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Reflections from a Swede in Norway.

Here you will find my small graffiti board where I write about things I come to think about.

In my blog, I write about the general unfairness of life, about spam mail, vintage computers, board games, Norwegians, current and not-so-current affairs, technology and whatever else occurs to me — in other words, a glorious mess. All opinion expressed here are of course my own, and all similarities with any living people is of course intentional.

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Fellow translators

Published: Wednesday 2004-09-01.

Jesper Holmberg is working on the Swedish translations of Microsoft software, and has started blogging about his experiences in the field, something I find a very interesting read since I also work on such things. Beside the development work I do at Opera I also translate the program into Swedish, plus that in my free time I am involved in Translation Project and is responsible for the translations of the central packaging tools dpkg, dselect and apt in Debian (plus translating the web site of the project).

That things easily can go wrong when computers are involved is something I am very much aware of—I remember when I first started translating Opera 4.0 into Swedish (the translations weren’t released until 5.0). I had been assigned to updating the translation system, and since I required a language to test with (and since I like software that speak the same language I do) I started out with a Swedish version. I had generated a stand-alone language database sorted numerically without any context information. This file I had translated, and when I plugged the language file back into Opera I was quite surprised to, in the dialogue where you enter your address, find a field telling me to entry my Tillstånd, which means “permission”, but also means State, which was the word I had mistranslated because I had no idea of where in the program it was shown.

Since then we have improved the file format we send to our translators, to try avoiding this kind of problems. I am still responsible for the technical part when it comes to translations, but I always make sure to use myself as a guinea pig when we do changes. Errors still occur from time to time, but those are on me.

And in case anyone was wondering I write this blog first in Swedish, for then to translate it into English, whereas other parts of the web site most often get their English text written first.

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