Translations of Elive

Maybe this is a stupid comment, but I make it anyway without meaning to insult anyone, because I think it is important for all potential users of Elive:

In my opinion the translations and even the English user interface could be much better, grammatically more correct and sometimes also more consistent.
Is there any 'original' language for the system? If it is English, even this needs some polishing, preferably by a native speaker, of course.
I am German and quite fluent in English, too, but I have come across a few things in dialogs where I was not sure what the message actually was. Sorry, I do not remember anything in particular - an operating system just has so many dialogs and menus...
When in doubt, I just drew upon my common sense and my acquired Linux knowledge and obviously did the right things.
Elive is technically great, and it would even be greater if these things would stand up to what it is otherwise as an operating system. I use it on a 2011 Mac mini, and I am impressed how well everything works and how reponsive it is. I can only recommend other owners of old Macs to try it out on their old machines and resuscitate them with Elive - much cheaper than a new Mac!

Hi Emil,
this was my first impression, as well. Fortunately I was between two jobs these days and where able to improve some German dialogs, thanks to Eltrans (works even offline in a train).

Your comment is not stupid, but useless. I don't want to attack you in person or in any way, because you are absolutely right.
If I'm right @Thanatermesis naive language is Spanish. He is a genius developer and problem solver. But when it comes to texting ... he has other quality :slight_smile: But also here, he has written a lot of funny gimmicks, that makes me smile even after all these years.

Because Eltrans is shipped with Elive it is easy for everyone to take action.
And this is the only way it will improved: Less discussion, more action.

A good team leader taught me once: "Don't ask for permission. Ask for forgiveness." If you are a little certain about how to improve the system and got the time, I think a lot of users will be happy.

The official version from 3 years ago: Eltrans: How to improve the English sentences in Elive (proofreading)

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Thank you for your comments.

Well, if Elive is basically a one-man show (it looks like that), this fact alone is amazing. It certainly is asking too much from a developer to also provide flawless UI texting. Insofar I agree perfectly with you. Other distros have whole teams working on all kinds of aspects, which makes it a lot easier to focus on just one kind of detail.

If you just take eltrans and do some translations: how do they get integrated into Elive? Is there a standard procedure? And is there a way of just translating the menus of, say, Scite, or the installer, for example, in order to be a bit more systematic and not translate a bit here and a bit there? How do I know which of the menu items or messages belong to what? And whom do I ask if I do not understand the exact meaning of a not-so-well-worded message? And what is my reference language? Would it be English as the most common international language? Unfortunately I do not speak Spanish, but I understand written Spanish to a certain extent. Probably not well enough, though, to catch all the details.

I would be interested to contribute something from time to time. This does not need to be a fixed obligation, just an hour here and an hour there, when I have time - that's the good thing about volunteer work.

I will also check out the link from your email and see what I can find there...

all the best

Oooh, they definitely could be a lot better :laughing: and I do make some efforts to 'un-tarzanize' (Thanatermesis' own word) the English in HowTos or the website but NOT in the programs ..... I simply don't have the time or even the urge to do that.

  1. I'm so used to his, sometimes strange word or grammar choices that I find them 'couleur locale' i.e a quaint something that defines Elive, in a nice and harmless way.

  2. Eltrans is a way to help out but like I said: I personally don't have the time and frankly I'm not a native speaker albeit I did grow up in an English environment.... it used to be my native tongue but not any more, and it shows. :slightly_frowning_face:
    Maybe you'd like to help out there..... not being a native speaker isn't a real worry i.e EuroEnglish will suffice when it comes down to on-screen messages and such.

A slight worry or issue might be that: Those that do read the pop-ups and texts, like you did have in fact already found their way to Elive and don't really need to be reached ...... We need a lot more publicity than we've been getting of late so any effort in that direction (facebook, twitter, mastodon, tiktok, whatever) would also be greatly appreciated.
Spread the word if you can!!

Thank you for your comments. 'Couleur locale' is a very nice way to speak about the Tarzan English - I love it. It is true: no other distro has that to offer.
And you are right: it is just too much text to edit for a single contributor. You cannot be everywhere. On the other hand, though: well-translated menus, messages and pop-ups also make for a more professional impression of a distro. And this one here really is very good under the hood!
Publicity is very important to make Elive more known, but I am not the right person to talk to, at least not as far as social networks are concerned.
I never felt the urge to use them right from the start, when everybody seemed to jump on the band wagon. The longer I watch their development the more I am convinced that they are a bad invention (at least the way they are today). They make it too easy for all kinds of nasty people to yell out their crappy opinions/views to the world and for all kinds of totalitarians to try and influence people, thus confusing many and destroying basic trust in factuality. In other words: undermine our democracies. 'Nothing is true, but everything is possible' (Peter Pomerantsev)
Sorry for this excursion - but I am completely happy with good old email. Maybe I could come up with a line about Elive in my email signature. How about that? And I have already installed Elive on two old Macs belonging to friends of mine in the offline world. They are completely happy with the result, too.

Frankly I'm not alone ... @TheTechRobo is also a frequent corrector of the English but even the 2 of us have our hands full there ..... and @Thanatermesis isn't an easy person to correct. :w00t:

So if you'd be willing to give a hand here and there, that would be awesome....just keep an eye here on the forums or indeed sign up for 'eltrans' if it's the programs themselves you're interested in.

Any help is greatly appreciated. :innocent:

Aye, but OTOH it does also give good people a way to voice their beliefs.

Good for you :+1: it's one of the best ways of showing the prowess of Elive but bear in mind that there's still a lot of room for improvement. Not only in translations but also in UX design, app choices, strategies, etc, etc. ...... so don't hesitate to share your opinions or wishes here.

Ahhh, that's something that not everyone notices (or simply takes for granted) but is one of the defining aspects as to why I couldn't switch to another distro .... even if I wanted to.

I will see what I can do. I will take a look at eltrans, how it works, and then decide what will be doable for me.
What would you recommend: doing German translations or rather focus on English first (hopefully I'll do a good enough job there...)?

Of course, I agree. Thank God the social networks can be used for many, many good purposes, but they are neither capable nor willing (less profitable) to control the bad guys sufficiently. Bad news, uproar and spectacle unfortunately always attract bigger crowds. Mastodon to me seems to be a good alternative, but most people dread the work of setting up an instance for themselves. Facebook and the like are sooo much more comfortable...

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hi @Emil (i didn't read the full thread :slight_smile: ), thanks for your comments, yes the wording can be improved a lot and eltrans is made to support that too, on the other hand english to english translations are a delicate process because needs to be done in a reverse-engineered mode lol, in any case the eltrans tool explains (hopefully, in some kind of tarzanic way lol) why the importance of these specific steps

if you want i can give you an eltrans account so you can use it

yes, the wording of the elive apps needs to be improved, that's stills in my todo list, especially the installer which is the one that contains most of sentences (and the oldest ones too, which means: more tarzanic)


Thank you for your annotations. It sounds like I should take a look at the installer messages first. Is there a way in eltrans to see which ones belong to the installer? An operating system has so many messages of all kinds, and I would like to avoid randomly editing messages or menu items without knowing if I systematically edit things belonging to one application. Otherwise I might end up editing stuff scattered all over the place :frowning:

And is there a way of keeping track of what one already has edited? If it's a lot of stuff, you may well lose track of what is already completed and what still needs attention.

Here's what the eltrans program choosing screen looks like

And poedit's UI:

There's a Needs Work toggle, that all translators can see

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I think, first and foremost English. That after all is the base from which all other translations are derived.

The translations aren't immediately made public ... meaning they require proofreading. So any mistakes will/should fall through.

Of course there will be some inevitable language creep when translating, especially in longer texts.

I.e it shows in your message:

Now that's Germanic language creep. :innocent:

'spectatcle' is, if plural i.e a 'pair of glasses' but not a correct translation of the German (or Dutch) 'spektakel' which actually doesn't have an English translation as a noun.
It can be used in the form of an adjective like 'spectacular' though.

Thank you for all your comments. Really helpful.
If you recommend English as the universal starting point, I will focus on that first. And if there will be native speakers for proofreading here, all the better.
As for the language creeps, they may well happen from time to time. Nobody is purrfact :wink:
But you should also know that I am well aware of this, and if I have any doubts, I will definitely consult a good dictionary, if I am translating or writing something 'official'. But a post in a forum is different. As long as you get your message across, all is fine. It just takes too long to look things up just because you don't know a single word.
This is the art of translating anyway (and also a sign of having mastered a foreign language), that you also know all the idiomatic stuff and workarounds for hard or impossible to translate words and expressions. I do my best, and after decades of speaking English, I still keep learning and picking up new things.

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Native speakers as proofreaders are actually thinly spread but there will always be a form of review, no worry.

translations modified can be always seen on here :slight_smile: Timeline – Elive Development

thank you for all these infos. I'll check everything out...
Have a nice weekend

So then, first of all: I need a tanslator's account. Would you mind setting up one for me?
Thank you.

Only @Thanatermesis can do that for you. He has access to the servers.

  • Bear in mind that he is in the American timezone ATM.

Ah, allright - I'll write to him and wait for a reply...

Sorry, this is a bit off-topic, but since you had mentioned it earlier, I took out some of my good old analog dictionaries and found (also to my surprise to a certain extent) that 'spectacle' does exist in English in the same sense as in Dutch or German. Very interesting!
The New Webster's says: spectacle - everything presented to the sight or view, esp. something of a striking kind...
You never stop learning. I read a lot of books in English, and depending on what they are about, you always come across new unknown words. Even after decades, it never ends... :wink:

You're right.
I realized later that 'spectacle' also gets used as a noun in the sense of something being "quite a spectacle to behold", etc.