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Trying to contribute to the Wiki, Translations needed, and if yes, how to do?

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Hi all,

I have just managed (in my opinion, and in regard to Object Pascal) to cross the border between "absolute beginner" and "still rather mediocre programmer".

I got great support from both the Englisch and the German community and I am willing to spend some time to pay back to the community. I consider myself fit to go through part of the beginner documentations where I found them not helpful, and try to enhance them so the ones hopefully coming after me have lower barriers to entry. The community has been absolutely great, some members have patiently answered even the most basic questions, but I do not want to stress their patience too much.

I started to make some changes to basic pages like, for instance,, because I felt that the information given was, in many aspects, inadequate to guide beginners to success with as little efforts as possible, so they stay on board and feel motivated to dig further.

I am natively a German speaker,  but have, from the very beginning of my career, always preferred English documentations, for many [I still think] good reasons, but I know others may have different preferences.

Recently, triggered by an ongoing discussion in the German forum, I have had a closer look at what automatic translators (Google Translate) deliver, and boy, the have, in my opinion, evolved substantially from where they were a couple years ago (most infamous example: MSDN, I'd say ...), at least when it comes to English->German.

I did also check the automatic translation of "my" section of the page above to German and found it acceptable, if not "perfect". I then checked other [entry level] pages and tutorials as well, and found them almost perfect as well, with the errors that were occasionally there in no way misleading into a completely wrong directiopn [as it has regularly been years ago].

Now there is already a German page, many years ago someone started a translation, but quit pretty soon, so the current German page is almost useless. Sure, I could update it, at least the part I have contributed, but having seen what Google Translate delivers, I feel this is a waste of precious time.

I'd like to remove the German page altogether, and/or replace it with a hint to use Google Translate [or any other Translator anyone likes].

What do you think?


There was a discussion about Wiki translations about half-way through this thread.

Unfortunately I don't think it reached a conclusion on how to proceed regarding translations, but you may want to have a read of it anyway.

The main problem with many (most?) translated pages is that they're never updated after being translated the first time. There's also quite a few which never finish getting translated. I think the problem there is lack of translators, translator burn out and lack of feedback/recognition.

I found and read it. The almost same discussion happened in the German forum too, and came to no end as well. There are some people who definitely know how it *should" be done, the translation aid for the [updated] wiki engine looks very promising, for instance.

My prediction is that we will *never* find enough translators [neither payed nor for free], because, in my opinion, a translator must not only be an excellent speaker of the source and target language, but also have a very good understanding of the technical background, in other words, he needs to be a fairly good FPC/Lazarus programmer. With the Pascal community dwindling, I don't see a chance to accomplish this. And furthermore, after a page has eventually cought up with the English page the translator would have to constantly monitor the English page to add changes to his translation? Or someone overlooking the English pages would have to take a look at all the translations and then find someone who is willing to re-synchronize it with the English page? I don't see a chance for this to happen.

So I'd concentrate on making the English pages better, I have seen so many which are, IMHO, in a desatstrous state, so to me the talk about translating them seems to come second to the issue of making the originals better *first*.

If there is, like in my example, a German page, which is over 10 years old, obviously abandoned, and does not contain any useful bit of information, but is simply existing so *something* exists, I think deleting it altogether is an enhancement.

Would you advocate and support this?


Btw, just for fun, I put my previous post through Google Translate. I suggest, if anyone reading this is speaking German, please do the same.

The vast majority of the text has been translated *perfectly*. There are three, onle three, passages where the translation comes out a bit strange, probably because I did use uncommon English expressions to express myself (remember: I am natively a German speaker). I did intentionally not try to change the English text until it translates better, but I bet, with a fraction of the efforts it takes to maintain a German page, I would have succeeded.

Not making any use of this powerful tool simply doesn't make sense to me.



--- Quote ---If there is, like in my example, a German page, which is over 10 years old, obviously abandoned, and does not contain any useful bit of information, but is simply existing so *something* exists, I think deleting it altogether is an enhancement.
--- End quote ---

There's another discussion more or less on this point that has been resurrected currently. See this thread.

--- Quote ---Would you advocate and support this?
--- End quote ---

It depends on whether the page is of any use at all, for example, historical (ie it applied to an earlier version, was once valid, etc). Release Notes for earlier FPC/Lazarus versions are a concrete example. The discussion I just mentioned is canvassing this issue at the moment.


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