[Etoys] [Localization] How to make multiple writing character sets available?

Korakurider korakurider at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 01:27:28 EST 2007

My reply isn't any resolution to your problem, sorry.  But I want to
share with you about situation for EToys.

We have been populating Japanese translations for EToys (aka
Squeakland distribution) and faced similar problem.  We didn't
restrict use of Kanji for the distribution (and that is now on Pootle)
while we tried to use easy words...  As user can easily configure the
translation dictionary for EToys, a Japanese volunteer built and
published Hiragana dictionary (I don't remember the URL right now...)
.  By installing we could switch between Japanese and
Japanse-Hiragana.  You could ask about this in Squeak-ja community.

We don't have good rubi support in current OLPC software. (note that
someone in Japan tried to extend Pango to support rubi or
Japanese-specifics, but what gettext can do is just converting plain
string to another plain string).  So IMHO possible option for us right
now would be
   + define the targetted audience for the first priority and populate
dictionary for them
   + populate it for another audience
   + try to support multiple variants for one language


P.S. You used Japanese characters in your mail to describe the
problem.  But for many of subscribers of this list the gryph can't be
shown in their mail client at all ...

On Dec 10, 2007 1:47 PM, Y. Sonoda <sonoda at laptop-jp.org> wrote:
> Hellow, everyone!
> I'm translating XO-core into Japanses with a few other
> Japanese reviewers, and faced one critical issue.
> To make this issue simple, I separate contextual issues
> in terms of the users age.
> This difficulty comes from the range of the children which
> we should cover. It might be roughly 6 years old (1st grade) to
> 12 years old (6th grade) in elementary school.
> As some of you may know about Japanese, we uses 3 types
> of writing character sets. Those are
>   - Hiragana (most simple one)
>   - Katakana(used mostly when we write foreign languages)
>   - Kanji (Chinese characters)
> We usully uses all of them at a one time.
> For example,
>     "今日は良い天気です。ジェット機が飛んでいるのが見えます。"
>     "Today is fine. I see Jet airplane flying"
> This is an ordinary expression for matured ages.
> In this example,
>     "今日","良","天気","機","飛","見"
> are Chinese characters, and
>     "ジェット"
> is Katakana. And all remainings are Hiragana.
> All chinese characters can be written in Hiragana, like,
>    "今日" is "きょう", and "天気" is "てんき"
> Generally, children start leaning writings from "Hiragana", then they
> move to "Katakana" and "Chinese character" gradually.
> So if the reader is 1st grade children, we should write above sentence
> like this,
>    "きょうはよいてんきです。じぇっときがとんでいるのがみえます。"
> But this writings are looks slightly childish for 5 or 6th grade children.
> So most of the books to cover from 1st to 6th grade children, or
> just for the convenience for the people who may not be able to read
> Chinese character, we put "rubi" (Hiraganas which explain how to read)
> just above the Chinese characters.
> So that, if we have "reboot" in English, we would like to write this for
> younger children like this,
>    "さいきどう" with Hiragana only,
> while we also would like to write for elder children like this,
>    "再起動" with Chinese characters only.
> One solution for this issue, some of the compter games in Japanese
> Market which target age is children, they ask children whether they can
> read one simple example, indicating Chinese character sample.
> If they reply or push [No], then they display all the texts in
> Hiragana afterward.
> And talking about XO, it seems there are no mechanisms to switch
> writing character
> sets depending on the age, or those allow us to attach "rubi" on the
> just above of the
> Chinese characters.
> If we have to choose only one writing character set, we may have to choose
> "Hiragana" as a safer side. But this quick solution cause 3 issues;
>   (1) Writing only in Hiragana becomes longer text.
>   (2) Elder children don'n like to use because it looks too childish.
>   (3) It is slight difficult to know what is written when seeing each
>         Hiragana text at a glance.
> Eventually, we put "fuzzy" tags for almost all terms in Pootle projects.
> I will appreciate if there's some nice way to switch character sets depending
> on the children's age.
> regards,
> Spiky
> PS.
> We did not have such issues in past, because almost all computer were
> designed for matured people. And this might be the first case for us to
> think the best way of how to express menu words for children depending on
> their age.
> _______________________________________________
> Localization mailing list
> Localization at lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/localization

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