Add new language. Pirate English.

Asked by Chris Ford on 2009-04-20

I've read some of the documentation that explains how to add a language. I'm not sure if this is the right place or if Pirate English will be allowed as I can't find an ISO code for it. I can't see a problem in translating it though as there is already a well supported international talk like a pirate day!

The plural form expression is: singular (0 and 1) VS plural (2 and +)

Question information

Language:
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Status:
Solved
For:
Launchpad itself Edit question
Assignee:
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Solved by:
Chris Ford
Solved:
2009-04-21
Last query:
2009-04-21
Last reply:
2009-04-21
Adi Roiban (adiroiban) said : #1

Is Pirate English a proper language?
Is there an regulatory forum for Pirate English ?

I saw there are some automatic translation tools (http://www.syddware.com/cgi-bin/pirate.pl), but I could not find a gramar or spelling rules.

There were some serios talks about adding pirate english as a testing mechanism for i18n support in applications.

To bad there is not ISO code for this language.

Maybe we can accomodate this talk by using the country suffix. For example en_water, en_sea, en_ocean :D

I know Klingon is a language, but a never heard of Pirate English as a language, rather it can be considere a pirates jargon.

Cheers

Jeroen T. Vermeulen (jtv) said : #2

Adi's suggestion does avoid some technical problems (incomplete variants support, and the fact that we don't support translating to just "English"). But people would have to agree to some extent what the language really is before we could even think about creating it.

Speaking of which, I have my doubts about that plural expression. Wouldn't 0 use the plural, as in English? "Avast, 0 file was deleted matey" doesn't sound right.

Henning Eggers (henninge) said : #3

We have a policy in place that requires languages to have an ISO code.
FAQ #246: “My language has no ISO 639 code assigned. Can I still translate in Launchpad without one?”.

Chris Ford (christopher-ford) said : #4

Ok. This isn't going to happen unless I can get it added to the code list. I'll try. Arrrrr!

Ddorda (ddorda) said : #5

Chris, how's things going?
I was asked by users in my LoCo if there's a chance they will be able to translate into Pirate English.
Henning, is there a way to move from the policy sometimes? since Pirate English is not an official language anywhere, but might be seen in many places (and Facebook is translated to Pirate English too for ex.)

Adi Roiban (adiroiban) said : #6

I think that Pirate English should first get a ISO code like we have for Esperanto.
https://answers.edge.launchpad.net/rosetta/+faq/246

We can invent a code for Pirate English in Launchpad but we must remember that we are not alone and we should also have that code accepted in gettext / glib and create the proper locales.

BTW, each project can have custom languages and project owners are responsible for adding those languages.

So if you own a project in Launchpad you can invent your own code for Pirate English and enable your Pirate English translations.

Henning Eggers (henninge) said : #7

That is not True, I am afraid. Only registered language codes can bue used in Launchpad.

The ISO code policy still applies. ;)

bortis (bortis) said : #8

The thing with the ISO code is not so simple. I have tried to get a code for a language spoken in our region, but the ISO 639-3 did not accept it because they say that it belongs to an other language, wich is not true. We have a dictionary, a radio and even a tv station in that language! The main problem is, that the SIL has a background of a christian missionary organisation and they mainly only accept languages which are not releated to the european language group and which the holy book is not translated into.

The second problem is, that the approval process goes through an peer review process which are controlled from the universities. So there is no chance to get a code, if you don't have a disertation ready describing the background of that language or are knowing some linguists in a famous university.

I find the requirement of an ISO 639-3 code is not compatible with the open source philosophie, because no one is allowed to officialy translate something, if an aristocratic organisation will not give you an ISO 639 code :-(

Althought, the ISO standard specify a system to specify a variation or dialect of a language which has an ISO 639 code. For pirate english this would be something like en@pirate. The problem is, that canonical don't allow them on launchpad.

Until know, I have fought six year for a way to translate free software in to our language, but we have failed because of the described limitations. Six years ago a group that speaks that language have translatet nearly 50% of the Gnome software, but we where not allowed to commit the translation due the lack of a code :(

In the translation faq (https://answers.launchpad.net/rosetta/+faq/619) they say, that it is easy to get a language code, but that is simply not true.

David Planella (dpm) said : #9

Hi bortis,

El dc 12 de 05 de 2010 a les 21:45 +0000, en/na bortis va escriure:
> Question #68071 on Launchpad Translations changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/rosetta/+question/68071
>
> bortis posted a new comment:
> The thing with the ISO code is not so simple. I have tried to get a code
> for a language spoken in our region, but the ISO 639-3 did not accept it
> because they say that it belongs to an other language, wich is not true.
> We have a dictionary, a radio and even a tv station in that language!

That's because languages are not simple. Quite often it is difficult to
tell the boundaries between two separate languages and different
variants of the same one. There are different factors to have into
account: history of the language, of the region where it is (or was)
spoken, historical conflicts, the existence of a linguistic authority
and a formal grammar, etc. And the persons that can best decide on the
matter are the experts on the subject: linguists, philologists and all
those who focus on the study of languages.

Out of curiosity, which language code did you apply for to the standards
organisation, and to which code did they tell you it belonged? Do you
have any references from a public discussion where you applied for the
new code?

> The main problem is, that the SIL has a background of a christian
> missionary organisation and they mainly only accept languages which are
> not releated to the european language group and which the holy book is
> not translated into.
>

That is a very subjective view, but as far as I understand, regardless
of the ties between SIL and ISO with regards to language standards, it
is ultimately the International Standards Organisation's call to decide
which codes constitute a language on their own and to include them or
not in the standard.

> The second problem is, that the approval process goes through an peer
> review process which are controlled from the universities. So there is
> no chance to get a code, if you don't have a disertation ready
> describing the background of that language or are knowing some linguists
> in a famous university.
>

That's again very subjective, but in any case, I do agree that linguists
or linguistic authorities are the ones to decide on what constitutes a
new language. Quite often claims on separate languages come accompanied
by a political agenda ready to generate conflic, and I firmly believe
that discussions on language should be based on science, and not
politics. In short, the experts on the matter should lead the
discussion.

> I find the requirement of an ISO 639-3 code is not compatible with the
> open source philosophie, because no one is allowed to officialy
> translate something, if an aristocratic organisation will not give you
> an ISO 639 code :-(
>

I won't go into the philosofy part, but again, the idea is to use an
existing, internationally recognised standard for languages developed by
linguists. The alternative to me would be that each project use their
own system to define languages, but I do not think that the project
maintainers would have the knowledge to decide on what constitutes a
language and what not. The other option would be to use a different
system for defining locales (e.g.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IETF_language_tag), but you'll always find
an organisation coordinating the process of accepting new languages.

> Althought, the ISO standard specify a system to specify a variation or
> dialect of a language which has an ISO 639 code. For pirate english this
> would be something like en@pirate. The problem is, that canonical don't
> allow them on launchpad.
>

It's not about Canonical or Launchpad: you'll find the same in all other
Open Source projects, as you are mentioning it happened to you with
GNOME already. It's all about following the same standard for all Open
Source projects in order not to let each project define their own set of
incompatible projects, and the technology most of those projects use is
based on the locales defined in glibc. Glibc uses the ISO 639 standard
in order to use a recognised international standard to concentrate on
the technical aspects and let the experts in the ISO comittee to decide
on the linguistic aspects. On top of that, there is some degree of
customisation, as the use of @modifiers.

> Until know, I have fought six year for a way to translate free software
> in to our language, but we have failed because of the described
> limitations. Six years ago a group that speaks that language have
> translatet nearly 50% of the Gnome software, but we where not allowed to
> commit the translation due the lack of a code :(
>

Again, out of curiosity, which language is that one? And did you try to
apply for a variant code on glibc? That does not require a code being
defined by ISO if you can use an existing one with a modifier, and I
think that might be the best option for what you are trying to achieve.

> In the translation faq (https://answers.launchpad.net/rosetta/+faq/619)
> they say, that it is easy to get a language code, but that is simply not
> true.
>

I cannot see anywhere in that FAQ where it says so, but in any case,
don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that what you are trying to do is not
correct, I'm just trying to justify why the process is currently like it
is.

Regards,
David.

--
David Planella
Ubuntu Translations Coordinator
david(dot)planella(at)ubuntu(dot)com
www.ubuntu.com