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Community translations: Missing (conflicting) guidelines about formal/informal tone

asked 2016-06-15 10:59:09 +0200

ossi1967 gravatar image

updated 2016-06-15 13:27:25 +0200

I was about to contribute to the ongoing community translations. There's a a problem, though:

A fundamental thing that absolutely needs to be consistent across the whole UI is how we address the user (of we need to): Do we use the formal way ("Sie" in German, "vous" in french,...) or the more informal way ("Du" in German, "tu" in french,...). Even if the pronouns themselves can be avoided, the decision has consequences: Choosing the correct imperative depends on it, for example.

What I found when I started adding German suggestions:

  1. The current UI seems to prefer the informal "Du".
  2. From this document, it is my understanding that the more common informal communication is preferred:
    > Sailfish OS Tone is young. We target to interact with the users and talk with them, not to them. We want to use the same tone that is used in everyday life.
  3. However, all examples in this languages-specific guideline use the very formal "Sie".
  4. Consequently, the first suggestions in the translation tool use "Sie" as well and don't fit in with the rest of the older UI translations.

While I'd personally think that the informal "Du" is the only way to go with SailfishOS (it has become the preferred way to address people during the last decades), my main concern is consistency. You cannot alternate between "Du" and "Sie" in the OS. The way things are now, chances are that such a change of tone will even occur within one single screen, depending on when the respective feature/translation was added.

So there must be a per-language-rule on how to handle this.

BTW: Choosing between "Du" and "Sie" is not all there is to do for consistency. Current spelling rules allow "Du" to be capitalized or written in lower case ("du"). While the major dictionary (Duden) recommends capitalization, there needs to be something that translators can rely upon.

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answered 2016-06-15 13:46:01 +0200

sledges gravatar image

Many thanks for pointing this out. I have now fixed the guide to use „du“ instead of „Sie“.

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Comments

1

Thanks! Your quick clarification is much appreciated.

ossi1967 ( 2016-06-15 14:05:03 +0200 )edit

+1 ossi i was about to report the same but you are always so much quicker :D

mosen ( 2016-06-15 18:42:56 +0200 )edit
1

And it even got fixed before you reported mosen :D

sledges ( 2016-06-15 18:48:46 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2016-06-15 10:59:09 +0200

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Last updated: Jun 15 '16