Should we keep the site translated?

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#51 by Yorhel
2015-05-07 at 06:57
< report >Guys, guys, you're missing the point. I just wanted to know if there's a few people who used the translations and who would prefer them to stay. I got more of such replies than I had anticipated, so this thread has served its purpose well. :)

I don't need exact numbers or detailed stats. I figured that if only a few people replied that they'd much prefer to keep the translations, there would no doubt be many more (considering the limited audience of this thread compared to the broader audience of VNDB).

In fact, I expected far more replies in the form of "English is not my native language, but it works fine for me / I prefer English over my own crappy language" than we have in this thread so far. I kinda thought my view on languages was more universal.

Space-ranger makes some interesting points regarding quality, but unfortunately one important aspect of translations is consistency. I'm open to allowing more than one person contribute to a translation, but then we'd need to make sure that there is communication between the translators to ensure it doesn't turn into an inconsistent mess.
#52 by ryudo-kaze
2015-05-07 at 14:05
< report >As a technical writer I have to agree on the part of consistency. Also sometimes it is all about translatability. Text can be over complicated to make it quite a pain to translate them, so a good mix of quality and constancy is needed. So it all comes down to a lot of communication. ^^
#53 by space-ranger
2015-05-09 at 18:40
< report >
Space-ranger makes some interesting points regarding quality, but unfortunately one important aspect of translations is consistency. I'm open to allowing more than one person contribute to a translation, but then we'd need to make sure that there is communication between the translators to ensure it doesn't turn into an inconsistent mess.
I started thinking about this and how to set up something, which could easily allow multiple translators, preferably without too much work.

What I have come up with is to make a string database just like we have vns and stuff like that as this can reuse as much code as possible. People can then get permission to edit strings in a specific language. The edit window should display the english string as well as the string name and should possibly allow access to a string history.

Accessing a specific string can be done by searching for the string name or it can be clicked on in a list. This list should have a filter option to display empty strings only.

Translators should have access to a new language where the strings are the string names. This way the flag in the upper left can be used to switch to a screen where you get all the string names and you know what to search for in the string database. It is quite possible that the user permissions should have a bool telling if a user is a translator or not for quick access as this will be looked up for each screen load.

A new discussion board should be added for each language where translators can discuss whatever they need. New posts will trigger a notification for all users, who are allowed to translate the language in question. It would make sense to allow translators to write in the language they translate to (and not just English) as we would assume everybody reading such a tread can read that. It's a polity issue rather than a design issue though.

I started wondering about making some screen display preview and other cool features like that. However I ended up thinking it would be best not to touch the regular display at all for performance reasons. Instead multi or yorhel can generate a new text file with the strings based on the database at a regular interval, like once every 24 hours.


That's the only design I could come up with, which isn't a fail on any of the criterias I set up (coding time, performance, user friendliness, translator coordination etc). It might not be perfect, but it is certainly better than the current design and there is technical no upper limit for the number of translators, though too many can make it difficult to reach a consensus for consistency.

I haven't thought of any way to lock strings, which end up in edit fights. However if that happens, revoking translation permission is an option. Translators who are immature enough to boldly enter edit fights most likely aren't the best translators anyway.Last modified on 2015-05-09 at 18:41
#54 by guest93
2015-05-09 at 21:15
< report >Sounds good for me.
#55 by Ileca
2015-05-09 at 23:13
< report >You can add it at the very end of the To-do list loul

This reminds me when that system was implemented to try translating VN by user contributions. I am wondering if, in the end, any VN was fully translated like that?
#56 by space-ranger
2015-05-10 at 11:45
< report >Just for the record: this is my proposal, not a statement on what will happen. It requires Yorhel's approval before coding it or even adding it to the todo list. I wrote some stuff for VNDB in the past, but one thing I learned is that I can't really predict what Yorhel think of my proposals.

This reminds me when that system was implemented to try translating VN by user contributions. I am wondering if, in the end, any VN was fully translated like that?
The last time I checked (that was a while ago) I think one VN had reached like 15%, with presumably lots of consistency issues due to being unedited and multiple translators.
#57 by hinoe
2015-05-10 at 15:17
< report >Well, well, hi.

Considering I invested quite a bit of time in an upcoming translation, I'd say I'm technically not only entitled but even *supposed* to state opinions on this, but... since that translation has been upcoming since pretty much forever, I think I'll abstain. :D

This does, however, serve as a rather bitter reminder that I should take some of the time I've been investing in AniDB and put it in the translation instead. Incidentally, yorhel, you may need to bring out the whip to ensure I stick to my word on this one. :P
#58 by silver
2015-05-10 at 15:35
< report >one of VNDB translators here~

While the idea of mass-translation technically sounds good, I doubt it's a good idea overall. I have experience with fan-translating stuff (and even Russian VNDB translation started with two people), so I know rather well how difficult it could be to reach consensus even with two or three people. It's hard to imagine how it's gonna be with more people, and even then you need someone to make a final decision - basically a TL moderator, who's gonna be the main translator anyway.

As a one interesting side fact, for the whole time my email was published on credits page, I've got the whole one email pointing out a TL mistake! (thanks again if you're reading this). While you can argue that there'll be more feedback if it's easily accessible, I don't know if things are going to go any better after the initial hype (if it happens at all).

As to consistency - every translator knows rather well that he/she needs a term dictionary for any fairly sized translation project (even guys like me, who aren't translators by profession). I think the most we can do there is to point out potentially translatable terms in the TL interface, but even then that'd be pretty much every single word used in the interface. I don't know if that's worth Yorhel's time (I think that assumption that Yorhel does more work on VNDB than TLs is a rather safe one).
Besides, there's much simpler way - just make a text field titled "term dictionary", add popup description like "note terms you use here to be consistently used across the whole site" and make it available (r/w) on every page of TL interface. Easy to make, easy to use. Yes, TLs are going to type twice as much there compared to the previous idea, but that's nothing.

At last, if you see mistranslation or other problems - involve yourself! Write emails, PMs, etc. TLs don't bite (I hope), and feedback is important (feel free to take this one as grumbling). Maybe something like "write to the TL" link might serve us well and is easy enough to make.
#59 by space-ranger
2015-05-10 at 19:34
< report >
While the idea of mass-translation technically sounds good, I doubt it's a good idea overall. ... I know rather well how difficult it could be to reach consensus even with two or three people. It's hard to imagine how it's gonna be with more people, and even then you need someone to make a final decision - basically a TL moderator, who's gonna be the main translator anyway.
I fully agree and I don't think anybody would seriously recommend an open for all approach. Too many will cause issues. However my own translation experience (not VNDB or Japanese related) tells me that counting on a single translator is flawed as well. In fact I started doing some translation stuff because the only translator appeared to be dyslexic. The grammar was odd and like every third word was misspelled. I think there is an ideal amount of translators and it is likely 2 or 3.

However this reply gives me an idea. The list of strings should be able to sort by last changed. That way it will be possible to have a main translator and then one or more "quality control people", who checks the recent changes and speak up if they disagree.

One other thing, which haven't been mentioned so far. If translators enter the strings directly into the database and multi applies it once a day, then it will be fully automatic and Yorhel will not have to be involved when applying updates.
#60 by Yorhel
2015-05-11 at 05:23
< report >@space-ranger: Are you aware of link? It does a good part of what you describe. Except it modifies lang.txt directly, so it doesn't have some of the advantages you mentioned. I'm not too fond of maintaining a copy of lang.txt in the database, it doesn't seem that simple of a solution and likely adds even more administrative overhead to keep things in sync. But I do see some good opportunities to improve the tladmin based on what silver said. Also, I should properly document the process and stuff on how to contribute to translations, that alone would help a lot I'm sure.

Incidentally, yorhel, you may need to bring out the whip to ensure I stick to my word on this one.
I will when the tladmin is back online. Prepare your body!
#61 by silver
2015-05-11 at 08:55
< report >
I think there is an ideal amount of translators and it is likely 2 or 3.

Yep, I agree on this one, but, well, this depends on the number of people willing to do translations (even though VNDB is very low-maintenance in that regard). Maybe some note to the extent of "if you see only one translator, feel free to apply" might be useful. People can be difficult when their work is doubted, though.Last modified on 2015-05-11 at 08:56
#62 by space-ranger
2015-05-11 at 11:21
< report >
@space-ranger: Are you aware of link?
No and I can't get it to work locally either meaning I can't test it. However considering I still haven't managed to get multi to work locally, I guess that tells nothing.

Anyway my proposal is sort of implemented. Another job well done :P

Looking at the code, I think it sort of does what I intended it to do. Both solutions could be extended to have a discussion for each language as well as the "string name" language to look up which string is used on which page as both those ideas are technically unrelated to the string editing.

I find it a bit odd to manually write user permissions in the config file. Personally I would have preferred to add that to the DB, but that is a minor issue as it works either way.

Also, I should properly document the process and stuff on how to contribute to translations, that alone would help a lot I'm sure.
Yeah, like telling that there is a page for that. I thought the only way was to editing the text file directly.
#63 by silver
2015-05-11 at 13:44
< report >
Also, I should properly document the process and stuff on how to contribute to translations, that alone would help a lot I'm sure.
Hmm, I don't quite remember, since the last translation cycle was quite long ago, but didn't tladmin page have some documentation? Like how to use functions and the interface itself.
#64 by hinoe
2015-05-21 at 02:00
< report >Damn it, yorhel, you need to implement thread subscription. I keep forgetting to come back and check for replies. :|

However this reply gives me an idea. The list of strings should be able to sort by last changed. That way it will be possible to have a main translator and then one or more "quality control people", who checks the recent changes and speak up if they disagree.

This is a good idea. I like it. (More so than having multiple translators, anyway, which, in my experience, fails to deliver a finished, consistent, and wholesale work more often than not and indeed more often than a one-man job would, though I admit it can and does work sometimes. I guess it kind of depends on luck and stuff.)

Regarding the tladmin page, I don't remember whether it has documentation, but I do remember getting yorhel to start me up and it seemed reasonably self-explanatory from that point forth. Some documentation is always nice, though, especially because it can be a scary and confusing page at first.
#65 by Yorhel
2015-12-31 at 02:55
< report >Okay, so I think I'm going to retract my earlier decision to keep the translations. For several reasons:

1. It really is a huge maintenance burden on the code and limits the ability to improve the site*
2. It is incredibly half-assed, even with a full translation (as currently supported) there's still a significant amount of English on the site.
2b. Extending the scope of the translated strings and keeping all translations in sync is a full-time job, we'll never reach full coverage without making this a high priority or actually hiring people to work on this (obviously not an option).
3. Since I (re)opened the translation interface and stuff, only the German translation has been updated, and even that one likely won't get updated anymore in the future.
3a. The above can be solved by putting more effort into coordinating and recruiting translators, but I lack the motivation to do so (mainly due to points 1 and 2)

As it is, the translations are an unsupported and half-assed nightmare. Improving the situation is waaaay too much effort. So I am, again, inclined to get rid of them completely.
#66 by silence
2015-12-31 at 03:29
< report >A good reason to learn English ^_^
#67 by Yorhel
2016-01-03 at 09:18
< report >The tladmin is disabled for now.
#68 by slv76
2016-01-10 at 10:35
< report >Bad News.

Плохие новости.
#69 by germanvn
2016-01-10 at 21:46
< report >I´m not okay with that!
This side shows international releases, so why can´t those languages are be available?!Last modified on 2016-01-10 at 21:50
#70 by eiesoldar
2016-01-11 at 02:42
< report >Well, what can I say... I entered my profile to check my votes and unintentionally erased votes counting from 05.2015 just because I somehow forgot the translation of the verb "revoke" and had to enter every vote again...
...
...and I suppose this fact shows disabling partial interface translation wasn't very good idea >_>
#71 by nachtwandler
2016-01-11 at 22:45
< report >Oh. And I missed the discussion. Have no problems with English. Just that I got comfortable with Russian interface and now it looks different.

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