[Translators-l] SVG translation: qqq useful?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Sat Jun 23 13:31:47 UTC 2012

Translating a SVG often does not require just translating the text
itself, but also adapting its layout. Frequently, the labels have to
be moved slightly. Legends will need to be a bit larger or will
require that a single label takes two lines instead of one. The
simplest labels like namse of cities or countries howver will not vary
significantly in length, but abbreviations may be used sometimes.
There are however some issues when labels are positioned in the SVG
without using vertical and horizontal centering. Many maps are created
for example that forget the alignment constraints that may be needed
for translations. and they are packed so tightly that it is almost
impossible to fit everything. A solution sing smaller font sizes may
create something that looks random with labels of different sizes, as
if the size was changing the relative importance of the label.

But the most problematic cases ocur when the color maps are badly
chosen : small font sizes are hard to read when they are not
contrasting enough. All labels should be only white or black. But the
widest gammut of distinctive background is possible only with lighter
backgrounds, so that most labels should be only black. The gammuts of
background colors should also avoid some colors that are perceived
with the same or very similar lightness, contrasting only in their
hue, notably between some wellknown pairs which cause problems :
green/red notably (and of course green/yellow in light shades, or
marron/red in darker shades, as well as blue/cyan, cyan/green,
blue/magenta and magenta/red in medium shades).

This is particular sensible if the colored areas to oppose have a
small relative surface in the image, and even more important if you
have used shadowing/lighting effects with non uniform colors.

In my opinion it is even better to have a non translated image that is
accessible, than a non-accessible image that is perfectly translated
but difficult to perceive and interpret due to poor color choices.

And most often, you don't need a lot of labels everywhere : they
obscure the image itself. Sometimes just adding a small symbol will be
enough (it shoudl be monochromatic and like letters of labels, should
avoid oppositions of colors : you should better vary the symbol/icon
size or the weight of its strokes)

2012/6/23 Federico Leva (Nemo) <nemowiki at gmail.com>:
> Siebrand Mazeland, 22/06/2012 16:12:
>> I thinking it may be important to have, and increase translation quality.
>> Graphics and illustrations often contain abbreviations and such. It may be a
>> Good Thing (tm) if those things can be annotated. The same goes for jargon,
>> colloquialisms, and the likes.
> The question is whether such documentation should be in qqq or elsewhere:
> contrary to what Michael said, I don't think SVG text strings contain
> variables (please correct me if I'm wrong), so the text and context the
> translator sees is exactly what the reader of the image sees; if something
> is unclear, it should perhaps be explained in a legend to both the
> translators and the readers, not only in hidden documentation strings.
> Nemo
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