Potentially ambiguous entries in docbook-locales

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Tue Aug 11 14:36:41 UTC 2009

Hi Runa,

On Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 04:43:12PM +0530, Runa Bhattacharjee wrote:
> Hi,
> While translating docbook-locales, a few entries are bugging me a bit. I 
> am writing in here in an attempt to understand how the other teams have 
> tackled these strings. These are here:
> String:
> msgid "Set Index"
> Reference:
> #. Tag: para
> #: locale.xml:111
> #, no-c-format
> I have currently translated this (and the lowercase version of the same 
> string) as "an index of sets" where "set" refers to "groups" (as per the 
> translation note in string number 94). Is this context correct?

At the risk of foolishly talking without the expertise to back it up
-- I think this may be "the index for a set of books."  In DocBook,
a <set> element contains one or more <book> elements, so I would
expect a Set Index would be an overall index for the entire set.

> String:
> msgid "by"
> Reference:
> #. Tag: para
> #. LOCALIZATION NOTE: attribution of authorship: 'Romeo and Juliet' by 
> William Shakespeare
> #: locale.xml:128
> #, no-c-format
> This is the tricky one. From the translators note it seems that the 
> translated version of "by" would be used in a format like '<name-of-book> 
> by <name-of-writer>'. Now this would have been quite easy to write if the 
> construction of the sentence in my language follows the same structure as 
> in English. Unfortunately, this is not the case and a literal 
> representation of the '<name-of-book> by <name-of-writer>' structure 
> would be extremely incorrect syntactically.
> We would probably follow a structure like: <name-of-book> 
> <name-of-writer> <translation for 'written by'> (a simple 'by' would not 
> be a perfect fit)
> ------------------
> I am curious to know how the other languages with a similar problem have 
> handled this.
> Btw, in case this needs to be put in a bug, I would be happy to do so.

This is a harder question, since I don't know where the docbook-locale
stuff you refer to comes from.  But I do know that in
/usr/share/sgml/docbook/xsl-stylesheets (or the DocBook v5 version)
there's a set of XML controlling translations of headings, blurbs, and
so forth for each language.  They have separate gentext entries for
"by," "Edited by," "Revised by," and so on.  It looks like the fashion
in which those are displayed is hard coded in DocBook -- you can turn
the display of that string on or off, but it always appears above the
list of editor names.

Hope this helps in some way.

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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