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Re: French translation of Bison runs afoul of gettext 0.15

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: French translation of Bison runs afoul of gettext 0.15
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 13:22:22 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.1008 (Gnus v5.10.8) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Bruno Haible <address@hidden> writes:

> these %d directives are meant to give some information to the
> user. If the English original string shows the precise number of
> reduce/reduce conflicts, but the translation only shows that there
> is more than 1, without giving the number, the translation is
> inadequate. This is why msgfmt gives an error.

Thanks for explaining this.

I guess in the back of my mind I was thinking about a language like
Pirahã, which doesn't have number words.  A translation into such a
language might plausibly contain the equivalent of "many" insted of
giving a specific number, since any specific number would make the
translation unidiomatic, and the translator might prefer the idiomatic
form to the form that preserves more information.

But on second thought such languages are rare and have few speakers,
and we needn't worry about them until someone actually needs
translations for them.  Quite possibly they'll uniformly use
circumlocutions containing Arabic-style numerals, even if the language
itself doesn't have numbers.

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