Multilingual content on Squeak (Was Re: [Etoys] Examples need to be updated)

Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas offray.luna at
Thu Jan 11 15:34:10 EST 2007

Hi all,

Jecel Assumpcao Jr escribió:
> Yoshiki Ohshima wrote:
>>   Some support for translation would be important.
> There is Diego's "Babel" code in Squeak 3.8 (not to be confused with the
> project called "Babel" in Croquet) but that is only usable for computer
> generated strings, while most of the text in the examples are created by
> hand. And Babel doesn't deal with the layout problems that replacing
> text causes.

¿Theres is somekind of documentation for the use of Babel? I have read 
about po4a[1] (Po for anything) and may be it could give support for 
translation of text in Squeak "documents". I have working previously on 
translation of documentation and the problems on having craft hand made 
translation as stated in the po4a document are great and will be nice if 
we try to avoid them from the beginning.


>> On the other hand,
>> if a country/language group is large enough, it should be able to host
>> its own set of these examples.  Wikipedia doesn't rely on such
>> (automatic) translation.  And, yes, any kind of volunteer and help is
>> always welcome!
> That would be acceptable but OLPC doesn't want to have a per country
> distribution. So we would need some scheme to have multiple versions of
> the same projects and then have Squeak load the right ones. Except for
> the very top project selecting the right one could be just a matter of
> giving them different names.

I think that in spite of having local customized distros and Squeak 
images, as Yoshiki said, having the translation coordinated or helped in 
someway with tools like po4a its important. If you see the Wikipedia 
example (wich relies only on "humaware" for localized content, without 
any help of the software infrastructure for that --unless you count the 
language tag), the spanish Wikipedia is in the 10th place, but spanish 
is the second one most used language (in terms of "sparse", not to 
quantity of people). That's not surprising if we take in account that 
English is the first language used on Internet (29%), followed by 
Chinese (13%) and Japanese(8%) and the forth is Spanish (7.5%). Besides, 
connectivity in Latin America is pretty poor compared with the places 
where the previous languages are dominant.

OLPC is also a possibility to help in a more language balanced Internet 
and digital content. So, would be really nice if we could have some kind 
of squeak script that takes all the text in the Objects showed in a 
content and extract them to use po4a (for example) in the strings and 
help translations in some way.

I was reading the "old" and good Squeak News E-zine and think that would 
be nice to have local folklore tales and other activities made in Squeak 
in the same way that Tansel Ersavas, even some of the articles would be 
adapted as learning activities and active essays, and if we can made 
that local folklore tales multilingual, then Squeak can make a bridge 
between childs different cultures and languages.

I will be posting some questions in my attempt to make my first 
interactive local folklore tale in Squeak (inspired in what Tansel made) 
and may be I will ask questions about multilingual content also. (¿It's 
this the proper place?)



Pdt: I was reading a Book on Squeak and OLPC in the last etoys image, 
but seems incomplete. This is an ongoing work or the writing its already 
done, somewhere?

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