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Re: Texinfo translation error, texinfo_document domain

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: Texinfo translation error, texinfo_document domain
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2022 17:23:25 +0200

Hi Gavin,

> > It sounds wrong to expect translators to use TeXinfo syntax for
> > non-ASCII characters, for three reasons:
> > 
> > 1) Translator tools support the common (state-free) charset encodings,
> >    namely UTF-8, ISO-8859-*, and so on. Not TeX with \, not TeXinfo with
> >    @, not ISO-2022-*. PO files that expect TeXinfo syntax deny translators
> >    from the ability to use their native input methods.
> > 
> >    I guess this is the reason why you don't see Chinese, Hindi, Vietnamese,
> >    Armenian, etc. translations for texinfo/po_document/*.po.
> UTF-8 is allowed and works.  See e.g. po_document/uk.po.

Good, that's better than I thought. Then, why are there no Chinese, Hindi,
etc. translations of this POT file? Karl [1] suggested that "there is
confusion in both directions among the translators". Maybe it's as simple
as sending a mail to these translation teams and clarifying to them that they
can submit normal UTF-8 PO files for this domain?

> > 2) Even for translators who are familiar with the TeXinfo syntax, the
> >    TeXinfo syntax allows for mistakes like the one reported above, that
> >    could not happen if UTF-8 was used for the encoding, in the translator's
> >    workflow.
> I remember supporting Texinfo in document strings was a significant
> complication as we had to parse the results.  However, it works fine now
> and would be hard to eliminate completely.

>From [1] is sounds like you see it as a feature that translators can
introduce their own markup, e.g. add @itemize where they find it useful.
Although this feature turns into a misfeature at the moment when the
maintenance of a PO file passes from one member of the translation team
to another.

> Currently there are some strings like
> msgid "see {reference} in @cite{{book}}"
> We'd have to work out if we could change it to
> msgid "see {reference} in {book}"

msgid "see {reference} in @cite{{book}}"
is not a problem. Translators are used to preserving markup in the
translations, whether it be HTML, TeXinfo, or any other markup language.

No one is asking you to remove @cite and such from the msgids.

If there is enough demand, there could even be a syntax check in 'msgfmt'
for this kind of syntax (e.g. to verify that the translator has no
accidentally omitted some opening or closing brace).

My complaint was only about the (apparent / confused) need to use TeXinfo
syntax *for non-ASCII characters*.


[1] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/texinfo-devel/2015-04/msg00009.html

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