RE: Software Translation Headaches

Subject: RE: Software Translation Headaches
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Shenton, David \(DTRN\)" <david -dot- shenton -at- smithsdetection -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 10:05:29 -0700

Good SW translators should already know the issues regarding buttons and
graphics, and they should deal with them before you get the

One idea is to give the L10N firm a test build with unchanged buttons,
and let them solve the problem themselves. In past L10N projects, I've
often given the L10N company access to the build system so they can
retrieve builds according to their own schedules. That does mean that
your build system has to produce localized builds as well as US ones. If
your build system doesn't do that now, get your build team to fix it.
It's 2006; big companies have been producing global builds since the
early 1990s.

Using graphics for buttons is fraught with peril, and you should let an
experienced I18N/L10N person do it for you if you go that route. That's
a corollary to the more general law of L10N: don't do it yourself.

As a note, Microsoft has standard translations of the Windows UI for
every language they ship. Those should be the translations you use for a
Windows app. I don't know if the Linux desktops or Solaris have this,
but you should check into it.

Someone else suggested tooltips; that's a good idea that I hadn't heard
of before.

Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Shenton, David (DTRN)
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 8:07 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Software Translation Headaches

Hi all, I'm dealing with a large amount of translation on software
screens and one issue that gives me a headache is trying to squeeze
translated text into a specific size on a button field. One solution
would be the use of graphics so with that in mind I'm trying to create a
more graphical button list. Has anybody been in the same situation and
how did they overcome it. I have a couple of suggestions to start the
ball rolling:

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