Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Revisiting L10n


Frankly speaking its been a long time since I translated a string . I felt like re-connecting the community hence called up praveen to tell that I am coming for #l10ncamppune .

My travels both to and from pune deserve a separate blog of its own . I met Mintos at praveen's place. Learned that all RH employees stay in that flat of Jasmenium , Magarpatta city . We both walked to RH office which is located in the same city .

By the time we reached , the session already has started and people were having a discussion on foss and business value . Ani gave me a notes and asked me to fill a form . Before I sat down on the seat I remember having signed 3 times ;)
Support based revenue and also dual licensing were discussed . I just stayed calm because I got the feeling of 'deja vu' and was silently hoping that we move forward to l10n and i18n .

Naveen from RH started the talk on i18n . He went on a bit deep on how character encoding is done and I kind of liked that talk as I was learning something new. There was a discussion on proprietary vs unicode fonts and I mentioned my experience with telugu newspaper eenadu .
There was also a discussion on indic rendering and rendering engines and why gnome-terminal couldn't render the indic fonts. On the other hand praveen showed emacs rendering it properly ! ( GNU emacs :D ) . Most of the naveens session the terminal was used from emacs .

During the break I met ankit from Gujarati team . I heard of him but never got to meet him . He told me that krishnababu from telugu team couldn't be here as he had to go to his home town . We went to cafeteria where coffee day coffee was being served ! I was introduced to rajesh and our discussion went on to fuel telugu .

Back to the session students needed help in typing . We tried to push forward inscript typing which is relatively easy . we gave some sample sentences and made them type. Ankit asked them to open a sample po file of a small application . He showed them the various translation tools like poedit and lokalize. some of them also opened them directly in gedit . Students then were asked to translate it . Those translations were compared to the one actually translated by hindi team . That was a cool way of doing things .

some of the students felt that they were typing very slowly because of inscript. Karunakar asked them to remember the ordering of letters from ka kha ga gha ( क ख ग घ ).. so on . The next day he made them say loudly so that they could remember the ordering on inscript keyboard easily . Thats really a good idea and I am guessing that it came out of his huge indic experience ;)

The morning session continued with students translating po files. They also created accounts in gnome l10n and uploaded their po files . That IMHO took them directly to contribution . I sat down on tuxpaint po which I translated long back . I opened lokalize to see that it was not rendering telugu . I asked ani and shankar who are the back benchers(lol nice term for people who were helping out all students ) . Shankar told me that it was a bug with spell checker and indic scripts. He told me that the bug was fixed in the next update .

After the lunch runa's talk was very interesting . She showed some strings actually almost all the scenarios which a stating translator faces .
The students were asked on how to translate ' bordeaux' the colour of french red wine !! She then suggested us to see the closest locally used colours . She gave some examples which I couldn't grasp because I am not that good in hindi .

Rajesh Ranjan gave a introduction to fuel and showed how simple those words in the po file are and why its a need to have them discussed and agreed upon by various teams of translators,linguists and press. The topic got deviated by translation database which kind of ended the session .

There was also a discussion on 'why translate' which really bored me cause I am a bit neutral to both the arguments. I finally say that while bringing desktop to a rural person , it is expected to be in local language which that person could comprehend .

computers are not just for अँगरेज़
The above sentence is also coming from me who almost learnt typing english on a french keyboard and having used a localised french windows XP desktop !

The session ended with shankarshan collecting feedback from students. There was a plan to do another session but this time to be planned at the colleges .