Translating is annoying

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Wuzzy's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-06-20
Posts: 1304

Hi, this is a rant.

I worked for quite some time on the German translation. But I was pissed of in the process multiple times. Currently, there are four annoyances when it comes to translation:

  1. mission translation
  2. fixed strings (strings that can’t be translated for technical reasons)
  3. text in images (meaning that you can’t translate them either)
  4. sometimes way too few space

First annoyance
The biggest pain in the ass is currently the translation of missions. The problem with that is: This system just seems to be completely broken. I will not explain why I think it’s broken, I already explained it over there. This system seriously needs to be reworked one day.

Second annoyance
There seem to be some un-translatable strings in the game:

  • credits
  • buttons on “Are you sure you want to do that?” windows
  • names of the default game schemes
  • the context menu
  • names of the styles
  • load/save dialog for hand-drawn maps
Yeah, what should I say? Well, this sucks and needs to change.
Maybe I am wrong here, so please correct me if I am wrong here.

Third annoyance
Some images contain text. I consider using text in images a bad idea as this breaks interlingualization. Those images can not be translated. This forces English text upon users that selected a different language. The offending images are:

  1. picture for the missions screen (“I MUST NOT EAT MELON BOMBS. (…)”)
  2. loading screen (“LOADING ...” in image)
  3. icon for extra damage (“1.5” in image—this notation is typical for English, but other languages use the comma as a decimal seperator)
  4. icon for extra time (“30”—these are arabic digits which are not native to all languages, like Chinese)
  5. the text “CENSORED” appears when using seduction
  6. preview image of the Portal mission

The general solution would be to replace the offending images, respectively:

  1. Draw new image
  2. Remove the text from the image. It could be possible to add a real string below the image which would have the great benefit of being translatable
  3. Just a “bang” symbol. The fact that you deal 50% more damage with it should also go into the description.
  4. Just a clock symbol. The fact that “extra time” currently always gives you 30 seconds should go into the description instead.
  5. No idea. Remove the image entirely? (I tested it with a transparent dummy image. IMHO it doesn’t look really worse.)
  6. Either remove all text or use a screenshot (like every other mission does)

To make the switch to language-agnostic images even easier to you, I provide you the images needed for that:

New extra damage icon:

New extra time icon:

Text-free image for the missions screen:

I know that this is sub-obtimal. It would be best if a completely new image is used instead. But I lack the drawing skills for that task.

Preview image for the Portal mission with the company logo only:

Completely language-agnostic Portal mission preview image:

Larger images:
This Ammos.png is using my proposed symbols.
And Ammos_bw.png is the black and white version of Ammos.png.
Lastly, my version of Progress.png doesn’t contain the “LOADING …” text.

Forth Annoyance
There is at least one part of Hedgewars where I got way too few space. It is the feedback formular. I noticed that space is sparse here while translating the menu GUI to German (A task which is pretty much almost finished now, yay!). There is not even space for a simple “E-Mail-Adresse” (German for “e-mail address”).

Hi, I am a Hedgewars developer. Smile

Star and Moon
Star and Moon's picture
User offline. Last seen 15 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2010-04-03
Posts: 718

The Bipedal Science logo was created by me for my PAotH comics.

(If I could remember what font(s) I used it would be possible to create it in a different language)

But I do actually prefer the mission icon you made.

Wuzzy's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-06-20
Posts: 1304

I have tried to fix the Third Annoyance, esp. I have now also re-drawn most of the campaign images.

The proposed images can be viewed here:

I also made a review request on Google Code:

Let's see what the developers will say.

Wink Smiley

PS: I have decided against changing the training image in my commit, because the new image is just not a good replacement. Still need a better idea for this. :/

Hi, I am a Hedgewars developer. Smile

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