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Translation Guidelines

Last updated on Apr 26, 2024

Never split sentences and join them using string concat operation

Translations usually aren't performed word-for-word due to varying language structures, idioms, and cultural nuances. A literal translation, which is a word-for-word rendition, often struggles to effectively communicate the original meaning and can lead to awkward or nonsensical text.

We will illustrate this through an example. Consider the following sentences:

  1. We will be back online in some time.

  2. We will be back online at 9 AM.

  3. We will be back online on Monday.

  4. We will be back online in 10 minutes.

To support internationalization (i18n), you could either draft it as four distinct sentences or a single primary sentence combined with different time phrases.

The primary sentence would be We will back online, and the four different time phrases can be:

  • "in some time"

  • "at 9 AM"

  • "on Monday"

  • "in 10 minutes"

By doing so, you can combine the primary sentence with any of the time phrases to create accurate translations. As a developer this might seem like a good idea, but it is not.

Let's take the example of "We will be back in some time".

We will be back translates to ഞങ്ങൾ തിരിച്ചു വരും in Malayalam and हम वापस आ जाएंगे in Hindi.

In some time translates to കുറച്ച് സമയത്തിനുള്ളിൽ in Malayalam and कुछ समय में in Hindi.

The combined sentences are as follows:

In Malayalam: ഞങ്ങൾ തിരിച്ചു വരും കുറച്ച് സമയത്തിനുള്ളിൽ. In Hindi: हम वापस आ जाएंगे कुछ समय में.

As you can observe, the natural flow of the sentence is broken. This leads to awkward sentences in complex cases as the translator doesn’t know the full context of the sentence.