Are the translations used? (Re: [ENH] In Dutch)

Ohshima, Yoshiki Yoshiki.Ohshima at
Wed Apr 17 00:36:59 UTC 2002


> Making Squeak multi-lingual has been discussed before. There are
> two levels - making apps multi-lingual is relatively easy, look at
> EToys. However, making Squeak multi-lingual would probably mean wrapping
> every Smalltalk method selector with a localized
> representation.

  One set of common definitions around those terms is
something like:

  * localization (l10n): change the dialogs/messages in an
    application/system to another language in somewhat
    brute-force way.
  * internationalization (i18n): build a framework where
    you can do the above task in systematc manner.  Still
    you can only use one language at a time.
  * multilingualization (m17n): in which you can handle more 
    than one languages at the same time.

  The latter is better, of course:-) Only the third one
supports, for instance, Japanese-Chinese dictionary or

> However, I don't think this is a precondition for educational use: EToys
> and the other authoring tools need to be in Dutch, but the "lower levels"
> can stay in English. The lower levels are for advanced usage, where users
> (kids, adults) have already grasped quite a bit about programming so the
> extra burden to switch to English is eased a bit. Learning English is a
> bit of a precondition for using computers anyway, there are worse ways to
> expose kids to English than teaching them the English names of Smalltalk
> method selectors (probably we're making this more of a problem than
> they'll ever have with it - at least in the Netherlands kids are exposed
> to the language all day so they're not likely to be
> alienated by it).

  I agree.  Smalltalk is more or less English based system;
English grammar is deeply tied with it.  Changing the
"system level" selector mechanically doesn't give the
foreign-language programmers any good solution.  You could
define selectors in a particular language, but the natural
order of arguments, for instance, is based on the natural
language and not easily changeable to another language in

  FYI, Abe-san happened to make a version of Multilinugal
Squeak which accepts MultiSymbol's.  Now you *can* use
Japanese in selectors.

> On a more philosophical level, it's a matter of balancing the extra burden of
> English-named method selectors against the advantages of the lingua franca
> that the current standard naming scheme (English names) is for code exchange.
> Localized names would seriously sit in the way of code sharing...

  It could promote code sharing among the local
groups... but I agree again, it doesn't make sense to make
general purpose translating mechanism.

# I wouldn't oppose to the current direction of EToys
# translation mechanism.  Such mechanism for limited set of
# dialog texts, such as for EToys, would be good.  Possibly
# with little word ordering change mechanism would be
# nicer...

-- Yoshiki

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