Please add en@shaw

Asked by Arc "warthog" Riley on 2009-10-04

This question has been posted before and dismissed several months ago as technically difficult and a low priority. I am repeating this request;

According to Launchpad Translations FAQ #23 language variants are now supported. I have searched for bugs regarding language variant support and found them stale for more than two years, in light of the FAQ it appears this has been solved.

I disagree with the assessment that this is a "translation to English"; while it's the same vocal language the written form is entirely different; transliterated strings about 1/3rd smaller than the original, 48 glyphs including 20 vowels, the phonetic translation represents much more than a cosmetic remapping of characters from one alphabet to another. This translation effort may also eventually aid sight-impaired users as text-to-speech could work much more accurately using the Shaw alphabet as it's source.

If the above FAQ is incorrect and this technical inadequacy in rosetta persists, please advise us on how we should proceed.


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Henning Eggers (henninge) said : #1

As explained by my collegue on the maiing list, the FAQ was wrong and variants are not supported by Launchpad. I fixed the FAQ.

Sorry for the inconvenience.


Arc "warthog" Riley (arcriley) said : #2

Then please advise us on how we should proceed.

We have a team of volunteers working on this translation. If the Rosetta software is currently unable to support us what is the recommended process for us to build and distribute this language pack?

Thank you

Henning Eggers (henninge) said : #3

There are (at least) two steps missing:

1. Create the locale in Ubuntu.
2. Hack Launchpad to fully support variants. Obviously, this would have to be solved in a general matter, to support different scripts for other languages, too. The starting point for developers wanting to help develop Launchpad is

Please come back to us for help about the actual implementation of the features that you want to add. We will support community developers as much as we can. ;)

A final problem might be that en@shaw would normally go into the English language pack for Ubuntu which is part of the installation CD. It's obvious that space on that CD is limited, so it might get stripped out and have to be published as a separate language pack. You will have to chase the Ubuntu people to get that done.

So, to be clear, we will not be able to add the feature that you require but are happy to support any community developer in developing that feature and integrate it into Launchpad.


Arc "warthog" Riley (arcriley) said : #4

All three members of our team are proficient Python developers and are willing to contribute to Launchpad.

Our status is that we have a 120k+ word dictionary for mapping words from @latin to @shaw. As with most variants the spoken version of the language is the same so the transliteration can be done on a word-by-word basis. We also have scripts to perform auto-transliteration based on this dictionary, only requiring us to add missing words (mostly proper names) not contained in the dictionary and other minor cleanup.

I believe it would be helpful for both our effort and most other variants to support a word dictionary (vs phrase suggestions) and this level of automation within Launchpad. With such a system it would be a minor effort to maintain each variant.

Unless I misunderstand the process for entering and maintaining translations, lack of this support within Launchpad would result in us having to write a script to batch-submit translated strings via Launchpad's web UI. If a word-by-word dictionary within Launchpad is not desirable it would be helpful both in terms of bandwidth and server load to provide an API for working with external scripts or even just uploading the translation files directly.

I do not know how the components of Launchpad interoperate or which need work to support language variants. If you tell us what needs work and how to submit our changes we would be happy to implement.

Thomas Thurman (marnanel) said : #5

I am also willing to help hack Launchpad to support this.

How is it currently possible that Launchpad supports en_GB if it can't support variants?

Arc "warthog" Riley (arcriley) said : #6

Variants are different from countries, though it should be a minor change really.

Could really use some guidance on what needs to be worked on in the code. All we've been told so far is that the rosetta UI doesn't support it.

Karl Fogel (kfogel) said : #7

Thank you for the offer to help fix Launchpad to do this. The best place to continue the discussion is now the launchpad-dev@ mailing list -- see for more. If there's general agreement that this feature is desirable, people will step forward to answer questions and help guide you to the right places in the code.

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