After testing Drupal locally for some time, I'm planning to use it in several projects. They all are German (or multilingual) Websites. Unfortunately, right now, I’m not really happy with the provided German translation:
- Strings are translated in informal style, yet I need a formal version for my target group. Unfortunately, this is not easy to change, as many strings in the translation use this informal style (i.e. Lies mehr davon instead of the IMO more neutral Weiterlesen). To change that, I need to check every single string.
- Caused by the modular architecture, some parts are translated, some aren’t. I’m afraid that such a kind of multilingual bastard won’t look very professional …
- Terms are sometimes used inconsistently: Konfiguration, Optionen, Einstellungen are used as synonyms (they are, but I think one should settle for one term in an interface); some Terms from the original English version are translated (Gewicht (Weight), some aren’t (Throttle). The same goes for capitalization (which is already nasty in the original English version).
So – where’s the patch, you might ask.
I’m willing to provide this formal version, yet I might need some help to do so – I’m confident that I’m able to translate the strings, but I haven’t worked much with these developer tools before. (FYI, I’ll be using KBabel (running with X11) on my Mac OS X Box).
IMHO, it would be ideal if both the formal and informal version would share as much information as possible. Here are my ideas:
- As far as possible, strings should be translated neutral, i.e. Weiterlesen instead of Lies mehr davon. The neutral version can be used in both the formal and informal version. This works for shorter strings (just in the same way as most Operating Systems and applications are translated), yet long passages must be adapted to either formal or informal form. It would be convenient if those strings would be marked somehow, so that they can be adapted easily.
- There should be somewhere a glossary (probably a Wiki), where the most used terms are defined/translated and explained how they are used. There, one could also discuss how such terms as Throttle, Node, Page etc. should be treated. Just the way this has been done before.
- Capitalization should be standardized – I would propose to start all strings with a capital letter (as long as the context does not entirely speaks against that). If someone wants to have it different, he can use CSS in his template to do so.
Maybe there is more later when I’m working on it, but that would be my ideas for the time being. I would be thankful if you could give me some feedback about these ideas. And probably also some hints how to proceed …