Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to help

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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:13 pm

A question about Spanish. In the linked text the following comment appears:

-This file is made thinking that at some point you can modify certain elements corresponding to identify the player gender. In this case, the %h command is originally used to display "He", "She", or "It" depending on the gender specified in the player setup. If that time comes, it should be able to be edited as "a" or "o". Example: if a LANGUAGE variable says "¿Estás segur%h?" ("are you sure?"), Depending on the genre it should be displayed as "¿estás seguro?" In the case that the player is a man or other, and like "¿estás segura?" In the case of being a woman.


So far, so bad - but how should this be handled in cases where it is impossible to assign a player gender because the text is not related to a player, e.g. a level name, or a generic user interface that just cannot be gender specific?
Are there any rules or conventions for a neutral option?

I'd really like to add the text but this is a blocker at the moment.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Rachael » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:30 pm

That kind of sucks. I never got deep enough into Spanish (never learned more than a few words and phrases). If that is the case though, it might be more beneficial to make the consoleplayer's gender accessible to some sort of global struct accessible by the language functions so that it can do gender-specific replacements like that.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Kostov » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:37 pm

Russian would also hugely benefit from such a change. I’ve been able to get around gender-based constructions using formal structures that are independent of gender-based pronouns, as well as the structure “Player %o was killed by…”, but it’s not the most pleasant option.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Rachael » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:44 pm

I know there are more languages that might need that. (Isn't German one such language, too? When I was in Sweden I was told about how it was incredibly easy to offend someone in German if you aren't careful)
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:55 pm

Rachael wrote:That kind of sucks. I never got deep enough into Spanish (never learned more than a few words and phrases). If that is the case though, it might be more beneficial to make the consoleplayer's gender accessible to some sort of global struct accessible by the language functions so that it can do gender-specific replacements like that.


The console player's gender is available, but that doesn't change that it cannot be used for all texts.

The vast majority of gender specific texts are obituaries and cheat messages. These aren't a problem.

The problem texts are:

Map names (3 in Plutonia)
Strife random dialogues (4, but if this propagates to the rest of the dialogues it would seriously complicate things if all in-story texts need to be aware of gender variants.)
Doom's end of level text screens for the same reasons
Quit messages (4 of them plus the Nightmare skill confirmation)

The level names are a no-go in my opinion. These should be NAMES for the level, not an adjective addressing the player's situation, so they HAVE to be a neutral variant of some sorts.

Undead wrote:Russian would also hugely benefit from such a change. I’ve been able to get around gender-based constructions using formal structures that are independent of gender-based pronouns, as well as the structure “Player %o was killed by…”, but it’s not the most pleasant option.


I plan to do such a system, but there's still limits to what it can do and what it should do.

Rachael wrote:I know there are more languages that might need that. (Isn't German one such language, too? When I was in Sweden I was told about how it was incredibly easy to offend someone in German if you aren't careful)


Yes, German has it too, but far less invasive. The only real issue in German are pronouns and these can easily be avoided in most texts by cleverly rephrasing it. For example, I was able to do all obituary without having to use a single pronoun placeholder and didn't feel I had to compromise the content. And in Strife's dialogues I just assumed that the protagonist is male, which is indicated in several places throughout the text, and I think that should be adhered to by all languages, but even so, there's maybe a handful of places where gender becomes an issue.
Spanish is a lot worse because it alters adjectives when directly addressing the user which never happens in German.

As an example from the Spanish text, "Are you sure?" can be
"¿estás seguro?" for a male player and
"¿estás segura?" for a female player.

In German, both are
"Bist du sicher?" (if you want to be nitpicky, you have to distinguish between formal and informal address, but that's an entirely different logical level where it has to be decided up front which mode to use, but once you choose the gender has no effect here.)

If we can add the Spanish texts, we need the inverted question and exclamation marks, though.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Rachael » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:03 pm

If you really want to get into the weeds, arguably there are a lot of languages that would need it. Honestly, I think the language string search function should be changed, so that it looks for "LANGUAGE_STRING:M" if the console player is male, "LANGUAGE_STRING:F" if the player is female, "LANGAUGE_STRING:N" if the player is neutral, and "LANGUAGE_STRING:O" if the player is object. And then fall back on "LANGUAGE_STRING" if the correct ":_" replacement is not found.

If such a thing is done, though, then it needs to be made clear to modders that these colon replacements are only meant for the consoleplayer and will only change obituary strings based on the player viewing them, not the killer or victim.

If you do not object, I can implement that myself later on.

(While not the intent, this would also allow for clever quit messages, like "Are you sure you want to leave? The UAC really could use a man/woman like you!" without using the slashed 2nd person noun)
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Enjay » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:12 pm

Rachael wrote:(While not the intent, this would also allow for clever quit messages, like "Are you sure you want to leave? The UAC really could use a man/woman like you!" without using the slashed 2nd person noun)


What about the neutral/object gender?

Are you sure you want to leave? The UAC really could use an object like you!

:?:
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Kostov » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:15 pm

Enjay wrote:What about the neutral/object gender?

Are you sure you want to leave? The UAC really could use an object like you!

:?:

An object’s an object. Let it be that way.

Also, an inherent problem of the “Object” gender is the fact that it starts with a vowel. How will we handle a/an? “Man” and “woman,” “male” and “female” all start with a consonant.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Enjay » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:19 pm

One of the reasons why I preferred "Cyborg".

I guess instead of "object" in the texts, "thing" (or something better not beginning with a vowel) could be used.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:22 pm

Rachael wrote:If you really want to get into the weeds, arguably there are a lot of languages that would need it. Honestly, I think the language string search function should be changed, so that it looks for "LANGUAGE_STRING:M" if the console player is male, "LANGUAGE_STRING:F" if the player is female, "LANGAUGE_STRING:N" if the player is neutral, and "LANGUAGE_STRING:O" if the player is object. And then fall back on "LANGUAGE_STRING" if the correct ":_" replacement is not found.

If such a thing is done, though, then it needs to be made clear to modders that these colon replacements are only meant for the consoleplayer and will only change obituary strings based on the player viewing them, not the killer or victim.

If you do not object, I can implement that myself later on.

(While not the intent, this would also allow for clever quit messages, like "Are you sure you want to leave? The UAC really could use a man/woman like you!" without using the slashed 2nd person noun)


I don't think this can be solved in code. Such replacement tables need to be part of the language definition or they'll never be able to handle all needed cases, as the only people being able to define this are the translators. And once you have such meta-information in the translation table, most of these issues resolve themselves automatically because you can just write it as.

"could use @[person] like you", and then define the following metadata:

person
{
male = "a man"
female = "a woman"
neutral = "a person"
object = "an object" //(yeah, lol)
}

This wasn't why I was asking. My issue with the Spanish translation is that it violates some common rules, letting the gender distinctions get into texts where they have no reason to be whatsoever.
Like I said, a level name is the level's name not the user's state.
And for the UI in general, it should address a neutral person, because you can never be sure who really sits in front of the computer. Some males prefer to play with female characters, some females with male characters, some people like to play as a robot, essentially making the only info available not the gender of the Human player, but of their in-game avatar. Handling any text that deals with this avatar is perfectly fine and doable, but once it goes beyond that it's far, far less clear-cut, and the Spanish translaton has 10-15 such texts, where it addresses the user and not the playing character.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Enjay » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:25 pm

Right, yes, understood. Messages of the "Do you want to quit" type are directed at the user, not the player character.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Rachael » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:38 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:This wasn't why I was asking. My issue with the Spanish translation is that it violates some common rules, letting the gender distinctions get into texts where they have no reason to be whatsoever.

And that's clearly not an issue that is going to be solved just by lamenting about it. While you might well be able to institute a campaign to make the Spanish language more gender-neutral overall, that is well beyond the scope of a hobby project such as this and would take decades if not centuries to fully take effect, and the fact that it is not gender-neutral now means that you DO have to presently make assumptions about a player's gender with the state of the code as it is - for better or worse. And for what it's worth, it's just as offensive to women as it is to men to misgender them, but we're probably more used to it because it's the first go-to attack for trolls. (I really don't know many women who weren't called a man at some point maliciously)
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:42 pm

I was asking for specific info how to deal with such cases. This doesn't help me. All I want to know is from a Spanish speaking user here how this is normally handled in software.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby drfrag » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:34 pm

In Spanish when you don't know the gender you can use male, it always has been like that for software. If you want to be very politically correct you can use seguro/a, it's the recent trend i think. But a good alternative would be "Seguro que quieres salir?" and there's no gender there.
But anyway that translation is not adequate for spanish from Spain (castellano), there's no such thing as neutral spanish, it's okay for south american spanish (latin) tough.
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Re: Translating GZDoom's text content. Read if you want to h

Postby Kostov » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:35 am

Graf Zahl wrote:Good to know. Do you have any idea when this may be ready? I'd really like to do a release once French and Russian are done.

To answer this question: I estimate it’ll be done within two weeks, but I can’t promise anything.
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