all consistent
On the contrary, this software's English translation needs a do-over, and correcting single phrases or words is as a good starting place as any.
I prefer the current well known structure.
Maybe well known to you. The current linguistic structure doesn't do a fair job at appealing English native speaker potential customers (the market WBB still struggles to attract). There is an obvious problem with the translation, which can be solved by doing something logical thinking suggest: change approach, try something else. So far, in-house and crowdsourced translations haven't done much to improve the situation.
Regarding the suggestion on using paid translators to do the job: We tried this multiple times in the past and the results were rather devastating. This is primarily caused by the fact that they simply have not enough knowledge of the software or forum softwares in general, leading to really wonky and misleading translations. This might sound strange to some of you, but in fact is a real issue among translators as one has to pretty much understand the context in order to find the correct phrases.
On the one hand, I agree that translations of technology products are very content-oriented and shouldn't be assigned to translators who aren't familiar with the context. On the other hand, it shouldn't be too difficult to find English native speakers who are proficient with forum management or have some experience in coding that for a fee wouldn't be willing to help improve WBB's English translation. I add that the decision to translate the software in-house must haven't landed better results, considering that it led to general linguistic inconsistency, punctuation problems, and oddly-worded phrases and terminology that we are all aware of at this point.
With 3rd party translators you cannot guarantee to have additional translation work to be handled by the same person for whatever reason. This leads to slightly different results, potentially causing some serious confusion because two similar subjects are phrased in a completely different way
As well, you cannot have the same group of non-native individuals tasked to translate a language they don't master. The only consistency and continuation you will see in this case are the repeated mistakes the non-native speaker's mind keeps making unaware (believing they are correct) which are reflected in the software.
All things considered, I think that giving up professional translations only because of a bad experience isn't the way to go if that means relying on in-house or crowdsourced solutions. I already suggested that one way to address this problem could be starting a continued and close collaboration with native speaker translators or hiring native speaker freelancers that familiar with internet lingo and current technologies.
I think is time to create a thread about translations to discuss and share guides
I'm sorry, but I remain of the idea that translations of this caliber shouldn't be left at the mercy of non-professional and not English native speakers volunteers within from community. There are better ways to address the translation challenge, and some were already suggested in other threads that specifically discuss this issue.
they are developers and not translators
This is the reason why they should focus on developing and leave the translation to native speakers.
Usually the languages are the least important thing in the software development
Not true. An exceptional translation allows the software to be truly competitive in a market where this is considered a given (taken for granted). Failing to do so, puts you behind the competitors and turns off many potential customers. And as we know, this has been happening, because this is the one recurring criticism moved on WBB heard on various discussion boards.
we want more official languages
There should only be one official language, which is the language of business and the language of profit, used all over the world. Guess what that is. They must decide to either go all on out for the international market or stay a product that struggles to make everyone happy.
and we want a fair price
I never complained about the price. This is a high quality product worth its money, and if WBB featured an English translation that were up to par with the competition, I wouldn't mind paying more for it.
My opinion? You can't to manage two communities for the same goal.
And in fact the goal should be one only: make the product really competitive. They need to make a choice, something has to give in order to reach broader markets.
It's necessary create teams, style guides, know the software style
I agree, and these teams should be made of those who know the technology behind the product (staff maybe?) along with (possibly professional translator) English native speakers.
Reading this thread seems that I have carte blanche... My language reports are based on consistency and usually is not necessary to discuss it, but I never report advanced grammar errors.
I submit reports or suggestions because I like to test the software and collaborate with the Community, but I'm a customer. And not all my reports or suggestions are accepted. Sometimes I have to argue my opinion and attach examples (image, video, code...).
Offtopic: In Spanish the . is obligatory at the end of a sentence (except titles).
No one is questioning the genuine dedication you put into this bug-chasing mission you have undertaken. However, even with all this commitment, your contribution is a drop in the ocean compared to what the software really needs to better its English translation.
Ironically, your constant and relentless input could be the reasons other steps to improve the translation have never been taken so far, because you know... Aethior is on it. I just hope that in the long run what you're doing won't backfire, leaving the current inconsistent English translation as is because it's considered "good enough."
You or better Woltlab should take the advise from the native speakers if WL does not pay for professional proof read...
True that. +1
It is no secret that the current English translation is a bit of a mess. While it is true that periods can be omitted from lists (and the ACP is after a big list of options), the rule is applied inconsistently, and you find complete sentences without a period and some incomplete clauses having one. We cannot expect non-professional or not native speakers volunteers within the community to identify and correct the many botched language variables. It's just silly.
This is why the suggestion to leave translation and proofreading to English native speaker professionals never gets old. If WoltLab has an actual and serious intention to touch broader and international markets, in order to be competitive WBB's English translation needs a do-over, and fix all the wording that is disrupting and annoying to English native speaker customer.
I think is good idea move this thread to suggestions.
Funny you'd say that. Actually, @Smooey and myself have discussed this problem before (check links below). While this isn't necessarily a bug but a conscious setting, it does need to be revised, or at least include a warning message for images that don't meet the required size, as Smooey suggested above.
I'm not going to repeat myself again, and your mind seems set anyways. That's fine, not many people are open to change after all. Thank you for your input.
The same could I say about you. This Feature has a fixed meaning, independent from the chosen language, which has to be expressed.
That's a poor comparison. We have a feature which enables us to tick off topics to show that the discussion has ended. Maybe each user has other ideas how it should be named, it may depend on the special use case in your forum, but there's a meaning that is intended completely independent from the used language. We need an english word, that means the same, not a better wording which means something like that but not exactly the same.
In my opinion you didn't get the meaning of this feature, perfectly described as 'erledigt' in german, otherwise you wouldn't suggest 'answered' or 'resolved'.
I see that you are still stuck with the idea that words must translate literally between languages. That's not the best way to approach our problem, and you need to take a step back in order to better appreciate why English speakers don't like "done" and "undone" in this context.
For the sake of the argument, let's try forget about the German version of WBB -- forget about its translation in German. Stop considering WBB as being a German product for a minute, and see it for what it is: a forum software. Let's just imagine that WBB were never translated in German and were instead an English-based software. Are you following so far? English native speakers would never use or expect to see words such as "done" and "undone" to mark forum threads, because they are extremely odd-sounding and uncommon in English. As I explained to you earlier, when translating languages not only do you need to consider its consistency, but also (and mostly) the audience's own language and the cultural and idiomatic nuance. You need to make sure you are not using odd and uncommon words that those speaker would find out of place and funny.
Bad translations, odd wording, and strange terms are very distracting and stop the flow in any language, and done" and "undone" let me tell you, are indeed that sort of words. In short, when translating meanings across different languages, it is always advisable using words that make sense in the target language and to its speakers, no matter what the original word is.
But then done would be the right translation, because erledigt means the same in German and you can't change the meaning in only one language. I don't think erledigt is always the right word but the users get it if you explain how it is used in the specific (sub)forum.
You seem to be stuck in a loop, and aren't able to get out of the idea that there's a source language (German), and the translations to target languages must use words that convey literally the same meaning. I have already explained to you that languages do not translate literally from one another, and I'm not going to repeat myself.
You fail to realize that in order to convey same/similar meaning, a word in a target language can be completely different from the source language, because the translation needs to take into account language and culture alike. For example, in Italian they use the colloquial "ciao" for the informal hi and goodbye, where the difference is conveyed by the intonation. According to your logic, if I were to translate "ciao" literally from Italian to German I should use "hallo" which we know it's wrong. Of course that would be a mistake because, once again, you cannot translate words literally, thinking they carry the same meaning. So, that ciao will probably translate into a German word that convey similar meaning that makes sense to the reader in that language, and not you.
In sum, when you translate you need to convey meanings making sure the words used make sense in the target language, even if they differ greatly from the source.
By the way, I see that you run a forum in German. Would it make sense to you if joined your board and started complaining that certain German words used there don't make sense when translated in English? And asked you to change them, maybe suggesting German words that I'd think more appropriate? Of course that would be completely inappropriate and silly on my part.
Just some food for thoughts...
If a topic has this green hook this doesn't mean, that there's a approbriate answer or even a answer ever, because it can be set after some time automatically. It simply means you don't have to answer anymore
As I mentioned earlier, words in English may carry several meanings, with some that are more used and common than others. "Done" can be used as adverb to express when you are through (had enough) with something. As adjective and noun, "done" is used when a task has been performed or carried out, settled, completed. A thread that was never solved, resolved, or answered is hardly completed or settled.
But solved seems to be a really good translation for me.
I agree with this.
They are both bad choices for the reason I said above due to auto marking topics feature. If a topic asking something gets no replies and then it auto marked as solved or resolved after a time passes. How has that been solved?
And according to you, just because a forum runs a cron-job that marks threads in specific ways, you shouldn't be using precise words such as "solved" and "resolved"?
Member on your forum will be saying to you who started the topic, why was my topic marked as solved when it's had no answers?
If a thread was never answered, solved, or resolved is not "done."
Solved sounds better and I'm English
I would never say - Hey that got resolved. I'd say that got solved. You might use the word resolved when two people argue and then make up, and you say they got things resolved
You are in England. I live and work in the US. "Resolved" is widely employed here as well, and not only when discussing conflict resolutions. At my job, in all the inter-agency communications via intranet and forum support tickets the terms Resolved and Unresolved are the preferred choices. The fact that in your country one word is more used than others doesn't make it an absolute, but you already know that. How does the saying go: US and UK, two countries divided by the same language?
Solved means that a positive/effective solution to a problem was found, it's applicable, and didn't include disagreement. This is common in a support forum.
Resolved is also used when parties disagree over a problem or the solution for it, but a solution is eventually found, which also very common in a support forum.
But in the end both "solved" and "resolved" are still far better choices than "done/undone."
Not really, Google searches can return different results that you can interpret as you want, depending on what you typed.
According to this other search Resolved is also widely used:
Duplicate / Multiple Post Numbers In Thread - RESOLVED - xenforo.com
How to mark a thread as resolved - Minecraft central Forums
Mark Thread as resolved - SQL ServerCentral
Marking a thread as resolved - Techspot forums
[resolved] Please mark closed topics as Resolved - WordPress Support forum
By using a more general term we could ensure that it is neither exactly wrong nor right, in fact it would be a trade-off to cover almost all use-cases.
And the term "resolved" seems to be a good fitting for that, in fact. If WBB wants to appeal to broader English-speaking audiences, its English translation should try to employ terms that are commonly used -- that is, words people expect to see in that context -- in order to provide a familiar and conducive environment. Using odd-sounding words, even if it doesn't seem a big deal at first, could be very distracting and backfire.
In my opinion pending sounds better than undone
Pending would be a better word than "undone," although it's commonly used for payments or revisions (in business).
Personally I'm leaning towards Solved as it is both common and as vague as possible.
Also "Solved" sounds better than "undone." But you should ask yourself (a good way to see if something flows or not is to hear yourself saying it out loud, and not just in your head) which one sounds better?:
"This thread has been solved"
"This thread has been resolved"
"This thread has been done"
"This thread has been answered"
"The thread is pending" (pending what? an answer?)
Now, which one of those above did sound better when you said it out loud?
Ok, but what would be the perfect translation for 'erledigt', answered is clearly wrong, because it stands for so much more, e.g. implemented, answered, fixed, sold, ...
You need to stop thinking that a word must necessarily be translated from your own language in order to make sense in another. This is a common mistake that all those who speak English as a second language do, including me. For instance, if I were to translate that same word from my own language I would want to use "undone," but I know that to be wrong and odd sounding in English.
Instead of asking yourself "what could be a fitting translation for erledigt?" you should try to think about this problem in English (it's a trick that works well with me), and maybe look around (there are plenty of examples on the net) and see what term other English-based software use to address that same question. You will discover that done/undone is seldom used to express a positive resolution for a problem, while resolved/unresolved is widely adopted.
It doesn't matter if "erledigt" translates into "done." When doing translations the first mistake to avoid is translating words literally, because it's well understood that more often than not, they don't carry the same meaning from one language to another. I already mentioned some time ago that this is reason there are professional translators that know and take into account linguistic, colloquial, and cultural nuances when translating context, so you don't end up with odd words like done/undone threads. This software could really benefit from a linguistic do over with the help of a professional translator.