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osfameron (3135)

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Thursday July 09, 2009
09:14 AM

A brief note on technical translation: (Gentle Moose Intro)

[ #39261 ]
Cross posted from my blog .

While we were discussing how to promote the Italian Perl Workshop, and the planned training on Moose, I noted that there weren't any articles on Moose (Perl's modern OO implementation, inspired by CLOS, Smalltalk and Ruby) on Lordarthas of course told me "well volunteered!"... oops.

I pointed out that I don't really know Moose, and we eventually settled that I would "just" translate Jay Kuri's nice new Gentle Introduction.

Now, there is a reason why translators almost always translate into their native language. I can write in Italian reasonably well, but translating into it was a much harder task. While you're writing something yourself, you tend to route around phrases you don't know how to express, choose different words, simplify structures, etc. But translation implies some degree of fidelity to the source, and I found this incredibly hard going. I whined on and, in true Open Source JFDI style, larsen asked "Huh? Why are you translating that?" and did it himself! Yay, larsen++!

So my volunteering ended up being limited to making a few corrections/suggestions, along with lordarthas, dree, and dada. Opensource translation and review (using wiki/email in this case, but a git repo or similar could work just as well) can have a fast turnaround, and pick up many errors/nuances that a lone translator would have to work really hard on to do by themselves.

The main problems with the technical translation were deciding which phrases to leave in English, and which to translate. Looks like "coercion" is staying in English (followed by an explanation) instead of using the Italian "coercizione". And the title is surprisingly hard to translate, as none of the words for "gentle" map well into Italian. Though it's less cute than the original, the least awful alternative seems to be "Una breve introduzione" (a brief introduction).

The final translated article is now on!.

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  • Easy on the marketing-speak. "A popular OO library..." would be more accurate, and sound less like "the leader in enterprise Perl Object technology."

    • Heh, yes I may be overdoing the marketroid stuff... the blog I originally posted this to has a few FP readers and I like to stress Moose's theoretical basis pre-emptively. But yes, I could maybe tone that done a little ;-)


      • I'm fine with the "based on" part. The problem is "Perl's modern OO implementation," which follows the standard press release format of "X, Y's generic-positive-adjective thing-people-want." To anyone familiar with press releases, this translates to "I can't think of something positive to say."