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Translated PerlMonks FAQ

by demerphq (Chancellor)
on Apr 19, 2004 at 16:24 UTC ( #346332=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi Folks. Theres a bit of debate about how to handle translations of the PerlMonks FAQ. Currently have a bunch of translations that monsieur_champs did to Portugese. Overtime I expect well get more of them and for different languages. The question comes as to how to link them through. My preference, mostly because the translations arent a complete set, is that each English FAQ should have a link to any translations next to it. So for the current ones we have there would be a little PT link, for German it would be DE, French would be FR etc. (Note that the FAQ itself is essentially an idenx of links.) You can see an idea of what I mean here

However it seems that some dont like this idea. Im not sure exactly what they would propose as a replacment but they dont like the idea of translation links. Ill leave it to those with strong feelings on this to post proposals.

Anyway, what are your feelings on this? How would you do it? Some things that your suggestion should take in mind: its unlikely we will get a full set of translations for any language any time soon. Outside of a few languages it will be difficult for the SiteDocClan to update the translations without help when the english changes.

Thanks for your thoughts.


---
demerphq

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    -- Gandhi


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Re: Translated PerlMonks FAQ
by Callum (Chaplain) on Apr 19, 2004 at 16:32 UTC
    What about a language user preference -- if the user has a set language and the document (site FAQ, or other site doc which is present in multiple languages) is available in that language then the default action is to provide the language specific version of the doc, else it defaults to english.

    Can nodelets be current-node-sensitive? If so a "translations" nodelet could indicate which other languages the current doc is available in.

    In general I'd advocate translation links, though presented at the top of the default document; eg. at the top of the site FAQ, next to the author and date, it may say English Francais Deutsch etc. rather than contractions, and rather than in the links to the doc.

    Edit: native English speaker btw.

      What about a language user preference

      Its unlikely a newbie will find the appropriate user settings without having read the faq first. :-)

      Can nodelets be current-node-sensitive? If so a "translations" nodelet could indicate which other languages the current doc is available in

      Interesting idea, but its a bit ambitious. It would require pmdev and godly intervention. And considering the amount of time the gods have for reviewing patches these days I doubt its a good plan.

      at the top of the site FAQ, next to the author and date, it may say English Francais Deutsch etc.

      So we would have a set of tranlation links at the top of the page to see a version of the FAQ page that is translated to that langauge? Ok, but this is my problem. currently we have about 8 translations from a set of about 50 documents and those 8 are in a signle langauge. So we would have alink to a page with only 8 translated links on it. If I were not a native english person and I clicked on the approparite links I would be pretty ticked to find less than 1/8th of the master document.

      I guess what im trying to say is that if we had volunteers (with follow through) that would ensure the whole FAQ was translated then this approach would be fine. But as long as its a smattering of translations here and there it seems better to me to put links to individual translations as we otain them.


      ---
      demerphq

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi


        Its unlikely a newbie will find the appropriate user settings without having read the faq first. :-)

        Definately true, but to qualify my original comment two things -- 1, the default will be correct for the majority of people who use the site, and acceptable to the majority of the rest; 2, non-native english speakers are going to look in one of two places to find info on language settings - the site FAQ and their user settings. It's not and ideal solution, but it's an idea.

        So we would have alink to a page with only 8 translated links on it. If I were not a native english person and I clicked on the approparite links I would be pretty ticked to find less than 1/8th of the master document.

        I think this is going to be a problem with most of the possible options, but it has the virtue of highlighting where there are gaps in the documentation, which may in turn attract volunteers to help with translations.

        But as long as its a smattering of translations here and there it seems better to me to put links to individual translations as we otain them.

        One final comment I'll make -- it's important to allow for the possibility of success; the library of documentation that is translated will grow over time, a dozen polyglotic documentation-junkies may join the site tomorrow; the option you go with ought to be one that works well with the ultimate goal of getting all the site docs translated into multiple languages.

        I guess what im trying to say is that if we had volunteers (with follow through) that would ensure the whole FAQ was translated then this approach would be fine. But as long as its a smattering of translations here and there it seems better to me to put links to individual translations as we otain them.

        That's my fault. I confess that I have less time than I would like to translate the Monastery Docs to my own language.

        A bunch of volunteers working as a team is a nice idea. I'll work on this idea. Thank you very much.

        For now, all my spare time is just a couple hours a week. That means we can't have a separated index for each translation language, until I have at least 75% of the FAQ translated.

Re: Translated PerlMonks FAQ
by been42 (Curate) on Apr 19, 2004 at 16:40 UTC
    Couldn't we have something like: for each language that has sections translated, have a link at the top, in the translated language, to a list of the translated questions?

    For instance, at the top of the page, have a link that says "Get help in Portugese" (only in Portugese) that goes to another page where even the questions have been translated. I think that if I were looking for help and couldn't understand English that well, it might be easier on me to have questions translated so I can see exactly what I need.

    Also, that page could list the questions that haven't been translated yet. That way, a new monk who understands another language has answers to his/her questions in one section, and can be presented with an opportunity to help out by translating. Just an idea.

      That is pretty much my opinion on how it should go. But I think you bring up another good point -- maybe there should be links to the FAQs in various languages on the Front Page itself.

      jdporter
      The 6th Rule of Perl Club is -- There is no Rule #6.

Re: Translated PerlMonks FAQ
by allolex (Curate) on Apr 19, 2004 at 18:11 UTC

    Apart from making the site language-localized (and who is going to do that?), I don't really see any one solution as being much better than the others. I think that having one page that collects all the languages into which documentation has been translated is the simplest solution. You can then link to language-specific pages, or just keep eveything on one page until the numbers become such that a new page just for that language would be most appropriate.

    It would be interesting to know exactly how many pages are available in which languages. That would help me judge the spcific needs better. I think it's pretty much just PT-BR at the moment, with the one Tutorial in German, right?

    For the site FAQs, I think a “This document is also available in:” box at the top of the FAQ would be simplest. Is this a problem for anyone?

    --
    Damon Allen Davison

      Apart from making the site language-localized (and who is going to do that?),(...)

      /me rises his hand
      I will. I swear for my keyboard that I will translate all the documentation from PerlMonks FAQ and all the (?:relevant|interesting|important|historical) articles that pleases the gods.

      I think that having one page that collects all the languages into which documentation has been translated is the simplest solution.

      I've done this already. Please take a look at the "Portuguese Nodes Index".

      For the site FAQs, I think a “This document is also available in:” box at the top of the FAQ would be simplest. Is this a problem for anyone?

      Not a problem, even to me. Thank you for your suggestions.

Re: Translated PerlMonks FAQ
by SkipHuffman (Monk) on Apr 19, 2004 at 18:20 UTC

    Personally I think the idea of translation links adjacent to those portions that are translated is probably the cleanest of interfaces. It shows where and what is translated, it is perfectly obvious what it is and how it works, and it encourages translators to translate additional portions.

Re: Translated PerlMonks FAQ (best of both?)
by tye (Cardinal) on Apr 19, 2004 at 18:22 UTC

    I think there should be a faqlet index for each language that links to the faqlets in the chosen language (if available) next to a link to the faqlet in English (always).

    The SDC master plan should allow each question (each line in the index) to be translated into a different lanuage whether the faqlet that answers the question has been translated or not. So you'd have a line in the SDC master plan with the question in a different language but some 'no such' token for which faqlet it should link to.

    The faqlet master index would be an English faqlet index with links to the other languages' faqlet indices. The Portuguese faqlet index would list all questions in the same order as the master index. The display of the question should make it clear which case applies for this question/language combination: Not even the question has been translated, Only the question has been translated, The faqlet has been translated (which requires that the question has also been translated), and There isn't even an English answer yet. For example:

    where I've included two suggestions for how to handle the completely untranslated case (depending on how you prefer your consistency).

    BTW, "pt_BR" is "Portuguese of Brazil", taken from some standard somewhere (locales, I presume). I prefer just "PT" as well. If we get some non-Brazilian Portuguese translators working on FAQs, then I'd prefer that they just work with the Brazilian(s) on making the PT translations work for both camps, similar to what we should do with any issues of the existing English faqlets being confusing to readers from non-U.S.A. English locales.

    - tye        

      I'd prefer that they just work with the Brazilian(s) on making the PT translations work for both camps, similar to what we should do with any issues of the existing English faqlets being confusing to readers from non-U.S.A. English locales.
      You want separate faqlets for different dialects of English?? Can't we just cite Perl's documentation policy?

        You must be reading it as Australian English. I was writing it in US English. In US English, "I'd prefer that they just work [...] on making the PT translations work for both camps" means that I don't want separate translations. Otherwise I'd be advocating "pt_BR" not "just PT".

        - tye        

      If I'm understanding tye right, I think this is the best solution. Then Portugese index page would look like:

      PerlMonks FAQ

      English | Portugese | French | German

      About PerlMonks

      • O que é o PerlMonks? (EN)
      • Who uses PM?
      • Quem roda o PerlMonks.org? (EN)
      • Do I have privacy on PerlMonks?
      • I need help! Who can help me?
      __END__

      And then the English index page would look like:

      PerlMonks FAQ

      English | Portugese | French | German

      About PerlMonks

      • What is PerlMonks?
      • Who uses PM?
      • Who runs it?
      • Do I have privacy on PerlMonks?
      • I need help! Who can help me?
      __END__

      At the same time, however, I question the need for a full translation of the FAQs. The rest of the site is in English so you'd be expected to understand enough English to take part in the site. Maybe we should have an 'introduction' page that is translated into multiple languages. Something like:

      Welcome to PerlMonks, an online community of Perl developers. The site aims ... ... . This community uses English for discussions, but that doesn't mean we wont listen if your English isn't 100%. We're a patient monastery and we'll do our best to understand.
      "Get real! This is a discussion group, not a helpdesk. You post something, we discuss its implications. If the discussion happens to answer a question you've asked, that's incidental." -- nobull@mail.com in clpm
        IMHO that's how it should work.

        I think we should be careful to look at it from the perspective of the other_language newbie. Would it be more user friendly to see a link to a FAQ, in my native tongue, at the top of the page? Or to have to scan down a list of questions in English, and see only a pt_BR link next to each? As a native reader of Portuguese (e.g.), I would find the latter decidedly user hostile.

        jdporter
        The 6th Rule of Perl Club is -- There is no Rule #6.

        ...except I wanted to more explicitly indicate when a translation is not available. I think you could support translated questions by putting plain text into the master plan table instead of a link, like is done for unwritten faqlets -- which I think also need to be more explicitly indicated, as I showed.

        - tye        

        This is similar to what I was thinking of when I made the request, just have indexes for each language, listing all faqs, linking those that havent been translated yet to the english versions.

        C.

      IIRC, Brazillian vs Portugese Portugese are nearly different languages, as are Mexican vs Spanish (Castillian) Spanish. OTOH, American vs British English are pretty interchangable; I don't think you can tell if this paragraph is written in British or American English.

        Google found one match for "brazil vs portugal" "written language" (second try; first was full of soccer pages), which included:

        Although the written language is more or less the same in all countries, speakers of Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese Portuguese have trouble undestanding each other's spoken language.

        That's good enough for me at this point.

        - tye        

        Thanks, theorbtwo. This is the main trouble in having the same documentation for the two languages. There is little chances of understanding from both sides.

        Like tye points out from his googling, the spoken languages are problematic for the two main varieties of Portuguese, but not the written ones. Spanish has relatively minor pronunciation and vocabulary differences in the major varieties---a situation which is much more like that of North American and English English. The major differences there have less to do with one form or another not existing in the other variety, but rather with how frequently certain vocabulary and grammar is used.

        I would still argue for more specific encoding internally because it is always easier to go from more specific to less specific, but the reverse is much more difficult. Who knows? Maybe someday someone will want to give Perl Monks lots of money for promoting, say, Perl learning in Brazilian Portuguese, but government regulations prevent them from accepting documentation in Continental Portuguese---admitedly a bit of a long shot... ;)

        --
        Damon Allen Davison
        http://www.allolex.net

Re: Translated PerlMonks FAQ
by wolfi (Scribe) on Apr 20, 2004 at 12:01 UTC

    i'm still a little unsure, as to how much can be done and by whom here, nor how the database for the site is set up (if some God wants to give me access ;-) maybe i can come up w/something more refined) but some thoughts from the outside...

    1. Language preference option up top, where it gives our login options, SOPW, and the myriad of other choices. (That's where i'd first look for it.) Once selected, you're taken to a page, which says "here's the situation: We don't have a lot translated yet, but if you select an langauge from the menu - whenever something is available in that language (or selection of languages) - we'll give you those.

    2. User preferences option - as others have mentioned. (I would include an "all languages" option too)

    3.node organization: The indexing scheme for the site uses matches =~/node_id=\d*/. This discussions node is...node_id=346332. I'd adjust the filing system to include...

    node_id=346332_de
    node_id=346332_fr
    node_id=346332_ru
    node_id=346332_etc...

    for the various languages. (I'd leave english w/no extension - saving us from having to redo 30,000+ file names.) This system has the advantage of keeping the same nodes (but in dif languages) together, as well as allowing for expanding beyond just the PerlMonk FAQ. Since there are so few non-english posts, now would be the best time to revise this.

    i'd also add a drop down menu on the "create a post" screen. (Default, english.) Whenever someone posted a comment, they could select from the drop-down menu, which language it should be associated with (so the system knows how to append the id number.)

    Whenever a search or retrieval of a doc was requested by a user, the sys would check the user's preferences (or default to either "all" or "english") and retrieve those with the appropriate extension -> like the appropriate language FAQ.

    this will also make things fairly seemless to the user, i should think.

    again, i don't know, how much control "we" have here - but those are my initial thoughts.

    other thoughts along this line ~
    Thought for a poll: asking what language perlmonks speak. (Would give us a better idea of what were the most important languages to start with.)
    Having a sign up list or a wish list for those interested in translating stuff. (So as to avoid duplication.)

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