Gender awareness in Hebrew FOSS translations
sh.yaron at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 01:47:52 IDT 2010
On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 12:03 AM, Shlomi Loubaton <shlomister at gmail.com>wrote:
> 2010/7/5 Yaron Shahrabani <sh.yaron at gmail.com>
>> I must agree with Tzafrir, this issue should be solved in a lingual way
>> like the Gezer Project suggests
> When did Tzafrir say this issue should be solved in a lingual way? (I
> probably missed that part)
Sorry, I meant he was against using the masculine form exclusively
>> Furthermore, if the computer/operating system is doing something, who is
>> the operator? A feminine operating system or a masculine computer?
> A "masculine computer" is referred by default in most current Hebrew
> computer programs and considered De-facto standard by everybody except you
Tell me, why not operating system?
Ran Yaniv Hartstein translated Wordpress this way, although it looks silly
there's nothing wrong with that, the fact that you are being served by a
woman while using the computer looks odd but its only a cultural barrier
(That proves that we are much less enlightened than we claim we are)
>> This is why I thing we should use the lovely features of our language and
>> make sure that translations will be genderless
>> For example:
>> "Click here" would be " נא/יש ללחוץ כאן"
>> Instead of "פתח" we should use "פתיחה"
>> This is not easy but our language supports that (Our culture partually
> Using the passive form is OK but using it exclusively is just wrong and IMO
> sounds silly.
> When you use the passive forms you loose information, you loose all verbs
> and therefore you loose the emphasis on the action in a sentence.
> All sentences sound like "Something should be done by something else".
Info is lost if the translation is done incorrectly, just as if the
translation was in a masculine form and translated incorrectly...
> I don't think Hebrew translation should sound like that, especially if a
> technological solution is possible. To prove my point I can provide
> countless examples of (IMO) bad passive translations in current GNOME and
> Ubuntu which cause lose of information from the original context and
> meaning, or just sound silly. Would you like me to start doing that to prove
> my point? I would rather not doing it to avoid embarrassment for the
Bring it on...
Furthermore if these translations make the system unusable I would love to
know about them and I wish you would have told me earlier and not in a
> I'm not telling you to stop your current work to transform GNOME to passive
> because that's your decision as a leading GNOME/Ubuntu translator (and in
> time, the actual users will be the best judges of that decision). I just
> want to try to start thinking about this idea that might be usable only in a
> year or two and will make Hebrew translation in FOSS mush better (IMO).
And what then? we will need to manually transform all the strings to a
feminine form as well? I rather think about a proper passive form for 3 more
And one more thing, Active masculine and passive forms coexist...
> Nobody says that being a translator is easy...
> .. And nobody said that thinking out of the box is easy ... but that's what
> we get paid for as FOSS developers... oh .. wait a minute...
I don't think that creating a feminine form is thinking out of the box, just
think of how much work we need to do to make it happen, if you are willing
to be responsible for the feminine form for every foss project that was
translated to Hebrew be my guest but creating a standard without any
intentions to stand behind it is irresposibility, sorry but I don't see
anything innovative here besides loads of unnecessary work that you don't
even intend to take part of...
This decision might decrease the productivity of translators and double the
size of translations and take up more resources from weak computers,
again... nothing innovational here... sorry.
> Shlomi Loubaton
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