Advice for a Translating Tool [en]

[fr] Quelques conseils pour mettre en place un outil de traduction d'interfaces en ligne.

I was asked for some advice for a soon-to-be-released online interface translation tool. *(Hint: maybe my advice would be more useful earlier on in the project…)* Here’s what I said:

1. allow for regional forking of languages. e.g. there was a merciless
war on the French wikipedia between the French and the Belgians over
[“Endive” which is called “Chicon”]( in Belgium. One is not more right than
another, and these differences can be important.

2. remember that words which are the same in English can have two
different translations in other languages. e.g. “Upload” can be
translated as “Téléchargez” (imperative verb form) or “Téléchargement”

3. if you’re doing some sort of string-based thing (which I suppose
you are) like [](, let people see what they’re
translating in context. (See the interface in English, with the place
the string is in highlighted, and then see the interface in French,
with the string highlighted too.)

*Note: yes, this person had already watched [my Google Tech Talk on languages online]( — and yes, I’m going to collect my language stuff somewhere neat on a static page at some point.*

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2 thoughts on “Advice for a Translating Tool [en]

  1. My advice here would be to stop using a machine to translate.

    …a translating tools????

    The fact that a title can appear with such an enormous grammatical error is, to me, obvious that the advice given was not heeded…

    Aiieee! C’est moche!

    On you can help economise energy in a different way. It’s electric and it likes, and takes into account, texts submitted in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian

  2. Thanks for pointing out the typo. As I always tell my clients when I’m doing “blogging classes”, the one place you are not allowed to make mistakes is in the title.

    However, I’m not sure exactly how quickly you read my post before leaving your self-promotional comment. This is about designing a tool which will help people translate the interface of an application.

    You’re welcome to leave comments here, but please make sure they are somewhat relevant and you take the trouble to actually read what I write. And please tone down the self-promotion, unless you want to end up in the black hole of deleted spamness.

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