Table of Contents
Rosegarden tries to be friendly toward translators, and in fact many of our developers also double as translators. The more languages we can offer, the better.
Translators who are new to translating Rosegarden “Thorn” and beyond should be aware of some special issues that exist as a consequence of the development process. We made changes to the translation system as we became more familiar with Qt, and the existing .ts files show the war wounds. You should not miss this section. I advise all of you to keep the note name and keyboard shortcut issues in mind from the beginning, because it is very likely that you will find pre-existing translations that are completely incorrect. (I corrected translations for six languages and found problems in all of them.) I suggest searching for “note name” and “keyboard shortcut” to sort all of those out right from the beginning, so you do not accidentally miss one in the process of going through a long run of approving existing translations that are correct.
Good luck, friends! Now read on!
Translations from outside contributors are coordinated by Thorsten Alteholz firstname.lastname@example.org. He also keeps up with posting regular updates of the .ts files in trunk/ on every other Sunday during the normal development cycle.
(No regular updates will be posted during a release cycle, because strings are frozen at this time.)
Currently Active Translators
These translations have not been maintained during the entire Thorn/Qt 4 development cycle (some of them for much, much longer), and are considered abandoned. They are listed in descending order from the most complete to the least complete:
Anyone interested in translating Rosegarden will need to have a copy of Qt 4.5.0 or later available. Rosegarden does not yet require 4.5.0 for general development or use, but the translation file format changed for Qt 4.5.0, and all of our files have been updated to the latest standard. Older versions of Qt can read the newer files, but saving newer files with an older version of Qt Linguist has caused problems in the past. That is why we require translators to use version 4.5.0 or later.
Anyone interested in translating Rosegarden should begin by checking out a copy of trunk/ from Subversion. You will want to have the source code available while you translate, so Qt Linguist can show you the code surrounding the string you are translating. You will find many helpful translator comments here in the Sources and Forms window of Linguist that you will not want to do without. Also, some strings won't make any sense without being able to see the source code. (Some strings won't make any sense even when you're looking at the source code! We have one string where %1%2.%3%4.%5%63) are replaced by variables with names like qi, q0, q01, s0, s01. How could any translator mistake what this code does?)
Actively Maintained Languages
If someone is already maintaining your language but you would like to join in, there is a good chance that person would love to have your help. You should get in touch with them. If you need help with this, post a message on email@example.com or email Michael firstname.lastname@example.org or Thorsten email@example.com for assistance.
If a translation for your language does not already exist, please contact Michael firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. We have not yet encountered this situation, and Michael will need to do a little homework to determine how to go about adding a new language, but he will be more than happy to assist you!
We recommend Qt Linguist. It is a native Qt tool for a native Qt application, and everything works out really well. Some translators have reported that Linguist crashes for them, and is unusable. Alexandre Prokoudine, our long-time Russian translator, suggests that Virtaal can handle our .ts files as well. If Linguist gives you problems, try Virtaal, and if you find some other tool you'd like to see mentioned here, please say so. We have no desire to dictate the use of particular translation tools, and are only making recommendations based on what has worked for us, in order to try to simplify your job as much as possible.
Once you have made some changes to your .ts file, you should test the translation to make sure everything is working properly.
Compiling the Translation
You will need to run “make” to rebuild the resource bundle and get your updated translation compiled in. Your changes should be picked up automatically.
Testing with a Different Locale
If your normal locale differs from that of the translation, you can test the the translation in your target locale by adding a “LANG=” to the ”./rosegarden” command. For example, to test the French translation from within an English locale, you would use (all on one line):
English terms and phrases do not always translate very well into other languages, and sometimes it is possible to translate the same thing many different ways. When you encounter a term that might be translated several different ways, try to have a look through your translation to see what choice the previous translator used, and be consistent. Another useful resource for improving consistency is Open Tran, which is well worth a look.
Special Formatting Characters
Many translations will have special characters like
Note Names and Keyboard Shortcuts, B or B?
Note names in English are A, A#, Bb, B, B#, Cb, C, C#, Db, D, D#, Eb, E, E#, Fb, F, F#, Gb, G, G#, Ab, A. Some of these conflict with keyboard shortcuts, such as B, so we have resolved the conflict by putting a ”(note name)” translator comment with any of the preceding strings that refer to English note names.
Here (click to see full-size) is the note name B in the Italian translation. Take notice of the ”(note name)” comment. This translation has only to be marked finished to be ready to go.
Keyboard Shortcuts and What NOT to Translate
New for Thorn and beyond, it is possible to translate keyboard shortcuts. We provide this ability so that you may improve the experience for your users. However, you should understand up front that you do not need to translate the majority of keyboard shortcuts at all. Most keyboard shortcuts should simply be copied directly from the English (or merely marked as finished with no translation, as you prefer), even if your language normally uses other words for things like Shift and Ctrl. Qt will translate these at runtime, and the only reason you need to change a shortcut from the English is if you need to make changes to the way shortcuts are arranged.
In particular, the notation and matrix editors have a note entry shortcut mode that allows you to enter the tonic (I), supertonic (II), and so forth in the active key using Z X C V B and so on. This feature is arranged around an English QWERTY keyboard, such as this one:
If your language uses some other arrangement, such as QWERTZ or AZERTY, this arrangement loses its logical sense, and the user experience can probably be improved by moving some keys around.
Due to the way development took place, many of these keyboard shortcuts have already been translated into note name equivalents in your target language (if these translations were carried forward from Rosegarden “Classic”) and the order of all these strings will be mixed up in the .ts file, so you cannot rely on context alone. (That is to say B the keyboard shortcut might come right around B# and Cb the note names.) You should be very careful to look out for these, because it is very easy to mistake a B for a B. (So easy, in fact, that the first time I set out to make a screenshot for the section above, I picked the wrong B in the file!)
Here (click to see full-size) is B the keyboard shortcut from the broken Italian translation. It is incorrectly translated as “Si” here, due to the way the development process took place. This error needs to be corrected in order for the shortcut to function, and it should be changed to whatever key is most appropriate for the Italian keyboard layout (probably B).
Tooltips with Shortcuts that SHOULD be Translated
You will find some tooltips that have keyboard shortcuts included in parentheses. It was necessary to do this for various development-related reasons, and this has the unfortunate side effect of creating additional complication for translators. While most special keys (Shift, Media Play, and so on) in shortcuts should never be translated, when these strings are found inside tooltips, they should be translated into your target language for your users' convenience.
All of these tooltips have a TRANSLATOR comment explaining the situation, such as this example of “Quarter Rest (4)”:
<code> <qt>Use program changes from an external source to manipulate these controls (only valid for the currently-active track) Shift + P]</qt> </code>
In the Spanish translation, “Shift+P” was translated:
<code> <qt>Utilizar cambios de programa de fuente externa para manipular estos controles (sólo pertenece a la pista activada) [Mayúsculas + P]</qt> </code>
Buttons Stuck in English!
Qt does not support as many languages as KDE, and this has created some problems for translators. Our source code uses correct Qt syntax to create buttons in dialogs in a portable way that allows Qt to adjust these dialogs to suit different local environments (eg. Mac OS-X, Windows, GNOME, KDE). The code is correct, but writing code in this way leaves us dependent on Qt to translate a number of button strings. Most commonly these are OK, Cancel, Apply, Help and so forth. If Qt does not support your language (eg. Finnish) then there is, sadly, no practical way to translate these strings for your users.
I haven't heard anything about this lately. I've just been thinking about the problem, and while I find this limitation of Qt extremely annoying, and I feel indignant about the whole idea of having to hack around it in our code, I think it may be possible to subclass QDialogButtonBox and switch all of our code to use a DialogButtonBox instead, where Rosegarden::DialogButtonBox was a subclass that did its own translations of these strings. I would prefer not to think about this issue again until after Thorn releases, but if Qt does not improve language support at the library level, perhaps we can do this one day. (Sooner if somebody with a vested interest in the problem decides to take this idea and implement it. I'll allow a few new strings to creep in after the string freeze to solve the Finnish translation problem, but I'd prefer not to have to code the work-around myself.)
As you work on your translation, you may wish to step back and take a look at how far you have come, and how far you still have to go. You can run
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ TRANSLATION STATUS REPORT FOR THE ROSEGARDEN PROJECT ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ rosegarden.ts contains 4041 messages Language Total Translated Untranslated Unfinished Obsolete Status -------- ----- ---------- ------------ ---------- -------- ------- en 4041 20 4006 5 0 [%%%%-] en_GB 4041 101 3924 5 0 [%%%%-] en_US 4041 20 4006 5 0 [%%%%-] es 4041 3918 76 5 1 [%%%%-] de 4041 4325 15 14 366 [%%%%-] fi 4041 4156 184 38 363 [%%%%-] cs 4041 4043 245 305 302 [%%%%-] it 4041 3036 1204 1697 251 [%%%--] fr 4041 3275 1002 2292 300 [%%---] ru 4041 2973 1261 2598 268 [%----] sv 4041 2832 1407 4008 250 [-----] ca 4041 2556 1652 4041 222 [-----] cy 4041 1946 2268 4041 204 [-----] et 4041 1974 2206 4041 156 [-----] eu 4041 2630 1578 4041 219 [-----] id 4041 1631 2505 4041 126 [-----] ja 4041 2810 1427 4041 248 [-----] nl 4041 2827 1419 4041 252 [-----] pl 4041 2725 1498 4041 235 [-----] zh_CN 4041 2385 1837 4041 210 [-----] Total: total strings that are note obsolete Translated: strings that have been translated Untranslated: strings that have no translation (may be finished) Unfinished: strings that have not been marked as finished (may or may not have a translation) Obsolete: strings were translated, but these translations are no longer used in the source (frequently happens after someone edits a text to make a correction) Report produced on Tue, 24 Nov 2009 21:21:17 -0500
Strings become obsolete when they have translations, but the source text no longer exists. In many cases, this is because the source text was edited in some small way. You can usually find an obsolete translation that comes close to matching an untranslated string, and make a few small changes to get the translation working again. (This happens particularly often when the source strings have missing or broken markup tags like
Removing Obsolete Translations
When you have gotten everything you need out of the obsolete strings contained in your translation, you can remove them with the ts-noobsolete make target. Use this with caution if you have commit access to the repository, because you do not want to remove another translator's obsolete strings by accident!
To remove the obsolete strings from the Spanish translation, without affecting anything else, I used:
make ts-noobsolete TRANSLATIONS=data/locale/es.ts
If you wanted to do the same, you would merely replace es.ts with the appropriate filename.
Submitting Your Translation
When you reach a point where you would like your translation update to be posted (it doesn't necessarily have to be complete), you need to make a patch. You will need to have a Subversion-controlled working copy in order to do this. While sitting in the top level rosegarden/ directory, simply run:
svn diff > [FILENAME]
I'll just leave it up to you to invent something reasonable for [FILENAME] here.
1) Michael would like to work with a native Spanish speaker for proof reading, editing, and general quality assurance of this translation
2) Both American and British English are translations now. The code should still be written using American spelling in visible strings, but all finished languages must be translated due to the way Qt handles plurals
3) The %_ represent place markers where strings generated at runtime are inserted into the translation. Sometimes these are numbers, and sometimes they are other strings you have translated elsewhere.
4) image courtesy of Wikipedia