[GRASS-dev] Re: lib/gis/*.c: Extra calls to sprintf () just before G_warning ()

Ivan Shmakov oneingray at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 11:33:13 EDT 2009

>>>>> "YC" == Yann Chemin <yann.chemin at gmail.com> writes:

 >> msgid "usage: %s location mapset element file."
 >> msgstr "использование: %s область набор элемент файл."

 >> Unfortunately, ``область'' is hardly a good translation for
 >> ``location'', as ``region'' readily translates into ``область'',
 >> too:

 > hmmm... in Central Asia, область has an administrative level meaning,
 > and I believe they also use "rayon" (sorry no kyrillic keyboard here)
 > for another administrative level.  This would add confusion maybe.

	I doubt it could.  At least, it doesn't sounds confusing when
	one speaks of, e. g., об исследованиях в этой области (about
	research in this field), or о пересекающихся областях (about
	intersecting regions.)

 >> >From Mueller English-Russian Dictionary [mueller7]:

 >> region
 >>  [↗ri:dʒɜn] _n.
 >>  1) страна; край; область; округа; _перен. сфера, область;


 >> In the papers I co-author, I use a calque, translating ``location''
 >> as ``локация'' (which, to be honest, doesn't mean anything in
 >> Russian), while translating ``region'' as ``область''.

 > hmmm... it sounds tough to get something clear. But maybe we should
 > think again about what region and location mean really, and not
 > translate from their names used in GRASS but translate from whatever
 > they really mean.

	IIUC, ``spatial region'' corresponds to ``пространственная
	область'' (or ``область пространства'', literally: ``region of
	space''), at least when it comes to physics.  And is there a
	term closer to the GRASS ``region'' than ``spatial region''?

	On the other hand, ``location'' is just a placeholder for a set
	of parameters (mainly, the coordinate system description), and
	the name for this set (by now) doesn't match its purpose too
	well.  Therefore, I believe that there's no point in trying to
	preserve the meaning of the word alone, as it has a specific,
	barely related, meaning in the context of GRASS.

	With no meaning to save, I've chosen to preserve (to the extent
	possible) the graphics and pronunciation of the word instead.
	I've also relied upon the established Latin-to-Russian
	correspondence conventions (to the extent I understand them.)

 >> ... And it's not hard to guess that this discrepancy easily confuses
 >> my students even more than the English UI does.

 > Yeah I could be confused too... In few countries with non-latin based
 > alphabets (Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia), all people I
 > met/worked with in GIS-related work use English GUIs and English in
 > communication for GIS. A Thai lecturer recently told me that QGIS in
 > thai is funny at best and confusing to students at worst. He just
 > uses all software in English and explains the English technical terms
 > directly upon using the software. I know this is not a GRASS GIS
 > example, but I find it useful here.

	Actually, it may depend on the language.  Whenever there a
	language with an existing tradition of naming a particular
	phenomenon in a particular way, it makes sense to give similar
	phenomena similar names.  OTOH, if there's no such a tradition,
	the name should be borrowed, but still respecting the target
	language and its (more general, this time) traditions.

	E. g., there's a little sense in calque ``location'' as
	``локейшн'' (by the means of transcription), or as ``локатион''
	(by the means of transliteration.)  However, should we scan the
	dictionary, we'll easily find the following:

action		акция
hallucination	галлюцинация
nation		нация

	Thus, to respect the tradition, we've to calque ``location'' as

	(But, as one might guess, the contemporary Russian language
	contains a vast amount of loan words which were quite ignorant
	to the traditions at the time they were introduced to the

 > Maybe we hit a more philosophical question here about why we want to
 > translate in the first place... On one hand, do we translate terms
 > that are "keywords" associated with functionalities specific of GIS,
 > this could need no translation, or just as Ivan did with region <=>
 > регион

	But I didn't!

 > is to facilitate the daily use of non latin alphabet readers. I have
 > met many students non latin reader from birth but recently acquired,
 > and they have more trouble with reading than with using english
 > words. Then, just learning the region keyword would be sufficient,
 > while it maybe written in phonetic with a different script, their own
 > native language script. On the other hand, do we translate
 > concepts/functionalities that already are well-explained and
 > established in the language vocabulary? If so, direct translation
 > should not a problem.

	I believe that it's the case of the ``region'' to ``область''


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