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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Multilanguage DocBook documents - best practices needed

On 07/23/2012 10:15 AM, Thomas Schraitle wrote:
Hi Dave,

On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 09:29:49 +0100
DaveP <davep@dpawson.co.uk> wrote:


I too thought it should be possible to have more than one language in
a single file.

Well, you *could* use the lang attribute and carefully assemble your
structure if you want to add different translations:

   <section id="foo">
         <phrase lang="en">Making Tea</phrase>
         <phrase lang="de">Tee kochen</phrase>
         <!-- ... -->
       <para lang="en">...</para>
       <para lang="de">...</para>

With profiling you can select just the language you are interested in.
Well, theoretically.

However, I don't think you should use more than one language in the
same file. It's neither really practical nor convenient. You end up
with lots of of paras and phrases. And you loose context and it is
really hard to edit such a file.

Sounds sensible on the practical issues. It's not something I have
ever done personally.
  Judging the right level for translation seems key.
More than phrase. ? More than para?
section level might be right to make an identifiable unit.

Apart from these structural thoughts, there is one issue that isn't
mentioned in this thread: version control. If you work with version
control systems (VCS, which you should), a writer and translator cannot
modify a single file at the same time.

I would suggest that sending XML to a translator is impractical (for
the majority of translators?) Sending them identifiable units seems
more practical.

Although a modern VCS should
detect any modifications and merge them automatically, there is always
the danger that you *could* potentially create conflicts.
Think you need to remove a whole section because it's not relevant
anymore. Or you need to restructure your file. These actions will very
likely create conflicts for your poor translator.

yes, this puts the workflow into focus! Need to get that right.

All in all, I would be _very_ reluctant to create _all_ translations in
_one_ file. That's the reason why there are translation memory systems
as mentioned before.

I wasn't suggesting that. As with any docbook unit, splitting it out
into appropriate units makes sense?

Two totally separate books, one for each of two languages, seems quite
odd to me, hence my original question.


Dave Pawson

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