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Topic: Any advice for newbie translators?

Joined: 2015-04-09, 05:07
Posts: 1
Just found this site
Posted at: 2015-04-09, 06:06


I'm new here (obviously), so I'm not sure whether I'm posting at the right place or what I'm going to write makes any sense at all. Please correct me if I write anything... strange, or if any of these things have been already mentioned a thousand times before. (I browsed the forum a bit of course, but haven't read posts written years ago.) As a short introduction, I played with the original "Settlers 1", and later with Settlers II as well. I loved the original games and it feels nice that I'm not alone with this! Long story short, I'd like to help out with the Hungarian translations, that's why I'm here.

I have been browsing the translated strings in Transifex and added a few translations here and there which were obvious. I have a few questions and I think the answers could help anyone trying to join the project as a new translator of any language. Non-technical things are not really mentioned on the page, but in my opinion those are important too. So here we go.

  1. I saw that there are many names in the credits of the translators for my language, but there doesn't seem to be much going on there right now. They don't have contact information, but even if they had (and I'm 100% guessing here), they are not working on the project any more or just not that active right now. So it might not even make any sense contacting them. Is that correct? Why I'm asking is because:

  2. There are some inconsistencies in the translations. I haven't checked every single line so I don't know if this problem is widespread, but it's definitely there. Is it OK to "fix" those? Can I even change what someone else already translated? If yes, how do I decide which version should I stick with? And also:

  3. I would have translated some lines very differently. Most of the longer ones (from the tutorial and scenarios mainly) are obviously word by word translations. They are correct grammatically, but some of them feel very unnatural. In literature it's not rare that the translator changes the wording of a sentence a lot, simply because the original sounds strange in the target language. You will probably say that it's more important that at least there's a translation and it can be understood. If so, should I do the rest of the translations the same way? My method in translation generally is to do a similar translation, then change it 2-3 times until I'm satisfied. This is also related to my first 2 questions. Is it even acceptable to revise the translation of people before me? I would really only do this as a final step when everything else is done.

  4. On the other hand there are other strings, namely error messages or in game messages, menu options etc. which are only a few words but the translations feel too formal or just off somehow. I really itch to fix all those but don't worry, I won't until all the work is done. (And even then if it's not acceptable to change those I obviously won't touch them.) Is there someone for the languages who is active and has authority about such things?

  5. Who adds the translated words to the glossary? Only a few are filled in for my language. The original translations might have been done even before there was a glossary (I don't know, I'm new). Should I try to fix this by adding words based on existing translations? This is mentioned in the wiki but I'm not entirely sure if I understood it correctly.

  6. There are words (i.e. blackroot) that seem to be made up names. Blackroot was translated literally (which is not bad in this case btw.), but if I'm unsure should I ask about each of those words here in the forum?

Sorry for the long wall of text. I could probably go on, but this is all i could think of right now, and I'd rather people work on the game instead of answering me all the time, so I'll finish here. face-smile.png

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Joined: 2011-12-30, 17:37
Posts: 495
Tribe Member
Location: Germany
Posted at: 2015-04-09, 08:35

Hi and welcome to the forum! The forum is the right place for questions like those you have, and these questions are legitimate for newbie translators face-smile.png

  1. The credit list contains everyone that has ever worked on the Hungarian translation, but Widelands exists for many years, so most of them are not around any more. There are two members in the Hungarian translation group at Transifex (besides you and GunChleoc, who is our Elder of Tongues and coordinates all language-related stuff). You can send them messages directly on Transifex.

  2. The correct approach is to fill the glossary with the terms you need (or you want to change). You can do this on the basis of the existing translations. Afterwards, search in all strings for the changed word, and adjust its translation. As long as the strings are not reviewed yet (the Hungarian ones aren't), everyone can change them, creating different suggestions. The details of this process are ceded to each translation group. Before the glossary, we used the translation dictionary. It is incomplete, but maybe it helps (there are also some notes in it).

  3. The aim of the translation should be to sound as natural as possible. That is way we have humans do it instead of computers. If it is necessary to change the word order or sentence structure, do it! The placeholders (%s) should give you enough freedom to fit your needs.

  4. You can set your priorities as you want; I think the strings in-game are more important than error messages. For things concerning strings in general or placeholders, GunChleoc, our Elder of Tongues, is the person to talk to. For language specific issues, you should contact the other Hungarian translators.

  5. see under 2 (I just need this dummy because the computer thinks it is smarter than I).

  6. There are some things the developpers have invented, e.g. blackroots or milking tongs (there is a forum post mentioning them). You can use a literal translation or invent something different, as long as it fits the image and the use in the game.

And don't worry about your wall of text. I want you to be able to work on the translations, so I will answer to all your questions.

"Only few people know how much one has to know in order to know how little one knows." - Werner Heisenberg

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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
Posts: 3326
One Elder of Players
Location: RenderedRect
Posted at: 2015-04-09, 12:59

Welcome and thank you for helping with translations!

  1. What wl-zocker said.

  2. I have copy/pasted everything from the Translation Dictionary over to the Transifex glossary when we moved there recently. so, don't edit the Wiki, just update the glossary. The glossary terms might also be outdated and not fit the current translations any more - I didn't check these when I copied everything over, because I didn't have the time to do that for all languages.

  3. Be as free as you want with your translations. The important thing is that the core (glossary) terms are translated consistently, with everything else, you can work and revise as you want - you might want to contact the other active Hungarian translator to coordinate your efforts. The important thing is that it will sound good in Hungarian. Multiple revisions is a natural thing to do, I do that all the time.

  4. Again, it is fine to change stuff in order to make it sound better. You can certainly give error messages a lower priority. You can contact the currently active translators via Transifex:

  5. As stated above, I just copied over the old Translation Dictionary. Feel free to change translations to fit the current state of things and to add new ones. Maybe the easiest way to do this is to have 2 browser tabs open - one with the glossary and one with the translation interface. You can search all resources at the same time:$/40084416

  6. Although there is such a thing as Blackroot, you can think of it as a made up term. We are living in a fantasy world here. Maybe you should play all the tutorials and campaigns before translating, if you haven't already done so. This will give you a feel for the terminology. You can also consult the in-game help and the online game manual:

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