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Mon, 10 Mar 2008

APT::Acquire::Translation "none";

Quite a lot people are unhappy with how the package descriptions are translated. Different teams handle it differently, but the approach the German "team" chose is quite unfriendly from a quality point of view: The webinterface for it doesn't require any authentication at all, leading technically to anonymous translations all over the place. The so-called "review" process consists of the same not-existing authentication, leading to a situation where unknown people can put in whatever they like and have other (or potentially the same) unknown people acknowledge that.

The language team has actively chosen that way because it was said that bad translations simply won't happen and that the review (three people opening the page and clicking onto a button) will not let that happen. Well, it happened. And is happening all over the place. Things like "Gedultsspiel" and "Murmelirrsinn" are pretty tough and almost hiding translations from "counting pipe" to "Zählrohr" and "villages" to "Orte" (and no, those aren't the only examples that accumulated over the last months). As this all happens anonymously one can't even get a message to the people submitting (extremely) low quality translations, helping them to improve their skills so they won't do the same mistake in future translations; meaning things are hard to improve.

I am usual an advocate of translating stuff, did put a lot of effort into that area—but the total lack of quality in not only a small and tiny bit here but a much broader area is why I suggest to everyone (at least from a German language point of view): Put APT::Acquire::Translation "none"; into your /etc/apt/apt.conf file and don't get annoyed by them. When quantity is the only thing that counts people wanting to have quality are simply ignored with their mails on the lists.

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