This project is for nitpickers like myself who hate to change their desktop "colors", and select a "visualization" plugin.

How do I join

Two options, the slacker one, and the not-a-slacker-what-are-you-saying-I-work-hard:

  • The slacker option (mine): use a recent version of GNOME (current stable or unstable), run it using British English as a language and find an error in the translation. File a bug against the l10n product, simply mention which version of GNOME you're using, the application, and in which dialogue the problem is.

  • The non-slacker option: Check which modules from the desktop release require work on the status page, actually do the translations (using, see below), and commit them to the module in git. The turn-around is usually short enough that you wouldn't have to worry about somebody else doing the translation before you do. You can also try to fix the opened bugs (although there should really be none opened).

Note that you need a git account to be able to commit. Currently, we require people to have already contributed to be able to get a git account on behalf of the British English translation team. Either file bugs and fixes as per the slacker option, or translate untranslated modules (as per the website or the gettrans output), and file a bug against the specific module, and add the en_GB bugzilla alias (l10n-en_GB-maint@gnome.bugs) to the CC: list.

The tools

Only one, and a good one: written by Abigail Brady. This tool takes an untranslated .po file as input, and spits out the fully translated file. This file, of course, needs to be double-checked. The tool will also ask you whether to translate some bits that might not have to be, and it will need to be extended in some circumstances. File a bug in case you needed to do any manual changes. You really shouldn't have to.

A brand new tool... As it may sometimes be hard to see what you need to translate next; gettrans will list each file the needs translation work, plus the name of the last translator. All you need is a python interpreter! To use, save the attached file somewhere on your path and (with a live Internet connection):

  • gettrans --team=en_GB --release=<release> --group=<group|all>

If you don't add a parameter it will list the set of valid values. "--group=all" will list all files within that release. For example:

  • $ ./gettrans --team=en_GB --release=gnome-2.10 --group=all

The policy

Whatever is in the Cambridge or Oxford English dictionary (OED). Note: The OED has a bias in towards -ize spellings.

However, here's some better detailed explanations (from Remember that most of these are, and should be, respected and handled by our tool (the one above, not the one below).

Watch out for:

  • double l's being single l's
  • 'ou' being 'o'
  • 're' being 'er'
  • lack of 'ue' on end of words
  • over use of ize which should be ise anyway
  • using a regularised preterite of irregular verbs (e.g. lit vs lighted)
  • turning nouns into verbs (e.g. "trash the file")

Some examples:

  • braces->curly brackets (unless trouser braces)

  • backward->backwards

  • canceled->cancelled

  • center->centre (but not if in HTML)

  • check->tick (when used in the sense of 'check this option')

  • color->colour

  • dialog->dialogue

  • fall->autumn

  • favorite->favourite (or preferably use the label bookmark like everyone else)

  • forward->forwards (when used as an adverb, but back/forward not changed)

  • globaly->globally

  • gray->grey

  • license->licence (when used as a noun - ie. a licence, to license)

  • ize->ise

  • ization->isation

  • modeler->modeller

  • parenthesis->brackets

  • toward->towards

  • utilize->use

  • todo->to-do (should be fixed in the source files, though)

  • co-ordinate->coordinate (e.g. "X coordinate"; not "x co-ordinate" or "X-coordinate". Should also be fixed in the source files.)

Trash should be translated to Wastebasket when referring to the desktop/file manager. Other situations can use either 'Wastebasket' or 'Deleted Items' as seems most appropriate. Beware of Trash being used as a verb which should be translated as 'Move to Wastebasket'.

Words not to Translate

  • program (American spelling is accepted to mean "computer program" but not for "television programme")
  • disk (computer hard disk, other flat circular objects are disc)
  • font (not fount)
  • synthesize

Punctuation Differences

• The Oxford Comma - standard US English usage is to put a comma before the and in lists of items, e.g. red, white, and blue; standard British English usage, however, is to leave it out, e.g: red, white and blue. More subtly "etc." (et cetera, i.e. and so on) should have a comma before it in US English; it shouldn't in British English but it is considered bad style to use abbreviations or latin terms so if you ever see etc. you should encourage the authors to try to rephrase things in a simpler and clearer way.

• Placing full stops inside brackets at the end of sentences - in US English the full stop is usually placed inside the brackets; in British English it is usually left outside. User interface strings probably should not be using brackets at all (and this is an excuse to show that if brackets are used inside a sentence the full stop goes at the end of the sentence). (If the whole sentence is inside brackets the full stop goes inside.)

• Within complicated sentences that use posession, British English will tend to use a preposition (e.g. "the menu of the window") rather than the genitive (e.g. "the window's menu"). Avoiding the genitive also reduces the risk of getting confused by punctuation and the American English could also be encouraged to use this sentence construction.

The contacts

The Team

Unfortunately, we don't have any ladies in the team just yet. We welcome anyone who is interested to get involved.

  • Bastien Nocera (yours truly, original author of this document)
  • Gareth Owen
  • David Lodge
  • JamesOgley

  • Alan Horkan (interested "International English" where possible to avoid any unnecessary localisation work)
  • Philip Withnall
  • Bruce Cowan

If you've contributed to the en_GB translation, and are still an active member of the team, feel free to drop a mail, or add yourself here.

BritishEnglish (last edited 2014-03-27 16:14:40 by DavidKing)