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Author Topic: DF Internationalization to translate it  (Read 7465 times)

darkomen

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DF Internationalization to translate it
« on: July 04, 2010, 07:12:54 am »

Hi all,

Im a french player from french community, so , sorry for my bad english.

This request is about Internationalization( see also the Article on Wikipedia) of DF. In fact, i think that the most problem for non-english people to learn playing DF, isn't the Interface of the game graphics but is the only language of the game. It's really( ! ) hard to translate name of objects ingame, menus, help and other texts ingame and all non-english people spend many time on it.

I18n ( = Internationalization) of DF permit development of non-english communities(japanese, french, german, russian etc..)

If some files are free to translate, like txt files, some other files, like grammar files are compiled and the source code isn't open. A library like Gettext can help community to translate this files.

So, that i suggest is:
  • Opening the source of All the language files, including grammar files and menus to permit the translation
  • Making a Webtranslator with the gettext library or another method to permit to the community translation of the game in many different languages. (like HERE or HERE)
  • Translating the files of all the game
  • Replacing the original language files by the traduced files by
    -Making patches
    OR
    -Making an official and multilingual version of DF
    OR
    -Making many versions of DF in the different languages.

Most of the work can be do by the community, like 2, 3 and 4 steps, so i think Toady don't have much work to do that. ;)

I'm not a programmer, so i don't think that i can help for i18n of the game, but i can help later, for traducing the game in french.

Thank you to read me =)

What do you think about that?
Thanks to give your opinion ;)
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 07:20:49 am by darkomen »
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Cruxador

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 01:48:45 pm »

This is planned for the future. Until then, everyone must play in English or not at all. However, I think this is a relatively low priority, because most people in the civilized world understand English to some degree.
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3

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 01:57:34 pm »

It's also a low priority because a lot of changes are being made at this stage in development, and rapid changes will continue to take place until a much more stable period of development (read: close to 1.0). There's virtually no point creating translations for a game when the ingame text might change every few weeks.
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thijser

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2010, 04:06:52 pm »

However It will probably be 2034 (if you look at his goals and what has been done) before he will finish so I think these are things that shouldn't be delayed till then. On the other hand I often find games that use my native language (dutch) sound quite weird. For some reason a dragon sounds kind of cool while a draak sounds like something little childeren are told about.
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I'm not a native English speaker. Feel free to point out grammar/spelling mistakes. This way I can learn better English.

darkomen

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2010, 05:04:48 pm »

However It will probably be 2034 (if you look at his goals and what has been done) before he will finish so I think these are things that shouldn't be delayed till then. On the other hand I often find games that use my native language (dutch) sound quite weird. For some reason a dragon sounds kind of cool while a draak sounds like something little childeren are told about.
Not my fault if in german translation of dragon is "draak"  ;D
French translation of Dragon is Dragon, and french language sounds very well, thank you :) . Voltaire, Moličre, Victor hugo and many famous french autors don't sounds like something little childeren are told about :P

I know that there are many goals, and i also know that in a future( what future? ) the game will be i18nized.

But in my opinion, it's not a "Low priority", because DF gameplay is enough mature to develop just a little accessibility of DF. And the language is the first way to develop it

Quote
because most people in the civilized world understand English to some degree.

Seriously, if i can understand easily your posts and i can write english a little, i CANT understand anything in Dwarf fortress: Vocabulary is VERY rich and word are not currently-used words. Without help(from MagmaWiki or the french wiki), i can't play DF.
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Firehawk

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2010, 05:46:43 pm »

I think it would would be a reasonably easy task for all the names/menus of everything ingame to be put into .txt files that could be edited. That would be the easiest way of making the game accessible in any language. Just have the game pull all the menus and such from .txt files.
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StephanReiken

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2010, 10:58:22 pm »

I think it would would be a reasonably easy task for all the names/menus of everything ingame to be put into .txt files that could be edited. That would be the easiest way of making the game accessible in any language. Just have the game pull all the menus and such from .txt files.

and let the modders translate the game into the languages of the countries which find DF popular.
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Silverionmox

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 03:14:43 pm »

However It will probably be 2034 (if you look at his goals and what has been done) before he will finish so I think these are things that shouldn't be delayed till then. On the other hand I often find games that use my native language (dutch) sound quite weird. For some reason a dragon sounds kind of cool while a draak sounds like something little childeren are told about.
That's a chicken and egg problem: as long as dutch fantasy terms are used for children's stories exclusively, they'll naturally sound childish. To cure yourself, read some Dutch versions of fantasy novels like Robin Hobb's trilogies or even better original Dutch fantasy; I can recommend Peter Schaap's "De schrijvenaar van Thyll", for example.

More in general: many sentences are cobbled together ad-hoc according to simplified English grammar. Translating that would require quite some coding too, not just replacing a text file.
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Grimlocke

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 03:52:58 pm »

Right now you can translate some parts by adjusting the raws, but full translations will have to wait.

There is also the problem that some short english sentences could be very long in other languages, thus failing to fit into the UI.

Translating to any asian languages would cause even more problems as the whole ascii system would have to be replaced.

Arabic languages should be possible with just an alternative tileset.
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Jiri Petru

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 05:43:59 pm »

The problem here is not the transcription of words from one language to another, the problem is each language has different grammar. All generated texts... eg. ingame messages, combat reports, adventure mode dialogs would be very difficult to handle. The engine is written with English grammar in mind, which makes it next to impossible to translate... without heavy reworking of the engine.

Word order, genders, and worst of all, declension (just look at my native language - Czech - declesion and skim through the tables) are almost impossible to implement - I can't think of any different approach then to use a complete dictionary (but such dictionaries would probably be hard to get), or to manually write all forms of all words you use in the game (no translator would want to do that). Different to explain if you don't know any other languages than English, but if you do, you know what I'm talking about.

Ease of translation is being taken into account in most modern blockbuster games, and the engine is written to accommodate different languages. But other games have it very easy, they rarely generate texts - in 99 % they simply use fixed text strings. Dwarf Fortress? Well... I don't believe Toady will ever be able to make it translatable. He'll probably just realize how much rewriting it would mean and resign.

What's doable are all the fixed texts (like menus or k-z descriptions). Then coding some easy half-assed system for generated texts like combat reports or in-game messages that make translation at least tolerable, though not correct.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 05:50:07 pm by Jiri Petru »
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jaked122

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 11:15:42 am »

all code is in english(important code at least) therefore it makes sense for developers to go to english until the program is stable enough for the tinkering required.
besides, you are replying in english, what are you complaining about?

therahedwig

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 12:04:50 pm »

Another problem with localising it would be the translation of certain terms.

Like, take the term Mountainhomes.

In Dutch that would become 'Bergthuis' which sounds really silly because it's singular(there's no specific multiple form for home in Dutch).
So you'd have to find an alternative. Like... 'Thuisgebergten' (Homemountains/Homemountainrange)
Or 'Berg gehucht'(MountainHamlet) 'Berg burchten'(Mountain Fortresses) 'Berg paleizen'(Mountain Palaces).

And not to even start on things like goblins and kobolds.(In the Dutch translation of Harry Potter the goblins at gringotts were translated as kobolds)

Dwarf Fortress would ofcourse become Dwergen Burcht :)

Another problem would be that English as it stands today doesn't have a polite form or at the least a polite form similar to other European languages.
This may not matter much as the player is rarely adressed directly, but it would become diffucult when generated ingame writing will be produced. (I think it would be weird to a lot of people when the characters are just using the familiar form with everyone they meet, from their own children to their king).
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Chthonic

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 12:31:26 pm »

This is a pretty interesting discussion.  One of the things that biologists catch a lot of flack from other disciplines about is that we coin a lot of words (necessarily).  These words usually seem to be Anglo-Latin/Greek constructions that are built from previous neologisms, so you get "taxonomies" like gene-->genome-->proteome-->metabolome.  Even if most scientists aren't native English speakers, English is the lingua franca of science, so it's the sandbox that this word-construction takes place in.

The fantasy genre is another area where you get a lot of words being coined and mashed together to create terms to describe things that have never before been described.  Because a lot of the seminal fantasy fiction (in the modern tradition, I guess, since every culture has a body of folklore) was written in English (i.e., Tolkien), does that make the verbal sandbox of fantasy fiction also heavily English-leaning?
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Lordinquisitor

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 01:35:17 pm »

Everybody should learn to speak and write english, anyway. ;)
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Jiri Petru

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Re: DF Internationalization to translate it
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2010, 02:05:13 pm »

all code is in english(important code at least) therefore it makes sense for developers to go to english until the program is stable enough for the tinkering required.
besides, you are replying in english, what are you complaining about?

Internationalization =/= translation

Another problem with localising it would be the translation of certain terms.

Like, take the term Mountainhomes.

In Dutch that would become 'Bergthuis' which sounds really silly because it's singular(there's no specific multiple form for home in Dutch).
So you'd have to find an alternative. Like... 'Thuisgebergten' (Homemountains/Homemountainrange)
Or 'Berg gehucht'(MountainHamlet) 'Berg burchten'(Mountain Fortresses) 'Berg paleizen'(Mountain Palaces).

And not to even start on things like goblins and kobolds.(In the Dutch translation of Harry Potter the goblins at gringotts were translated as kobolds)

This isn't really Toady's problem, is it? It's the translators job!  8) Translation isn't transferring the text 1:1, it almost always includes making compromises, using different terms, coming up with your own words. As for Chthonic's question - it depends heavily on the translator's quality. Some simply keep the English words, some come up with their own or find similarities in local folklore. We have a brilliant Czech translation of the Lord of the Rings, for example, and the lady who translated it made up amazing and naturally sounding creature names or Hobbit names. (But the Czech fantasy norm is heavily based on English, yes. We mostly use English creature names, with only slight changes sometimes to make them easier to pronounce. That's because fantasy comes in the form of computer games (people used to play only in English, though translations are lately becoming frequent) and bad books (long live the Warhammer) translated by horrible translators.)

The only problem from the perspective of Toady I can think of is the way names are created, and how names are translated from dwarven/elvish/etc. to english. Basically, it just takes two random dwarven words, puts them together and transfers both to English (so you have surnames like Clasplashes, Keygem). This works in Germanic languages, I suppose, but not eg. in "our" Slavic languages. You can't just mash any two words together, in fact, mashing words together is very rare compared to English. If you did that, it would sound very weird. Not weird as "Clasplashes", but weird as in "totally ungrammatical" or "outright wrong". And I have no idea how to handle this.

To elaborate:
English "Clasp" + "Lashes" = "Clasplashes"
Czech "Mihotat" + "Řasy" (direct translation) = Řasomih (it sounds horribly, but could be taken with a grain of salt because it's "translation from dwarvish")

English "Key" + "Gem" = "Keygem"
Czech "Klíč" + "drahokam" = Klíčodrahokam (easy, but sounds horrible), more probably "Drahoklíč" (sounds strange), most probably "Klíčový drahokam" or "Drahokamový klíč" (making one of the words adjective, which could actually be simple)

The problem you'd have to code the grammar rules for creating names in languages that can't use simple mashing. Which would require a lot of time and a good knowledge of the target language. I know the names are a very minor part and could be ignored (= done badly) but perhaps Toady could somehow export the grammatical rules to raws and let us program our own? It's the only solution I can think of.
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Markus Cz. Clasplashes
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