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Re: Emacs i18n

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Emacs i18n
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 23:31:56 -0400

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  > > I can envision something like this:
  > > 
  > >        "russian-nom:%d байт%| скопирован%|, %s, %s"
  > > 
  > > where the 'russian-nom' operator would replace the two %| sequences
  > > with the appropriate declensional suffixes for the nominative case.

  > But Russian declension is not that simple. The Russian word for "byte" is 
  > "байт", but its plural form depends not only on the number (as in the above 
  > examples) but also in its case:

Yes, of course.  I anticipated that.  That is why I called the
construct 'russian-nom', and specified that it provides "the
appropriate declensional suffixes for the nominative case."

We could define similar constructs for some of the other cases in
Russian, whichever ones translators would want to use.

    the "байт" and "байта" in the above examples are 
    not exhaustive.

No problem.  Nobody supposed that they were.  

                    And some words have irregular declensions:

I anticipated that, too.  The low-level forms 'russian-masc' and
friends can handle all such situations.  In them you can specify the
precise conjugated forms for the irregular words in the message.

  > nd it's not just nouns and 
  > pronouns that are affected: adjectives also have singular and plural forms.

'russian-masc' and friends allow explicit conjugation of any parts of

  >  And we'd have 
  > to deal with the fact that not every Russian-speaker agrees with how to 
  > words like "байт" that are imported from English.

The translator is always welcome to use the low-level constructs
'russian-masc' and friends, to exercise explicit control over that.

  > I have by no means exhausted the issues involved here; to get a better 
  > for the complexity in this area, please see:

  > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_declension

I don't need to understand all the details of Russian numbers.  I've
designed a method so flexible that it can handle any such

  > And we'd also have to 
  > implement and document similarly tricky rules for other languages.

No, we don't.  With my approach, we don't _have to_ implement any of
these specific solutions.  We can implement whichever ones we like.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (https://gnu.org, https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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