在地化:詞性/文法問題

Seth 是在地化團隊成員,Mozilla 幫助我們處理在地化相關問題,控管相關流程的人。他寫了一篇《Mozilla DTD files, caveat emptor》,解釋了軟體在地化在詞性上遇到的困難。這篇文章有個很驚人的例子:

程式碼裡面有個變數,&brandShortName;,英文的文字是「Firefox」。這個字在英文的拼法不會改變,但是在波蘭文,Firefox 可以被拼成 Firefox、Firefoksa、Firefoksowi、或是 Firefoksem,要怎麼拼要根據句子的文意決定。

在翻譯「隱藏 &brandShortName;」這個選項的時候,波蘭文的翻譯者無法使用文法正確的「Ukryj Firefoksa」,而被迫要翻譯成「Ukryj program &brandShortName;」,等同於「隱藏程式 Firefox」這種聽起來奇怪又像機器人的說法。

當然中文的軟體在地化也有類似的問題。像最近就在煩惱 Bug 473706,關於 Firefox 書籤對話方塊(按網址列的東西會出現的那個)上「刪除書籤」按鈕的事。那個按鈕實際上會刪掉所有網址相同的書籤(可能超過一個),為了警告使用者,以後會改成顯示成「Delete Bookmark」或是「Delete Bookmarks (#)」這樣的文字。問題來了,中文因為不使用複數形,所以不能在「刪除書籤」和「刪除書籤 (共 # 筆)」這兩種文字之間交互切換,只能用其中一種(而且一定要顯示數字,不然使用者不知道有幾筆)

所以要怎麼翻呢?「刪除 1 筆書籤」或是「刪除書籤 (共 1 筆)」都怪怪的。而且書籤的量詞真的是「筆」嗎?還沒遇到這句話之前我還真的沒有想過…

Seven Things about Tim

So the “seven things” stuff finally reach this blog.  Gen Kanai tagged me,  thanks.

The Rules

  • L ink to your original tagger(s) (see above) and list these rules in your post.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.

7 6 Facts

  1. English: For some reason, I speak a mixture of British and American accent, compare to American English most Taiwanese are taught to speak. I was corrected by teachers at school because they never get used to my A’s (e.g. cast), but my sister always say “your accent is so so American.” I do pride of my accent though, it makes me feel special.
  2. English (cont.): I constantly talk to myself in English; I’d even dreamed in English before (bilingual, to be precise). Nevertheless, my English sounds a lot better than it really is, as I cannot score high in standardized tests due to lack of ability to spell and writing compositions.
  3. Physics: The tagline of this blog, in English, is “Actually, I am someone who studies physics, not someone who build websites.(?)” Looking back, choosing physics as major was really a turning point of my life, but I couldn’t say it was a good or bad thing, for now. However, I could say to young high school kids that physics as major is demanding, and one have to love physics (or science in general) enough to devote that much time, thus being able to say “I’m a physicist” someday.
  4. Astronomy: When I was 2nd grade in high school, I was educational-chair in high school astronomy club, and gave lectures to 60+ people once a week for about an year. I am still able and available to do the same thing again, but there is no audiences anymore.
  5. Stellarium: Starting two years ago, I made a “Chinese language addon” for the F/OSS planetarium software, due to its official installer lacks of proper font and location setting. It had proved to be a quite a success, with 5000+ downloads every year and teachers across the island give out the URL of my website at class, asking students to install the software and feel the motion of the stars right on their screen (planetary and star motions are required materials in high school science and general astronomy). I am glad that my so-called expertise could make such contribution, and being able to stay in the circle of astronomy hobbyists as such role.
  6. The Internet: I’d been making websites from 1997; first set of files still sits inside a floppy of mine (should posted it on the net again and have it indexed by Wayback Machine so it will never be deleted). I own the domain timc.idv.tw since 2000 (check whois), and I paid the registration fee at a bank counter as direct deposit to TWNIC since I didn’t have a bank account to transfer money from. The Internet nowadays is like a big country with highways connecting to each cities, compare to small villages then with few people and little connections. I met some of my best friends in these small villages; we (as a group or graduates of Web 1.0) still get in touch and I cherished that.

I’ll stop here and left one thing untold, so to give a reason for people who I am going to tag an excuse not to post their seven things. Here are the people I would like to tag:

  • RitsuN, st3001, stillive, and anyone being to the Absurdity Land we once coined. These are the “graduates of Web 1.0” I am talking about.
  • Sonax2k, one of my first friends ended up going to the U.S.
  • CornGuo, who always trying to Google bomb me with Web or Javascript related links. Coming from the same high school, we did met on the Internet though.

國際天文年主題曲「Shoulders of Giants」

IYA站在巨人的肩膀上,我們會看到更多。《Shoulders of Giants》是 AstroCappella 的國際天文年主題曲,歌詞超棒,聽到的時候感動的快掉眼淚了。

The world turns round and round now around 400 years have flown
since Galileo’s telescope first focused the unknown
Now we use bigger glass to peer into the past
And we’re discovering the Universe’s secrets at last

And there are geysers on Saturn’s icy moon
and planets circling hundreds of stars
while all the Universe expands like a balloon
from Galileo’s tiny scope we’ve come so far

我覺得我沒有翻譯這首歌的能力,所以只能請你自己點上面的連結去看歌詞了。MP3 檔案的連結在此。