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- Please attach screenshots/comments for individual software strings, as it is often impossible to translate these without having more context. You can also read our section “Nine-word software strings: often more difficult to translate than a moderately long text” for more information.
- Allow the order of placeholders within a string to also be reversed sometimes by working with the respective variables. The syntax of each language is different and often demands changing the word order to make the translation sound smooth.
- Keep in mind that the plural is formed differently in every language. In English, you can often solve this problem by simply adding an “s” (1 house – 2 houses), while it is different in other languages (in German: “1 Haus – 2 Häuser”). Then there are languages that have more than one plural form (i.e. Eastern European languages form it according to numerals).
- The lovely English word “it” and variables often provide a problem in the German language, because in order to translate it correctly, we have to know the gender of the word (and thus to know why a variable is there exactly). Example: %d sent you a %s. “%d” presumably stands for a person or a company, or maybe for a group of persons, while “%s” stands for a thing. But depending on how many people send something, the sentence has to be translated differently. For example:
Peter hat dir einen Brief geschickt.
Sarah hat dir eine Postkarte geschickt.
Peter und Sarah haben dir ein Paket geschickt.
You will notice that "sent you a" either became "hat dir einen … geschickt", "hat dir eine … geschickt" or "haben dir ein … geschickt" in German.
- Keep in mind that different languages can have different number formats, calendars and alphabets. For example, commas and points are used differently in English and German for numbers in thousands and decimal characters and thus have to adapt accordingly.
- Allow for at least 20 % more space for UI in other languages - German words for example are much longer than English ones. For example, you cannot translate the short English word “no” into German with 2 letters, it can only be shortened to “n” or it takes twice as much space (“nein”).
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