This is the fifth progress report related to my work on the CONSUL app.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m currently serving as Language Moderator for the Italian team in the @utopian-io & @davinci.polyglot translation project. As I now have to give precedence to reviewing my Translators’ contributions, my own work on CONSUL will proceed more slowly, but I’m happy that I’m able to continue on with this project, which I’ve found both interesting and stimulating. I was also lucky this last week in that my Translators were both on holiday, and I could get some of my own work done.
Upon returning to CONSUL, I chose to start off by concentrating on a single file: admin.ylm. This turned out to be both simple and challenging, so much that I actually needed two reports to cover it all. This is, therefore, my second report dedicated to this oxymoronic file.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the strings collected in the admin.ylm file are all very simple, at least at first glance: single common words, often repeated, or short repetitive sentences, all pertaining to the settings and tools available to administrators in order to manage their City’s CONSUL. Last time, I covered the main issues connected to the difficulties in translating single words from a language with a rather easygoing grammar such as English to the more complex system of the Italian language (at least where gender and verb tenses are concerned).
A different issue I encountered pertained, instead, to a few key words used throughout the file with regards to the voting process for participatory budget and spending proposals.
CONSUL is an app that allows local governments to easily manage citizens’ participation in public budget decisions through the means of participatory budgets (which already exist in many systems and CONSUL simply embraced). This means that the app’s main features allow citizens to propose new project to be funded through the local budget and to vote on the proposals that seem more interesting and useful. A CONSUL admin must therefore navigate and filter through these proposals and manage the voting process. Which is where my issues came in, wanting to find the best translation for the “technical” terms describing the various steps in the process.
These are the key words I worked with.
PROCESS At first, I opted for the more literal processo as a translation, then I changed it to procedimento (“procedure”).
The meaning is roughly the same and either word might work, in context, but I felt that procedimento gave a more straightforward translation of what is, in fact, a multi-phase administrative process, since it’s also the term most commonly associated with administrative law.
VALUATION / VALUATORS This I played with a lot. Literal valutazione / valutatori was an option and the TMs suggested the more technical perizia / periti.
The literal translation didn’t really strike a chord with me, and the technical one felt inappropriate in case the people in charge of this phase weren’t actual professional experts, but maybe only people charged with reviewing a proposal. I ended up with stima / stimatori which I think was an appropriate middle ground: not too generic, nor too technical. I’m not crazy about stimatori for valuators, but stima was my favourite translation for valuation and, after all, I’m not that crazy about “valuators” as a word either.
POLL This was tricky. At first, I went with the obvious sondaggio (“survey”) and translated a good number of strings this way. Then I realized that “poll” was being used in relation to the actual voting process, which gave me pause. Somehow, sondaggio didn’t seem appropriate and official enough for what looked like an actual vote on the various proposals, with voting booths, poll officers and recounts.
I therefore opted for a more formal votazione (“vote”) and had to go back and change most of the strings I’d already saved.
QUESTION As was the case for “poll”, at first I used the literal domanda. When I realized that the questions mentioned were the object of the polls/votes I changed my translation to quesito, which makes more sense with regards to an item that citizens are required to vote on. At least to me.
OFFICERS (also POLL OFFICERS) Officer is a rather generic term, which can easily translate in the equally generic ufficiale. But since in this context officers were most often associate to polls and votes recounts, and being assigned shifts at voting booths, I figured that the best solution would be to use the term which identifies poll officers specifically, and assume all other instances of “officers” were simply a quicker way to address them. That’s how I ended up with scrutatori.
BOOTH (also VOTING BOOTH) As with “officers” I took into consideration all the terms that could be used for “voting booth” specifically: seggio, cabina elettorale, and urna. Among these, the most generic is seggio, which indicates the building or room where the voting procedures take place. Cabina elettorale is the actual booth where a voter hides to cast his ballot and urna is the container in which the voting cards are dropped after the vote. Not knowing how these voting procedures are organized, but assuming they happen online, I opted for a more encompassing seggio.
OFFICIAL Assuming that this was a different role than that of “officer”, the TM suggested pubblico ufficiale. Not knowing whether this would reflect an official public role even outside of the online domain, I chose a more generic funzionario, which is still a term that identifies public employees but which can also translate to “officer” or “agent”.
STATUS This wasn’t really a translation issue, but more of a singular/plural issue similar to the gender one covered in the last post. Stato is a more than appropriate translation for “status”, but in this specific context and with such short strings it was hard for me to know whether “status” was to be interpreted as singular or plural. But since status is also a perfectly acceptable word in Italian as well, being Latin, I chose to keep is as that in order to avoid the issue altogether (on the assumption that foreign words, including Latin ones, are always kept in their singular form when inserted into an Italian sentence).
All in all, I ended up writing and rewriting strings multiple times, before settling for these translations, which was more time consuming than originally expected. Additionally, while working on this file I encountered a few translation that had already been suggested by another user more than a year ago. When my translation turned out different than the proposed one, I put mine forward as well, while whenever the translation was the same I upvoted the one that had already been offered.
Here’s to hoping that I learned to be more careful when translating simple strings, with the next file!
- SOURCE LANGUAGE: English
- TARGET LANGUAGE: Italian
Please refer to my application for my expertise and experience as a translator.
CROWDIN COUNTER: 1314
As I mentioned, this file had very little code, and I chose not to fill up a companion clean words text file, since it would have simply encumbered the translation process with no real advantage to this report.
By finishing up the admin.ylm file, I’m now 64% done with CONSUL.
Proof of Authorship