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This is the home page for Ubuntu English translations.
Our intention is to maintain a central communications channel for en-GB based languages. Generally, this includes the forms of English spoken in Commonwealth countries such as the [https://launchpad.net/people/ubuntu-l10n-en-gb United Kingdom], [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IndianTeam India], [https://launchpad.net/people/ubuntu-l10n-en-au Australia], [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SouthAfricanTeam South Africa] and [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CanadianTeam Canada].
These variants are almost identical in their written forms, so it makes sense for some communication and co-operation to take place. We hope to eliminate the duplication of effort that is currently taking place in regards to translations.
Our translations are based on [https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/dapper/+lang/en_GB/ British English]. That effort is is headquartered [https://launchpad.net/people/ubuntu-l10n-en-gb here]. Essentially, we are producing an internationalised form of en_GB.
We do not intend to restrict the activities of local translation groups, but rather to provide a common base for everyone to build upon. Through co-operation, we hope to strengthen rather than weaken localised versions of English.
How to Participate
Joining the Ubuntu English (United Kingdom) Translators team allows you to commit translations and vote on policies. If you are not a member, your contributions will need to be approved by a member. The procedure for joining is as follows.
Sign up for a [https://launchpad.net/ Launchpad account].
- Make your e-mail address visible on your Launchpad homepage so that we can get in touch with you. If we cannot contact you, you cannot join.
Apply to join the [https://launchpad.net/people/ubuntu-l10n-en-gb Ubuntu English (United Kingdom) Translators team]
Sign up to the [https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-l10n-eng ubuntu-l10n-eng mailing list]
- An Administrator should e-mail you. Reply to their message.
The team is moderated, meaning that you need to be approved by an Administrator before you are allowed to join. Membership is dependent upon:
- adequate command of the written English language to qualify as a translator
- ability to contribute constructively and work as a team under the leadership of the Administrators
- following established guidelines and directions
- remaining contactable via the mailing list
Don't let these requirements scare you off, though. Provided you have decent written English language skills, you will likely be admitted.
Our primary communications channel is our [https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-l10n-eng mailing list].
Table of translations
The bulk of our translation effort is simple word substitution. To streamline this process and to maintain consistency, we are compiling a [wiki:EnglishTranslation/WordSubstitution table of translations]. As a quick guide, refer to our table of common translations, below.
For the Check Spelling function on the wiki to function correctly, we should also add our words to the [wiki:LocalSpellingWords Local Spelling Words] list.
Our primary tool is [https://launchpad.net/rosetta/+about Rosetta], Ubuntu's Web-based translation tool. To get started, consult the [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/TranslatingUbuntu Translation Team portal] and the [https://help.launchpad.net/RosettaFAQ FAQ list].
Although already an excellent tool, Rosetta suffers from a number of [https://features.launchpad.net/products/rosetta/ deficiencies] that may be of hindrance to our project. These issues are currently being addressed:
[https://features.launchpad.net/products/rosetta/+spec/similar-languages/ Similar Languages]
[https://features.launchpad.net/products/rosetta/+spec/language-glossary-links Language Glossary Links]
[https://features.launchpad.net/products/rosetta/+spec/the-english-language The English Language]
Team member [https://launchpad.net/people/malcolm-parsons Malcolm Parsons] maintains a [http://pepsiman.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/translate.user.js Greasemonkey script] to ease the translation process in Rosetta. It is updated at irregular intervals. Be sure to remove any previously installed versions before installing a new version.
Note that the script merely makes suggestions for word substitutions (based on [wiki:EnglishTranslation/WordSubstitution our table of translations]). It does not check punctuation, grammar or style. It would unfeasible for us (or evidently anyone else) to produce an automated corrector of these elements, so they must be assessed manually.
[http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/ Mozilla Firefox]
the [http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/ Greasemonkey] extension
[http://www.gnome.org/projects/epiphany/extensions Epiphany extensions]
The Greasemonkey extension from the above package enabled (Tools>Extensions).
Translations should be based on the [http://dictionary.cambridge.org/Default.asp?dict=CALD Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary] the [http://www.askoxford.com/dictionaries/compact_oed/?view=uk Oxford English Dictionary] and the [http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/chambers/chref/chref.py/main Chambers 21st Century Dictionary], unless they conflict with the information given below.
The [http://live.gnome.org/BritishEnglish GNOME] and [http://kde.me.uk/index.php?page=kde-en-gb KDE] projects have established guidelines for their own translation efforts. [http://en-gb.pyxidium.co.uk/ Pyxidium Limited] has been doing some good wotk with OpenOffice.org and Mozilla localisations.
Table of common translations
Below is a table of common translations. Note that these rules do not always apply, so use with caution. For a more complete list, refer to the aforementioned [wiki:EnglishTranslation/WordSubstitution table of translations].
encyclopaedia, anaesthetic, archaeology
spelt, spilt, spoilt, dreamt, knelt, burnt
centre, fibre, litre, metre, millimetre
colourise, organise, but not size
colour, favour, honour
only when a noun: licence, practice, advice, defence
'multi-storey', but not 'multiple'
Dr., Mr., Mrs.
Dr, Mr, Mrs
Only use a full stop if the final letter of the abbreviation is not the final letter of the word it is abbreviating.
St = Saint ; St. = Street
the tick box
a bank cheque
a game of chequers, a chequered floor
Contextual: If describing a round object (e.g. a CD or DVD), use 'disc'. Otherwise, use 'disk' (e.g. a hard disk drive).
The lid covering the engine compartment of a car.
Contextual: use 'program' in computing contexts, and 'programme' everywhere else (e.g. a computer program, a television programme)
The luggage compartment of a car.
pronunciation of the final letter of the English alphabet
Since our goal is to provide a common base for English, one must be mindful of the use of English internationally, and the differences between dialects and contexts (nouns/verbs, computing/non-computing, etc.). Below is a list of differences that should be reconciled. We will use the mailing list to discuss such matters.
Current en-GB Translation
Rubbish, Garbage, Rubbish Bin, Garbage Bin, Deleted Items, Deleted Items folder
This may be dependent upon context
This may be dependent upon context
This may be dependent upon context
[http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/?view=uk AskOxford's FAQ page] addresses some of the more ambiguous points of the English language.
Paul Brian's [http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html Common Errors in English] is based on en_US, but is nevertheless an excellent resource.
[http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm Spelling differences between American and British English]
[http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/words.htm Common Words in American and British English]
[http://english2american.com/ The English-to-American Dictionary]
[http://www.peak.org/~jeremy/dictionary/chapters/title.php The American-British British-American Dictionary (for English Speaking People)]
[http://www.eurotexte.net/translation/tips_brit_vs_amer.shtml Tips - British English vs American English]
[http://www.effingpot.com/ The Best of British]
[http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~jphb/american.html Notes on American English]
[http://www.hps.com/~tpg/ukdict/ United Kingdom English for the American Novice]
[http://www.travelfurther.net/dictionaries/ American-British/British-American Dictionaries]
[http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/britishcanadianamericanvocab.html British, Canadian and American Vocabulary]
[http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm Differences between British, Canadian and American Spelling]
Wikipedia hosts a number of informative [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?search=american+british+english pages] on the subject:
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_english British English]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_English Commonwealth English]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_English International English]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:English_language Category: English Language]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:English_dialects Category: English Dialects]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Forms_of_English Category: Forms of English]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_and_British_English_differences Category: American and British English differences]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences American and British English spelling differences]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_words_having_different_meanings_in_British_and_American_English List of words having different meanings in British and American English]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_words_not_widely_used_in_the_United_States List of British words not widely used in the United States]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_words_not_widely_used_in_the_United_Kingdom List of American words not widely used in the United Kingdom]
Other useful resources:
[http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/570/1/AMERICAN-VERSUS-BRITISH-ENGLISH American Versus British English: Why Translators need to Know the Difference]
[http://archive.1september.ru/eng/2001/05/1.htm Transatlantic Translation]
[http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/ English slang and colloquialisms used in the United Kingdom]
[http://www.uta.fi/FAST/US1/REF/us1refs.html FAST-US-1 (TRENPK2) Introduction to American English]
[Online Slang Dictionaries and Language Links http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/links.htm]
[http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/2284/ English to English]
[http://www.team.net/sol/solterms.html British car terms]
[http://www.nz.com/new-zealand/guide-book/language/dictionary.aspx NZ English to US English Dictionary]
Below is a list of groups that share some of our values. For our translation effort to be successful, we should be communicating and co-operating with them as much as possible.
- other English translation groups within Ubuntu
- other English translation groups in other distributions
the [http://live.gnome.org/BritishEnglish GNOME British English Translation] group
the [http://kde.me.uk/index.php?page=kde-en-gb KDE British English Translation] group
[http://en-gb.pyxidium.co.uk/ Pyxidium Limited] - OpenOffice.org and Mozilla localisations
- other upstream translation groups