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Re: Why emacs have not native language menu

From: Pascal Bourguignon
Subject: Re: Why emacs have not native language menu
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 17:57:43 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.94 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> From: Hadron <address@hidden>
>> Newsgroups:
>> Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 15:10:41 +0200
>> > Nowadays, with the Internet and the worldwide job market, it's just
>> > impossible to translate a programming language.  And this is what
>> > emacs is.
>> No. That is NOT what emacs is. eLisp is the programming language. Emacs
>> is an infrastructure which supports multiple applications programmed in
>> elisp. They can be localised.
> Don't forget that Lisp is a language without fundamental distinction
> between program code and data.  In Lisp, I can construct a string in
> memory, and then execute it as a function.
> This happens a lot on the Lisp level, but spills into the low-level C
> code as well.  Consider the following C snippet, for example:
>       call1 (intern ("ask-user-about-supersession-threat"), fn);
> Without knowing quite a few bits about Emacs internals, one cannot
> decide whether the string here needs or needs not be translated.
> So a clean separation between translatable strings and untranslatable
> code symbols is much harder than in C or Pascal, for example.

The programmers must also tell the translators what the strings mean.

If you take a random program, and extract the strings, you may get:

"square diamond"

amongst a few others.

Without a comment from the programmer such as:

"file"           "The sequence of bytes where data is stored."
"file"           "The folder where documents are stored."
"file"           "The tool to rasp things."
"x"              "Letter X, as in X-Files."
"open"           "Verb, in a command, like 'open computer file'."
"square diamond" "Type of file (the tool one)."

the translators could not come with the a correct translation such as:

"file"           "fichier"
"file"           "dossier"
"file"           "lime"
"X"              "X"
"Open"           "Ouvrir"  // Note the switch from imperative to infinive...
"square diamond" "diamand carrée"

so you can get

"Ouvrir fichier" for "Open file",
"Dossier X" for "X File", and
"lime diamand carrée" for "square diamond file".

(See for example, NSLocalizedString in OpenStep)

Now, the bet is, how many such occurances exist in emacs sources?

__Pascal Bourguignon__           

In a World without Walls and Fences, 
who needs Windows and Gates?

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