Subject: Re: a (very) brief Guide to Translating the website into German
To: None <>
From: Jan Schaumann <>
List: netbsd-docs
Date: 01/14/2002 22:32:54
[sorry I haven't replied earlier - was on vacation]

Rainer Brandt <> wrote:
> Is there an accepted way of sending bug reports other than by way of
> including diff output?

As Martin suggested, you can also send corrections etc. to (at least, from tomorrow on, when I
fix the dammn list ;) or directly to me.  I should probably include this
in the "guide".

> For instance, the main page has a
> grammatical error in its second sentence:  It says "hochentwickelten
> Eigenschaften" where it should be "hochentwickelte Eigenschaften".
> (Of course, this still is a pretty awkward phrase anyway, but I
> realise that finding good translations is particularly hard in
> technological documentation.)

Agreed, it's awkward.  I will think about a better phrasing.

> Regarding the "Verfügbare Berater" hyperlink:  They are only
> available ("verfügbar") if they currently have spare time, which you
> probably don't want to guarantee.
> Also, it should be made clear that the consultants referred to are
> offering a commercial service.  (The orginial page says "Consultants
> for hire", and I believe these words were chosen for a reason.)
> So, rule #1 should be:  Don't change the meaning.

Yupp!  Martin corrected that nicely, I think.  I will include the rule
in the guide.

> Regarding the HTML entities (&auml; etc):
> See my message sent on 2001-12-04.  The W3C validator definitely does
> _not_ require them.  They only trigger on more conversion step on the
> client side.

Correct.  But in this case, the proper encoding needs to be included (in
the DOCTYPE?  I need to refresh my memory...).  I'll add something to
that extent to the guide as well.

> Regarding German pronounciation rules:


I wrote up two "rules" - one being to follow the "Neue Deutsche
Rechtschreibung" and one being to accept the "Duden" as an authority
with respect to spelling.

The first "rule" I would try to justify as follows:
All over Germany, the "Neue Deutsche Rechtschreibung" is the "law",
isn't it?  That is, every child is tought in elementary school to spell
words according to these new guidelines, and most publications such as
newspapers etc. do follow it, don't they?[1]
I see people who are unwilling to make the transition to the new
spelling rules as "stuck in the past", basically unwilling to change for
the sake of not changing ("_I_'ve always spelled it 'überschwenglich' and I
won't change it to 'überschwänglich'!").  It is common and it will
become more and more common, it is as authoritive as it could be.  I
belive the German translation of an English website should follow German
spelling, just as it follows German grammar and puncuation.  *shrug*

> It is
> certainly not correct to criticize either version as incorrect.
> Do you believe Irish or British authors should be forced to use the
> american pronounciation rules?

No, but if I were to put up a website under, I would certainly
use British English rather than American.

Regarding the second "rule" (the "Duden"):
I consider it a good idea to name one somewhat authoritive source with
respect to spelling.  It does happen that one source suggests an
alternate spelling for a certain word, and I think we should be
consisten throughout the site, which translation/spelling we use.  The
"Duden" seemed to me a good source.

Thanks a lot for your input, I do appreciate it and will make the
indicated changes. :)


[1] Not living in Germany, I have to make this assumption based on the
few German media (printed and online) that I do receive.