[Kst] Re: translation of kst

Jaap Woldringh jjh.woldringh at planet.nl
Sat Feb 19 12:05:29 CET 2011

Barth Netterfield schreef op vr 18-02-2011 om 14:13 [-0500]:
> What are your thoughts, as a KDE translator, on how we should
> proceed? 

In my previous mail I answered rather technically, that you should
discuss this with Freek, the coordinator of our translation team.

There is another answer, though, which I probably already hinted at when
I said that kst (why this name, which is almost not googleable, or
searchable for in lists) is a very professional program, most likely
only usable for professionals, who, in the Netherlands at least, speak
and understand English quite well enough.

I myself would not think of using a translated program for any serious
work, if the original was English (or Dutch, of course:) ).

In other countries, though, there may be very professional users, who
might benefit from a TECHNICALLY GOOD translation. If the original were
in German or French, I might consider using the original ánd the
translation alongside each other.

This puts a very grave responsibility on the translator(s) of quality
programs such as kst.
The discussion might be who is responsible that kst is translated well
or not: is it you (who have no influence on this, other than that you
make translation possible), or the translator(s) or his team?

I think the translator(s), but a technically not qualified translator
probably doesn't realize the quality of the application that he is
translating. I was asked to help translating KStars, now quite a long
time ago, after I reported to the then coordinator, Rinse de Vries,
about the technical quiality of its translation. Which was bad.

Having said this, I also found that the quality of the original
technically is sometimes not so good either. I am not talking kst now,
but generally.
In programs sometimes libraries are used, such as GSL (GNU Scientific
Library), and the functions in it described in the documentation by
someone who not really understands what he is writing (or copying). When
I ask questions, I ***sometimes*** get not the answers that  I expect.
I must hastily add that most answers that I get are very illuminative!

I have translated quite a few applicatios now, and their documentations.
The documentations almost always contain a very boring description of
menu entries in the GUI, which to my opinion do not add anything to
understanding the program at all.

Which would make the documentation more valuable, would be a short but
clear description of the ideas behind menu entries, some background
theory. As an example: if you have a function, let me use the well known
Sine function, which of course needs not such explanation: Sine(x), x
real, (or if the program allows complex values: x complex), x in the
interval [-pi/2, pi/2], Sin(x) in the interval [-1, 1], or so.
And also how to find Sin(x) for other values of x with Sin(x) = Sin
(Pi-x), sin(x) = Sin(x+2*Pi), and so on.
If you think that you have to explain Sin(x), then you can not expect
the user to know these rules, which I did not mention all of them.

So :)

And if you use a library, you could point to it's documentation, rather
than to repeat it, copy it or else.

Sorry for this long mail, and I hope this answers your question.

Greetings from

Jaap Woldringh

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