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Re: Changing the language of gnus menu entries

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Changing the language of gnus menu entries
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:32:49 +0300

> From: Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden>
> Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 10:56:02 +0200
> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
> [snip]
> >> At the end, I think, we would make some progress, and after most of the
> >> work is done after some months or years, development will stop, and
> >> nobody is there keeping things ticking over.
> >
> > If that's what will happen,
> It already happened:

That doesn't surprise me: translated user manuals is something that
doesn't exist in most projects.  What is usually translated is the UI.

> Localization would be good for certain target users of Emacs but,
> sadly, I'm afraid that it is too much work extending for too much
> time.

There were 2 unsuccessful attempts to add support for bidirectional
editing to Emacs, before the third one succeeded.  Motivated
individuals will not be averted by the fears and difficulties, and if
they do a good job, it will stay, and be used and maintained.

I don't know if you have ever translated a message catalog for some
program, even a small one (such as gawk, wget, make, etc.)  If you
did, you know that even a small catalog requires an un-proportionally
large effort to make a good translation.  And yet the translations for
most Free Software packages get regularly updated for many languages,
and succeed in tracking upstream development.  I guess there are
enough motivated translators out there to do the job, and continue
doing it through the years.  Up front, I see no reason that this
wouldn't be the case for Emacs as well, although I have no data to
prove it or even back it up.  We will have to wait and see, but before
that experiment can begin, we need an infrastructure that will enable
translators to begin their work, as they are usually not programmers.

> And those target users would face other difficulties, such as the
> technical-oriented nature of Emacs which requires a considerable
> initial effort for being (more) efficient (than when using other
> tools.)

Having most of the UI in your first language is known to ease these
difficulties quite a lot, at least for some users.  There's no other
reason for the message catalog translations to be so popular.

Don't get me wrong: I use US English all the time, and always set up
my machines to be in the US English locale, if I can.  Maybe so do
you.  But you and I, and others like us, are not the target audience
for whom these features are important.  We should see this issue
through their eyes, or at least try to.

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