english (was: Link to Bankaccount portuguese tutorial)

David Farber dfarber at numenor.com
Wed Jun 16 02:47:37 UTC 2004

At 11:26 AM 6/14/2004 -0300, you wrote:
>That is what I would have expected, but you must realize that this was 
>an extremely biased sample.

Yes, I do realize that. :)

>> auto pára.
>> ;)
>I didn't say it was easy. As soon as I got a copy of the blue book in 
>1984, I translated all of Smalltalk to Portuguese (anyone have a way to 
>read Apple II floppies?) and "self" was the hardest problem of all, and 
>I did settle on "auto" which is lame.

How sucessful do you feel your translation was?  How happy were you with the result?  'auto' does seem awkward at first, but it is not _that_ bad--it falls in with 'autoconfiança', 'autocontrole' and 'autodidata'.

(I do have an Apple IIGS with a 5-1/4 floppy drive at my parent's house.  It's probably been 10 years since I booted it, but there wasn't anything wrong with it when I stopped using it so theoretically it should still work.  Are the files in a particular format?  AppleWorks?  Or just plain ASCII text?)

>English is a far more ambiguous language and Smalltalk takes full 
>advantage of that. I have posted about the problems before, but here is 
>a quick summary:
>- undefined gender, so "tree new" and "rocket new" are both valid (while 
>you might use "nova" and "novo" in Portuguese).
>- verb/adjective confusion, so "x copy" could be "x cópia" (adjective) 
>or "x copiar" (verb). The "self" problem is related to this too.
>- possessive subphrase order fits unary messages, so "car door handle" 
>is valid Smalltalk while "trinco da porta do carro" isn't.

English also let you compound words more aggresively than the romanace languages.  So we get ReadWriteStream without much effort.  What did you come up with in Portuguese?

>There is a lot of experience in using English vs Portuguese Logo in 
>schools, but you might argue that having a translated eToys would be 
>the equivalent to the latter. I think it would be a pity if the 
>language barrier were to limit kids to what is essentially just an 

So back to our original post--what would it take to translate Smalltalk/Etoys to Portuguese?  How hard would it be to run a simple word counter on the source code and spit out, say, the 100 most used words (after splitting keyword:messages: and ClassNames) and then the 100 most used method names.  That might be a place to start.  That might also be a nice tool to have in general for other translation efforts.


David Farber
dfarber at numenor.com

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