Language accords - style and other decisions about translations for each language

Our translation structure makes it sometimes difficult to believe we are in a team, as many times we feel we are the only person translating a document.

But sometimes we need to agree on certain discussions to make a translation that has consistency along the different documents.

Some language teams have discussed and agreed to certain norms of style, or other rules on their language. For example the Spanish translators decided to use the informal treatment when talking to the users.

In this topic we can discuss new rules we would would like to agree on.

Please be patient, the forum is just starting and people may take a while to give their input.

Once we agree on a decision we can move it to the Tor L10n wiki


Some accords are on the Language Team pages on the Localization Lab wiki: Category:Language Teams - Localization Lab Wiki

There is also a ticket in gitlab: Process for localization decisions on a per-language basis (#40047) · Issues · The Tor Project / Community / L10n · GitLab

On last Friday’s Hangout we started writing a process, see this pad.

And we are gathering input through the tor-l10n mailing list, the gitlab ticket, and other platforms.

Please have your saying: the more people that participates, the stronger the decision will be!

Even if we do not participate in translating Tor stuff?
I do participate in translating other things in life and I think it’s great to let language teams decide for many things, such as translating a technical term or not (like “Tor bridge” that, when translated, sounds really weird in french), or gender issues in the language, for instance.

Well, I think this process may affect other software, as the Tor Project sometimes creates terminology that spills to other places, as bridges. So I guess this process should be inclusive of groups of translators that are not translating Tor Project software or websites directly.

But we must be careful to distinguish the difference between translation discussions and terminology discussions. We are not talking about changing the terminology, and translations should always maintain the meaning of the original term. If I translate ‘Tor bridge’ as ‘Tor road’ to Spanish, and you translate it as ‘Tor highway’, at the end we will end up like the Babel tower without understanding each other :smiley:



I was surely not talking about changing terminology, rather about choosing the right words in our language, and specifically when “bridge” can be translated to “pont” but should be kept as “bridge” (ie. not translated).

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Yes, this is one example of the kind of decisions we are talking about:

French: the word bridges should stay in English and not be translated.

(why should it be kept as bridge?)

Today we will talk about this during the Localization Hangout, and we can start with some words to test the process.

We have started with a proposal from commens from givejo: PROPOSAL: Bengali-Bangla: Transliterate 'Tor Browser' - #2 by emmapeel

We have limited the proposal to be:

  • About one term
  • In one language

I’m not sure, but I know this was discussed a lot some years ago, that technical terms should not be translated as they have been chosen as words with another meaning than the original meaning (a tor bridge is not going over the river), and if we translate “bridge” we should also translate “tor” (meh) and “firefox” and all the things we keep original version because we don’t know how to translate and they make no sense to translate.
Also, most of the community uses english, and it’s much easier to search for documentation when you already know the technical words, such as bridge, onion, guard node or whatever. If I knew “pont”, “oignon”, “nœud de garde”, it would be much harder!
On the other hand, I don’t know why english is always chosen as the default and i’m not sure i like it, but that’s how it is. And I don’t think french would be better suited at all.

More comments that were in the pad


adrian: I think this really depends on the language and the decision should be taken on a per-language basis. For greek for example, untransliterated strings look more or less okay (mostly because this is quite commonly and broadly used). But yes, language teams should be allowed to transliterate most stuff if it is appropriate (except for things like branding, searchability, etc, where IDK what the proper thing to do is)

gagz/French: the word bridges should stay in English and not be translated to ‘pont’.
adrian: why? I think the word “bridge” and the mental image it creates of a bridge, helps users to understand what the Bridges option does.

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