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Re: gettext "plural forms" in Turkish

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: gettext "plural forms" in Turkish
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 12:42:13 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.5.4

Sertaç Ö. Yıldız wrote on 2007-11-26:
> > therefore the relevant cases are:
> > 
> > > >     “0 apples”      → “0 elma”
> > > >     “1 apple”       → “1 elma”
> > > >     “2 apples”      → “2 elma”
> Why? As far as we are concerned with the number of plural forms, both 
> grammatical forms should count:
>     msgid "the apple"
>     msgid_plural "the apples"

This is not the major usecase of the plural forms in gettext. In fact,
I'm not aware of any packages using the singular/plural distinction without
mentioning the number. But...

> I fail to see the difference with Hungarian in this respect, which
> apparently² had similar issues till last year.

Indeed; the explanation for Hungarian appears to fit the situation for
Turkish as well.

Do you agree to this doc change, and to changing the default plural
formula for Turkish (as used by 'msginit')?

--- gettext.texi.bak    2007-10-31 13:34:45.000000000 +0100
+++ gettext.texi        2007-12-02 15:37:53.000000000 +0100
@@ -6060,8 +6060,6 @@
 @table @asis
 @item Asian family
 Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese
address@hidden Turkic/Altaic family
 @end table
 @item Two forms, singular used for one only
@@ -6094,11 +6092,13 @@
 @end table
-Another language using the same header entry is:
+Other languages using the same header entry are:
 @table @asis
 @item Finno-Ugric family
address@hidden Turkic/Altaic family
 @end table
 Hungarian does not appear to have a plural if you look at sentences involving
@@ -6108,6 +6108,11 @@
 ``az alm@'{a}k''.  Since @code{ngettext} has to support both types of 
 it is classified here, under ``two forms''.
+The same holds for Turkish: ``1 apple'' is ``1 elma'', and ``123 apples'' is
+``123 elma''.  But when the number is omitted, the distinction between singular
+and plural exists: ``the apple'' is ``elma'', and ``the apples'' is
 @item Two forms, singular used for zero and one
 Exceptional case in the language family.  The header entry would be:

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