Thursday, April 29, 2010

No politics please ...

At #translatewiki.net we take care of two things; internationalisation and localisation. Our developers work hard to make sure that the localisations can be presented grammatically correct for the languages we support and our community works hard to localise for their language.

The objective of all this is that people will find it easy to use the software that is localised. The most optimal situation is when all messages are localised in the target language. In order to deal with a situation that is all too often suboptimal, we have fall back languages. For some languages we have chains of such fall backs that all ultimately end with English.

Some people are annoyed with the choice we have made in such a chain. There are many ways we can accommodate people; when people want to seriously work on a specific type of localisation eg "formal German" they are welcome to work on it. The choice for a fall back in such situations is what makes sense; the German localisation is the most reasonable choice.

When people complain about the visibility of fall back texts, our standard answer is; localise the missing messages and the next day everything will be fixed at the WMF projects. Sometimes people complain about the fall back language itself. When the motivation is political, we are not impressed; what is important is that the readers understand the fall back language and when they do, it serves its purpose.

You can promote your language by providing the best localisation possible. Localising at translatewiki.net ensures that your work is available the next day at all the WMF projects, at all the MediaWiki installations that run LocalisationUpdate and ultimately at all the MediaWiki installations that don't.
Thanks,
     GerardM
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