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Personal pronouns, plurals, you vs. username and possible other issues with localization

SheilaSheila ✭✭
edited June 2012 in Localization

Hi all!

There seems to be some issues with personal pronouns etc. that are unfortunately almost unsolvable with Finnish translation atm. Was wondering if any other languages have these same issues?

For example 'User xx mentioned user yy in a topic' translates just fine, but 'You mentioned user yy in a topic' results bad grammar since 'mentioned' should be in different form.
'xx mainitsi jäsenen yy aiheessa'
'Sinä mainitsit jäsenen yy aiheessa'.

There's just one extra 't' on a latter phrase but it makes all the difference.

And this same issue is naturally with many of the other actions so terms like commented, mentioned, tagged etc. should all have two different forms in Finnish. And this goes even further: at, in a, a etc. is added to a end of the word, not before. So 'a topic' is 'aihe' but when somebody starts a new topic, they start new 'aiheen'.

Also the plural for the usernames is not always the generic ''s'. Sheila's would be for example Sheilan. This issue I'm able most of the time to solve just adding a definition like 'user' before member name, so I can use the basic form of name, but naturally that is not good language nor very native sounding either.


  • 422422 Developer MVP
    edited June 2012

    Good post sheila.

    A question for you.. The phrases..

    Frequently asked questions

    Terms of service

    Commonly abbreviated to FAQ and TOS , in finnish for example, even though these words would change by definition, how do the abbreviations work ?

    Do you still refer to them, identifiably as FAQ and TOS ?

    I ask because we will soon be asking for assistance in translating a site we are working on, and i am curious.

    I suppose its like new york city, a la NYC.

    i know in other languages new and york and city can be transated, but even so.. Do you still abbreviate to NYC ?

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • SheilaSheila ✭✭
    edited June 2012

    Thanks! :)

    The phrase Frequently asked questions is in Finnish Usein kysytyt kysymykset and the abbrevation for it is UKK thou FAQ is also commonly used, and generally understood.

    Terms Of Service is Käyttöehdot and since it's just a one word, there's no abbrevation. If I refer to TOS in Finland, only the so called tecnically advanced people understand, (i.e. not that many) what it means.

    New York City is New Yorkin kaupunki, but it is mostly referred as New York or NY, only just sometimes NYK and even then it's more like a slang version: I'm going to NYC = Mä lähden Nykiin. And Big Apple is Iso Omena ;)

  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff

    Unfortunately, the Vanilla team is completely English and didn't foresee these issues. I'd like to add support for conditional words, but it's not there now.

    For now I recommend using an abbreviated form. Something like:

    You → @Username in a discussion.

    Can I ask you how many word forms there are. Most importantly, do the word forms always depend on one person or can they sometimes depend on both people in the sentence?

  • SheilaSheila ✭✭

    I totally understand! I often envy you people who are native english speakers, things are just so smooth with translations and word ordering. Finnish is naturally a very minor language, but I assume based on posts on this board, that also Russian and French people seem to have trouble getting the translation right.

    As i stated earlier, most times when referred to a user name, I'm able to solve it with additional pharases thou that is not best solution. Big problem comes with personal pronouns and verbs. Every time somebody does something i.e. in activity, it should have atleast two different pharases, based on if the doer is me, or somebody else. Word forms can also depend on both people in the sentence but that can be most often solved with adding some extra pharase, which naturally isn't optional either but not so bad.

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