bugGNU gettext - Bugs: bug #49598, Allow ngettext to be used with...

 
 

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bug #49598: Allow ngettext to be used with non-English source language with more than two plural forms

Submitted by:  None
Submitted on:  Mon 14 Nov 2016 08:49:15 AM UTC
 
Category:  Other Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  None Status:  Not a Bug
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  haible
Open/Closed:  Closed
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Fri 01 Sep 2017 10:50:30 PM UTC, comment #5: 

But I've already described a project and added a detailed explanation on why it's more problematic with English as main language. Maybe the only detail left is that it's a Django project.

In short: there are projects now that use gettext and may not even have English in supported languages. At least it's some local web projects on Django.

About the first part of comment 4: I was just trying to put myself in your shoes, respect your time, appreciate your work, etc.

Serhiy Zahoriya <int_ua>
Mon 28 Aug 2017 06:46:34 PM UTC, comment #4: 

Serhiy,

> I understand that it can be quite a challenge to implement and that you have limited resources.


You are assuming that the arguments I gave are not the real arguments, but that I have other motives for saying "no" to this feature request than the ones I stated. This is not a sound basis communication: I do not like to be accused of lying. REALLY, you should take other people's arguments and statements like they were said or written. Even (or especially) in real life, with your parents, wife, or friends.

> English is far from being the main used language all over the world https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-speaking_world#Majority_English-speaking_countries


This is not my argument either. My argument is how easy it is to find translators from English to a particular language. Will you find many, say, English to Ukrainian translators in the USA, the United Kingdom, and Australia? No, you will find most of them in the Ukraine (and among emigrants born in the Ukraine and now living elsewhere). For this quantity, it is important how many people learn English as a second or third language in school. In this category, English is unbeaten by other languages: Even in the countries of the former Soviet Union, and even in Japan, pupils now learn English in school.

> I think you extremely underestimate the number of projects that could have non-English main language with fewer problems.


State one. Just one!

Bruno Haible <haible>
Project Administrator
Mon 28 Aug 2017 02:32:18 PM UTC, comment #3: 

I understand that it can be quite a challenge to implement and that you have limited resources. I guess that you don't want to support it because you don't know any language with 3+ plural forms. Maybe it's not the best place to discuss it because it's a feature request / wishlist item and not really a bug.
On that I agree.

But what you said about languages is really not right to put it mildly. I just checked the wiki and English is far from being the main used language all over the world https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-speaking_world#Majority_English-speaking_countries I think you extremely underestimate the number of projects that could have non-English main language with fewer problems. Because with current state of things every time I found an error in the English version (that was once really-really far from perfect, plain horrible in some places) I had to redo translation to every other language, sometimes even had to search manually for the previous strings because English ones became too much different for auto-detection. Also, writing new strings with some specific terminology and even local neologisms can be a very daunting task for developers who are trying to make things right from the first commit to avoid redoing all the translations later.

Looks like you also underestimate the number of translators between non-English languages. Since gettext is used so widely it's no longer just projects that are authored by English-speakers and it's no longer just FOSS that is better be translated to every language. It's also websites now, that may not even have an English version.

Sorry, not everyone speaks English. But more people could benefit from gettext and FOSS if it was truly i18zed.

Thank you for your time.

Serhiy Zahoriya <int_ua>
Tue 15 Nov 2016 08:44:33 AM UTC, comment #2: 

Thanks for the follow up, Bruno.  Closing.

Daiki Ueno <ueno>
Project Administrator
Mon 14 Nov 2016 04:46:27 PM UTC, comment #1: 

If you are using GNU gettext with a non-English source language, you are not doing yourself a favour. How would you find translators? You need to either have translators from your language to many languages of the world - which you will have difficulty to find -, or you need a two-step translation process, where one translator first translates to English and the other translators then go from English to the target language - but this process produces many wrong and ambiguous translations.

For this reason, GNU gettext has been designed so that the source language contains the English strings (modulo formatting details).

Daiki, I would close this as "Not a Bug".

Bruno Haible <haible>
Project Administrator
Mon 14 Nov 2016 08:49:15 AM UTC, original submission:  

Currently, if I use ngettext there is no way to specify all plural forms for non-English source language.
AFAIU, it can be changed by accepting plural forms as an array instead of single string or combining single and plural forms into one array on the input where single is the first value, obviously.

Anonymous

 

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    Follow 4 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2016-11-27 haible CategoryNone => Other
    2016-11-15 ueno StatusNone => Not a Bug
        Assigned toNone => haible
        Open/ClosedOpen => Closed

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