Never split sentences

Never split sentences in several gettext calls. This splits the sentence into several messages, and a sentence can only be properly translated in its entirety, since word order, proper terminology and grammar vary a lot between languages. Unfortunately, it's too common to see something like these frightening fictual examples in the source code:

   g_printf (_("There are "),
             _(" frobnicators available."));

   g_printf (_("You chose a yellow "));
   if (choice == FISH_CHOICE) {
     g_printf (_("fish."));
   } else {
     g_printf (_("cat."));

Remember that each and every call to _() will result in a message that can end up at any place and in any order in the po file. " frobnicators available." and "There are " won't make much sense for themselves and can easily be accidentally mistranslated when out of context. Even though these messages may look suspicious, putting together this puzzle of which message belongs to which other one is a form of source code reverse engineering that most translators don't want to spend time on. Even worse, sometimes these splitups make proper translation not only extremely difficult but even impossible. This can be the case if the splitup results in the same sentence fragments used in several places but the words need different tenses or gender in the different cases, which may not be the case in English.

The proper solution is, as stated previously, to change the code so that the sentences can be marked for translation in their entirety:

   g_printf (ngettext ("There is %d frobnicator available.",
                       "There are %d frobnicators available.",

   if (choice == FISH_CHOICE) {
     g_printf (_("You chose a yellow fish."));
   } else {
     g_printf (_("You chose a yellow cat."));

TranslationProject/DevGuidelines/Never split sentences (last edited 2011-12-19 14:55:13 by StanislavBrabec)