Published: Wednesday 2004-09-01.
Jesper Holmberg is working on the Swedish translations of Microsoft
software, and has started
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
the program into Swedish, plus that in my free time I am involved in
and is responsible for the translations of the central packaging tools
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.