Fog Creek Software
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Very OLD translations

I have noticed that most of your translations are months and months old,  most of them only have one of two articles spanning a couple of years. Seem like you have a "presence" in other languages but no real "substance".
Why do you think it's important to have extremely old articles in a bunch of foreign languages?

Deluding Yourself
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

THe entire world does not speak English, if you didn't know that!

It is the quality of article that matters, not WHEN!

Prakash S
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

I don't know what idiot published the last reply since somehow he managed to get it through without a name but it looks to me like he has never left his cubbyhole in the mid-west, or wherever he miscegenated..

The entire first world does not speak English. The percentage of people who have sufficient knowledge of English to read a nomal adult book in, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the  European Community excluding the UK and Eire, and South America, is under 5%. The proportion is obvioulsy higher among scientists, but there is a world of difference between understanding a technical manual, and being able to fully understand an article on a general topic.

I happen to work in the field of teaching English to Foreigners, and can assure you that the tens or hundreds of thousands of native English speaking teachers spread around the globe are not collecting their salaries in bowls of rice. To give you one statistic language-learning tourism is the UK's fourth largest industry.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

The reason many of the translations are "out of date" is obvious. It takes time to translate something, and as the translations are done voluntarily, then the translator will choose the articles he considers the most interesting, which will only coincidentally be the most recent.

The same applies to commercial translations; most of the major software help books are translated into Arabic, but the translations are always quite a few weeks behind the English Edition.

Also if somebody decides to translate a couple of articles, and then can't do any more because of pressure of work, the old articles will remain on site, so in fact, as more and more are translated, the bias will become increasingly towards the older pieces.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Dear Deluding Yourself,
                                    A Congressman summed this nonsense about translations and bilingualism up a long time ago.
                                    "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it should be good enough for them!"

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Hey brain surgeon:  South america isn't 1st world.
I also like how you try to skew the stats by dropping the UK.
Further, we are talking about technical reading here, not the ability to read the national enquirer.  You did catch that, didn't you?

Alas, english pubs garners over 95% of all citations in scientific research.

http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/v14p258y1991.pdf

And I'll bet you those who wrote in languages other than english can still read it.


Tuesday, November 19, 2002

I think I'm missing one half of the conversation here because some of the replies have (very sensibly, probably) been moderated out.

Dropping the UK and Ireland (and Aus/NZ) from stats on % of English speakers is pretty sensible, since the vast majority of people in these countries (myself included) speak English as their first language.

What's far more interesting is the % of people who speak English as a second language. I would say there's quite a few countries that have a fairly high rate of English understanding, but as was already pointed out, being able to follow technical documents in a foreign language is requires quite a high degree of literacy.

Sure, most of the technical terms come from English, but that's only a small part of the equation, and understanding complex concepts is a lot more difficult than ordering online.

Further, most of Joel's articles are not particularly date sensitive. Just because they're old, doesn't mean they're out of date.

Just my opinions.

James

James Shields
Tuesday, November 19, 2002



"Alas, english pubs garners over 95% of all citations in scientific research."

Yes, most of my best research was done in pubs. Or so it seemed until I sobered up afterwards.

David Clayworth
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Dear No Name

Perhaps you would like to give us a list of countries you consider first world? Large parts of South America would have been considered first world until the latest economic crash. You would certainly find many "first world" standards of living there, co-existing with great poverty. And every country in South America has a higher GNP per capita than India, which provides a fair chunk of the world's programmers. Western and Central Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan still add up to a lot of people.

Sure 95% of papers are published in "English". But you'll find that the English is nearly all limited technical vocabulary. The guy who wrote it understands the English in his field, but still has difficulty understanding a general English article, and if you had bothered to read Joel's articles you would have found that they are more general than technical (if they weren't I wouldn't be able to understand them).

I used to teach English to the guy responsible for designing the solar panels for NASA. One of the things I had to do was go through his articles. He pointed out that I should ignore the technical words - he understood them much better than I did - but that it was stringing them together that he found difficult. Another thing he mentioned was that he felt his English was improving because he had gone to an international conference and everybody spoke English (including the French) he could understand them with the exception of the British and the Americans.

For an English speaker the level of difficulty of a text goes (in ascending order) from a tabloid, to an article in the quality magazines, to a highly technical article. For a non English speaking speciialist the order is reversed. Joel's articles aren't as incomprehensible to a foreigner as a "Sun" or "Daily Mail" headline, but they are much more difficult than a technical manual.

Have you never wondered why it takes as long to study a modern language at a university as it does a science subject?

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Stephen,

Add China to that list.

I agree that that it's people who speak the language natively who are the hardest to understand (they're so colloquial).

Also FYI, when I was writing technical manuals for IBM, their style guideline was that the complexity of the grammar at least (e.g. as measured by a software tool) should be aimed at the 'average reading age' of 11- or 12-year-olds.

> Have you never wondered why it takes as long to study a modern language at a university as it does a science subject?

A friend graduated with a degree in Chinese and was hired by Sotheby's (the art auctioneers) to be their specialist in Chinese art (instead of their hiring someone with an art or an art history degree): they said it was much easier to teach chinese art to someone who already knew the chinese language, than it is to teach the chinese language to someone who already knows chinese art.

Christopher Wells
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

totally off topic, but: "Have you never wondered why it takes as long to study a modern language at a university as it does a science subject? "

because university language programs are paced wrong, and are not immersive. language learning is measured in consecutive hours, not years. the US defense language institute makes people fluent in any non-asian/non-arabic language in 1 year.  in my own experience, I learned all the spanish I'll ever need to know by spending 6 months at a language school in mexico.  8 hours a week (what most uni courses expect in terms of class/homework) does not cut it.

linguicist
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

The US defense method is used in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf to teach Engish to the military. It is a major disaster and only continues in operation because the vested interests (or simple inertia) of the US military.

Let's look further at your statement that we should be counting consecutive learning hours. Using the UK guidelines which is what I am used to, for Romance or Germanic speakers it takes about 500 - 750 class hours in small classes of a maximum of twenty (and ideally less than ten) to reach Cambridge First Certificate standard. I think you could reasonably add a couple of hundred of hours of home study on top of that.

That level is just about the standard where you can start reading standard texts, as opposed to texts that are especially tailored for foreigners. To get to the standard where you can read a general Enclish text such as a "Washington Post" article, with not much more difficulty than you could read the equivalent in your own language, you probaly need to get to the Diploma level which is half way to the Proficiency Level (which is the language level of the upper third of native English speaking High School leavers). To get to the Diploma level from First Certificate Level you need about two years of part time classes, say another 300 - 400 hours, but with about 1000 hours of class study thrown in, Now bear in mind that these figures are for those fiorn language sub-families related to English (Germanic and Romance) and increae the time proportionately for Japanese, Chinese or Arabic speakers, and you will find the figures coming pretty close to the equivalent of a couple of years of full-time study.

Now a lot of Spanish, French and Italians for example suceed in reaching that level. But they start learning English in Language School or Private classes at the age of eight or nine, take First Certificate sometime between the age of sixteen and eighteen, and get to Diploma level when they finish their degree in whatever subject they're doing. Also they will probably spend a fair number of summers in the UK or US and/or take a few months or a year studying or working there.

Now you spent six months full time learnng "all the Spanish you need to know" studying eight hours a day for six months and living in the country the other eight hours of the day (so, maybe the equivalent of a year). And I doubt if that six months will allow you to log on to the web sites of "El País" "La Vanguardia" or "El Periódico de Cataluña" and read and understand the articles as easily as you could if they were in "The Washington Post" or "The Independent".

I agree with you however that Universltu Language programs are often paced wrong. I think it is probably because they are trying to adhere to a "university" specification rather than one tailored to the needs of learning a foreign language. The most important factor in successful language learning is setting - that is to say the students should be studying material adapted to their level. Unfortunatlely both schools and universities insist on students following the age group rather than the ability level, with the consequent disastrous results.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

"And I doubt if that six months will allow you to log on to the web sites of "El País" "La Vanguardia" or "El Periódico de Cataluña" and read and understand the articles as easily as you could if they were in "The Washington Post" or "The Independent"."

of course i can't understand the articles as easily as if they were in english, however i CAN UNDERSTAND the articles, which is "good enough."  the point i was trying to make (badly, apparently) is that a four year US university degree in "spanish" would have given me the same spanish ability as 6 months of intensive spanish in mexico.

linguicist
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Well, let me be the first to respond in support of the Original Post.
Nobody is saying that the articles shouldn't be translated, or that everyone should go out and learn English.  But take Danish.  There are all of 2 articles translated into Danish, neither one is less than 2 years old.  I'm sure that the non english speaking Danes appreciate it.  As do the non english speaking Filipinos, who can come to the site and read the ONE (2 year old) article that has been translated to Tagalog.  But really, does it actually enhance the site to have that one Tagalog article?  And with its very own link from the main page?  Wouldn't it be so much better to pick 2 - 4 target languages and translate most of the site to them, instead of 2 articles into each language?
And - I know the last guy who asked this question (in a different thread a few weeks ago) was shouted down, but I'll ask it again - why *are* those links above the discuss links?
Go ahead, flame on!

Brian
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Brian, I think the discussion links should be above the fold as well.  I guess Joel doesn't click through his own homepage to get to the dicussions, so he doesn't feel our pain.

Scott Gamon
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

I don't have issue with foreign languages, I am fully aware that the bulk of the world doesn't speak English.

Anybody knows that.

It just seems a bit silly to me. 18 links to ancient articles written by whoever this blog belongs too. I realised eventually that it was about software, which doesn't concern me. I was just looking at other peoples weblogs and trying to get some ideas for my own, at least I saw what not to do.

Deluding Yourself
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Also, I don't want to be negative, but my husbands sister in law is a native of X (born and bred) and she says the X translation is absolutely appalling.

Sorry to say X but I don't want to reflect badly on whoever is doing that particular (mis)translation free of charge.

Deluding Yourself
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

I'm not sure if I've missed the point. This isn't some sort of concentrated industrial-strength translation exercise. This is people giving up their free time for to do some translations for a popular, but niche, website.

Joel isn't directing some sort of FogCreek translation department, these people can pick and choose what they want to translate.

I mean, what does anyone expect? Sure they aren't going to be fantastic translations, but is anyone who can criticise the translations here actually going to help out? (FYI I have been assisting)

A.J.
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

No you haven't missed the point. You've just chosen not to see it.

Deluding Yourself
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Dear Deluding Yourself,
                                    I think it is a very wise decision on your part not to want to have translations into foreign languages on your own weblog.

                                      If your contributions to this forum are anything to go by, then you might consider doing away with English as well.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

my dad can beat up your dad


Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Dear Brian,
                  The guy who suggested in another thread that the discussion links should come before the translation links wasn't shouted down. In fact the only person who disagrees with that eminently sensible suggestion is Joel himself. The same is true about the requests for a preview window that he resolutlely refuses to countenance.

                    You may be right that an in depth presence in one or two foreign languages would be preferable to a skimpy one in eighteen, but the choice doesn't exist. The guy translating into simplified chinese is not going to translate into Brazilian Portuguese instead, or vice-versa. You either have the Chinese or the Romanian translation or nothing at all.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Brian,

My reasons for having a link to maybe even one article in any language:

* giving equal importance to all languages.

* If a non english dane reads the article, and knows some other dane who knows english as well as danish, that non engliosh dane can ask this dane (who knows both the languages) to start translating other articles (assuming he/she likes the first article)

Prakash S
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

>>The guy who suggested in another thread that the discussion links should come before the translation links wasn't shouted down

Well, I can't find the discussion anymore, but my recollection was that it turned into the same shouting match as this one:  "Not everybody speaks English blah blah imperial blah".  There was one comment that stuck in my mind about "how dare Joel waste a second of your precious time", in regards to how the discussion link really should be more prominant and accessible (i.e. above the translations).  And this on a discussion board of a site that tries to promote usability!
I wish I had responded at the time.

>> You may be right that an in depth presence in one or two foreign languages would be preferable to a skimpy one in eighteen, but the choice doesn't exist. The guy translating into simplified chinese is not going to translate into Brazilian Portuguese instead, or vice-versa. You either have the Chinese or the Romanian translation or nothing at all.

Perhaps, but I still think it adds little (if anything) to have a single article translated to Tagalog.  I realize that Joel fomented this as a grass-roots translation campaign, and since it is done on a volunteer basis, he pretty much has to put up all the translations he gets if he wants people to do more.  But I think that it has a negative overall impact on the site.  What's the worst that could happen if he took down the Korean link?  The one guy who translated an article wouldn't send him any more translations?  I'm not saying we should shut out the Koreans, I'm just saying that having one article in Korean does not count as supporting Korean by any stretch of the imagination.  Depth should be preferable to breadth.

Brian
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Dear Brian,
                  Depth should be preferable to breadth. A nice cliche with little meaning and not at all appropriate here. Depth and breadth are not alternatives in this scenario. As I said before the alternative isn't one translation into Korean or another translation into Spanish. It's a translation into Korean as opposed to nothing at all.

                  What would be gained by taking off the translation into Korean. Absolutely nothing at all. As Joel said in the previous thread it's not as if the screen estate the language links are taking up is actually going to be used for anything. And the other language versions, apart from their intrinsic value, will show up on Seach Engines and biring visitors to this site who would not otherwise find it.

                  One thing everybody but Joel is agreed on however is that the language links should be less obtrusive, and come after the links to the discussion forum. Perhaps we could try emailing the intern on this one!

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Dear Linguicist,
                      Apologies if I came over a little too aggressive in my last post to you. The first message in the thread invited friction and I'm afraid you might have got caught by a couple of the sparks.

                      I agree with you that some universities teach languages badly, though there are immense differences between them, and sometimes language schools and unversities are trying to do different things.

                        The basic point I was trying to make was that it takes a long time to get to the level of proficiency in a foreign language that you are almost as comfortable in a text in one language as you are in another, and that until you reach that level then translations are useful. The pioint is that  "I can understand" is not an absolute, The question is "how much?"

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Are you computer types all this argumentitive?

A silly thing like bad language conversions of dubious content into probably unread languages is an obvious nonsense.

Still, if it gets your rocks off...

Deluding Yourself
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

i'm actually not a "computer type." I'm unemployed, and am supported by my husband, who is a sheep shaver. I'm doing research about blogs, to get some ideas about what to include in my own blog.  I like to post on random bulletin boards to keep from crying about my weight problem.

linguicist
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

>> Depth should be preferable to breadth. A nice cliche with little meaning and not at all appropriate here.

What?  "Little meaning and not at all appropriate"?  I don't even know how to address this.

>>As I said before the alternative isn't one translation into Korean or another translation into Spanish

Perhaps not the way Joel has it set up, with a volunteer brigade doing the translations.  Maybe the current situation is the inevitable outcome of that approach.  But to claim that there are no other alternatives is to be disingenuous.  There are other ways to go about translating a web site.  If you visit a "real" web site, and you choose the "Language X" version, do you expect to find that only 5% of the site has been translated?

>>And the other language versions, apart from their intrinsic value, will show up on Seach Engines and biring visitors to this site who would not otherwise find it.

Maybe.  I just think it's silly to so prominantly feature such massively incomplete translation efforts.

Brian
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

"Depth is preferable to breadth" Sounds good but what does it mean in a paricular context.? That ten years specialization in neurosurgery is preferable a superficial knowledge of liung ailments, tropical diseases, venereal diseases and pop physcology? True if you're going to be a brain surgeon, but not so if you're going to be a GP in an inner city.

"But to claim that there are no other alternatives is to be disingenuous.  There are other ways to go about translating a web site.  If you visit a "real" web site, and you choose the "Language X" version, do you expect to find that only 5% of the site has been translated?"

Sure Joel could pay to have the site fully translated into a couple of languages. just send him the cheque (or pay by credit card) and I'm sure you'll get your few thousand dollars worth.

What you call a "real" web site is a large corporate web site set up for the purpose of providing a service (and thus making money) to people of different nationalities. This site ia a blog and discussion forum set up to throw a few ideas around, and possibly to indirectly provide some good publicity for the company. There is no suggestion that there are other language versions of the whole site. The different language links have the word "translations" clearly put at the top.

The only point you have is that the language links should be further down the page, after the links to the discussion forums, and this is something everybody but Joel is in agreement on.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

The only reason I can come up with for having the lanuages before the other links is to let people (who access the main page > then discuss) know that there are articles available in a particular language.

Prakash S
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Not nornally recommended but you could have bookmarks for discuss and translation going to the fuller lists later down the page.

But you're more likely to miss out knowing there are discussion forums with the present layout.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, November 21, 2002

Actually I've jsut been previewing the Joel on Software home page at different resolutions, and it does suggest that the problem is not that Joel doesn't use his own home page but that he looks at it on one if his super 21" + browsers :)

Even at 1280 x1024 (my default resolution) I miss out the search link at the bottom, and more and more gets truncated as the resolution gets smaller. nearly every other web site I know places the search button at the top.

So the definite answer to Joel's question last month about what else would you do with the screen estate is use it for links to what you want to see.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, November 21, 2002

The question of quality of the translations is an interesting one. Joel is heavily dependant on the volunteer translators and copy editors, and unless he has some understanding of the language in question, can only take their word that the translation is accurate.

And we only have Mr Dillusion's word that his wife's sisters's husband's dog (forgive me for not recalling the exact nature of the relationship) has a better understanding of the language than the volunteer translators.

But when you rely on volunteers you will always have variations in the quality of the work.

As for debth over breath, this echoes the current topic of critical paths rather nicely... cutting out less common languages isn't going to make more resources available for the common ones. You can't ask a Korean volunteer to translate into French instead! Naturally, there are likely to be more volunteers for the common languages, to they will proceed faster, but the goal of all articles in all languages remains a good one.

As for screen real estate, I agree with giving languages equal precedence, but I wonder if there's a better way to display the information. I rather like the idea of a row of flags representing them all across the top. It could even take a little bite out of the edge of the Joel on Software banner.

Sorry for the random bag of thoughts!

James

James Shields
Thursday, November 21, 2002

"I rather like the idea of a row of flags"

Any idea how much that would add to the size of the page?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, November 21, 2002

James - Actually, it's "Mrs" Dillusion as you so nicely put it. And my "wife's sisters's husband's dog",  is actually my husbands sister in law, its fairly simple, no dogs involved at all, or Kangaroos for that matter either, none at all. Never mind, you ask for our forgiveness, and you have it, with all our blessings.

Anyway this "dog" as you called her. Is a native of one of the countries in the translations, she could not read the sentences as they are constructed incorrectly.

Which brings us to the realisation that in all probablility nobody is even reading the translations, and that there is no QA process at all. I thought QA was important to computer geeks?

Deluding Yourself
Thursday, November 21, 2002

Dear Ms. Deliuding Yourself,
                                          Your persistence in posting on a site dedicated to a topic you freely admit to having no interest in and  clearly show no knowledge of is interesting.

                                          I will be charitable and put it down to yur wish to broaden our horizons and make us realize that we are a load of sad gits because we don't realize that anything not written in the last two weeks is OLD, ANCIENT, I MEAN SO LAST YEAR, independently of whether it happens to be one of the most lucid descriptions in its particular field.

                                            If you tell us which language you are referring to then it is just possible we may be able to agree with you. Alternatively you could ask your brother-in-law's wife to email Joel with her criticisms.

                                              As to the fact that the piece hasn't been pulled despite its alleged linguistic deficiencies, there are various possible reasons. Whatever the date of the piece, the actual tranlsation may be recent, the speakers who read it in its native language couldn't understand it so simply moved on to another site, the people who speak that language and also speak English had already read it in English, and the people who didn't speak English can't email Joel in English anyway, or they did email Joel to complain in their own language and Joel sent it to the translator to tranlsate and he informed Joel that they had written to say how impressed they were by the article and its translation, and how they would like to offer their sisters in marriage to Joel and the translator next time they pased by Ulan Bator. There also is the posibility that your husband's brother's wife is plain wrong.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, November 21, 2002

"There also is the posibility that your husband's brother's wife is plain wrong"

Posibility - what is that?

Oh, you mean possibility.

Inconceivable, she is a native of that country, she also has a Phd in Physics from London university.

Her English is better than yours too.

Deluding Yourself
Thursday, November 21, 2002

I apologise for my former confusion, but I can't help wonder why you would go to the trouble to get a fairly distant relative to check the accuracy of the translation of a site on a topic you have no interest in...

Your comments about quality control have some merit. However you have to remember these are articles Joel chooses to give away for free. If people wish to read them that's their choice. Some people, myself included, have found the information in them useful.

I believe it is a worthy goal to give the same information, for free, in other languages. Obviously to use professional translation services would be the ideal way to do this, but that would be costly, and presumably the sales of Joel's software to these countries does not produce enough revenue to justify such an expense, so the volunteer translation is a good second choice. Most of the people doing the translation probably don't do this for a living, they're just people who enjoyed Joel's articles and wanted to give something back. It's easy to believe that some of them might have bitten off more than they could chew, and the copy-editing didn't catch the flaws. And unfortunately, since the QA process is dependant on volunteers, Joel can only rely on what they tell him.

Anyway, I accept Simon's point that graphic flags would add a little load time to the page, but I don't think it would be much. It could be combined with the main image using an image map.

Oh, and I do agree with the comment that the Search should be nearer the top...

James

James Shields
Friday, November 22, 2002

Just keep things simple. Send the translation links to the bottom of the links list, and have a bookmark at the top.

Stephen Jones
Friday, November 22, 2002

Actually, the said relative is a user of Citidesk and was recommending it to me for my blog. Hence the interest in the site, which I am glad I found.

We were just "checking it out" as you do, when we came upon the translation fault  and general silliness of them.

As a non computer person I did'nt realise that this site was about software development for a while, I thought it was about books and different languages, even though it says "fog creek software", all I really noticed was a long list of countries and an article about a book (also not related to software) so I was a bit confused for a few moments.

Anyway, I suppose it's Ok for computer types to discuss other things, even if in a somewhat strange format.

I think the page is a great example of why not to let techies do design work.

Deluding Yourself
Friday, November 22, 2002

The only design fault in the page is the placing of the translation links.

if you read the site carefully you will find that there are very good reasons for certain of the "design faults" of the site, such as the lack of graphic links, flat discussion as opposed to threaded discussion, lack of the ability to use html formatting in the messages.

Now if you do want to get ideas for your own blog you need to decide what you are writing it for, and if you are going to be running a forum, what kind of people and topics are going to be posted and why, since your design decisions should be based on that.

For example threaded forums such as the forum design of ZDNet Community forums, which only let you see one message at at time, are by far the best for problem solving forums. The fact you can't see the whole thread means that you concentrate on answering the question in hand.

Now the standard threaded discussions which also let you see the whole thread (Delphi Forums are on example) appear to be the most useful, but in general the quality and relevance of the discussions on them is among the lowest on the web. The design is too easy, and lends itsefl to long flames.

You might find it difficult to understand what this site is about, but frankly nobody cares. If I came across a site for quantum physicists I would be humble enough to presume that if there were things I didn't understand it was my fault, not the site's. You may not have noticed but the site is called "Joel on software". If you still haven't realized what it is about after that, then you've a problem.


The book reviews you are talking about are of two books, one dealing with manufacturing control and the other with project management. As such the book is direclty concerned with the production of software, and you don't need to get much further into the review to find this out.

Note by the way that the title of the site is "Joel on Software", not "Introduction to Computer Software". If it were the latter, then you would have a reasonable point. However it is intended for people who already know something about the field, and I can assure you that we have no difficulty in finding our way round.

As for considering it stupid to let people read things in ttheir own language, you are welcome to  it, even if nobody of any sense shares it. But you would do us all a favour if you could say which particular translation you are referring to.

And as for thinking that a two-year-old article is "ancient" - well, the word "bimbo" comes to mind, though by your own standards yor're probably well over the hill.

Stephen Jones
Friday, November 22, 2002

"And as for thinking that a two-year-old article is "ancient" - well, the word "bimbo" comes to mind, though by your own standards yor're probably well over the hill. "

" yor're "?

Is thate ye olde english?

I'm 27, you sound like a fat olde farte too.

Deluding Yourself
Friday, November 22, 2002

Deluding Yourself,

You obviously find nitpicking very worthwhile.

Deluding yourself wrote:

>" yor're "?
>Is thate ye olde english?

In an earlier post you pointed out the following:

">No you haven't missed the point. You've just chosen
>not to see it. "

Well, look who is talking. Last time I checked this was not
"Joel on English" or "Joel on <language of choice>". As you obviously has nothing more to contribute than to bitch about typos I suggest you find the site where the anal retentitive English majors hang out and go talk to them.

Enough already.

Patrik
Saturday, November 23, 2002

Patrik
"You obviously find nitpicking very worthwhile."

Sometimes, but not in this case.

"As you obviously has nothing more to contribute than to bitch about typos I suggest you find the site where the anal retentitive English majors hang out and go talk to them."

You have a very liberal interpretation of what constitutes a typo.

Actually, I majored in Politics, but never mind, their are plenty of anal retentive political types too, and I do 'hang out' with them sometimes.

I was interested in the discussion about the inappropriately designed translation links, and one thing led to another I think.

I really pissed myself when I read that the author of this blog has written a book about UI design!

Deluding Yorself
Monday, November 25, 2002

Deluding Yourself,

>You have a very liberal interpretation of what constitutes >a typo.

Reread your post, and be thankful I do have a liberal interpretation of what constitues a typo.

>I was interested in the discussionabout the >inappropriately designed translation links.

Yes, and we are in agreement on that, they take up too much space. I would prefer a Single "Translations"-link,
that would go to another page where the different languages were.

>I really pissed myself when I read that the author of this >blog has written a book about UI design!

I have read the book in question, and it does its job. However it is aimed at tech-people, and takes your understanding to a level where you do not do the  basic design misstakes. My more seasoned professional designer friends found nothing new in the book.

This may sound strange, that Joel would make such an "easy" design misstake, but he may have other motives than usability considerations for his design.

Patrik
Monday, November 25, 2002

Deluding Yourself,

PS. And please do us the favour of telling us which language your mysterious X is, so the site can improve.

I think we can agree on the fact that criticism along the lines of "This translation of X sucks you know", is not  very constructive.

Patrik
Monday, November 25, 2002

For at least one of the languages, the translators know that there are problems with the current translations, but rather than taking down the flawed-but-better-than-nothing articles, they are working on the new and improved version(s) behind the scenes. (And I do mean "they"; there's a mailing list and lots of collaboration involved.)

I don't know whether all the languages do something like this, but even if it's just one person for your mysterious Language X, he/she can't possibly improve his/her translations if you don't reveal the language in question.

Griping might feel satisfying, but in the long run, constructive criticism will have better results.

Martha
Monday, November 25, 2002

Enough said already I think, It's enough to know that other people realise that the design is bad, and it's something that I won't do.

If you look at my original post the question I posed was:

"Why do you think it's important to have extremely old articles in a bunch of foreign languages?"

I thought that a reason may have existed, that was all I really wanted to know.

Deluding Yourself
Monday, November 25, 2002

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