Oliver Charles | 16 Apr 18:41 2009

[mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

Hello,

Something that came up on IRC but needed more discussion is how to 
handle lists of items, in a human readable form. In English, one would 
write, for example:

Foo
Foo & Bar
Foo, Bar & Baz

With any more than 3 items, we join them together with commas except the 
last item. Saddly, I only speak English, so I don't know how this 
construct looks in other languages.

It does crop up in a few places in the templates (displaying 
relationships, and other short lists) - so it would be nice to have a 
solution to display lists in this manner, taking i18n.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

---

    Oliver Charles / aCiD2
Simon Reinhardt | 16 Apr 19:51 2009
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Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

Oliver Charles wrote:
> Hello,
> 
> Something that came up on IRC but needed more discussion is how to 
> handle lists of items, in a human readable form. In English, one would 
> write, for example:
> 
> Foo
> Foo & Bar
> Foo, Bar & Baz
> 
> With any more than 3 items, we join them together with commas except the 
> last item. Saddly, I only speak English, so I don't know how this 
> construct looks in other languages.
> 
> It does crop up in a few places in the templates (displaying 
> relationships, and other short lists) - so it would be nice to have a 
> solution to display lists in this manner, taking i18n.
> 
> Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Hi,

I can also only say this for one language. In German it is basically the same. However I think you would rather
expand & to und (and) there. Apart from that the only thing to notice is that we never have a comma before the
&/und which I think Americans tend to do?
And French people seem to do the same, looking at
<http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgule#Forme_diacritiqu.C3.A9e_:_virgule_souscrite>: blah,
blah, et blah. They don't even use their weird non-breaking spacing here! ;-)

(Continue reading)

Mikhail Yakshin | 17 Apr 00:51 2009

Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

Hi,

>> Something that came up on IRC but needed more discussion is how to
>> handle lists of items, in a human readable form. In English, one would
>> write, for example:
>>
>> Foo
>> Foo & Bar
>> Foo, Bar & Baz
>>
>> With any more than 3 items, we join them together with commas except the
>> last item. Saddly, I only speak English, so I don't know how this
>> construct looks in other languages.
>>
>> Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

It's generally the same in Russian, although "&" is replaced with "и".
Just joining things using ", " is also acceptable, and, sometimes even
preferred as it looks more formal.

--

-- 
WBR, Mikhail Yakshin

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Brian Schweitzer | 17 Apr 02:16 2009
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Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

> Foo, Bar & Baz
>
I can also only say this for one language. In German it is basically the same. However I think you would rather expand & to und (and) there. Apart from that the only thing to notice is that we never have a comma before the &/und which I think Americans tend to do?


The "serial comma"; I'd modify the above to Foo, Bar, & Baz, but really it depends on where and when you learned English grammar.

Brian
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Oliver Charles | 17 Apr 14:37 2009

Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 1:16 AM, Brian Schweitzer
<brian.brianschweitzer@...> wrote:
>> > Foo, Bar & Baz
>> >
>> I can also only say this for one language. In German it is basically the
>> same. However I think you would rather expand & to und (and) there. Apart
>> from that the only thing to notice is that we never have a comma before the
>> &/und which I think Americans tend to do?
>
>
> The "serial comma"; I'd modify the above to Foo, Bar, & Baz, but really it
> depends on where and when you learned English grammar.

This is sounding good… all the big languages tend to favor the same
construct (sure, the symbols change) - so hopefully we can add
something for this in :)

--

-- 
    Oliver Charles / aCiD2
Z | 18 Apr 19:47 2009
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Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

For all I know it's the same in spanish. You could of course replace "&" with "y" ("and") but no one would be surprise to see the ampersand (which isn't english anyway).

2009/4/16 Oliver Charles <oliver.g.charles-gM/Ye1E23mwN+BqQ9rBEUg@public.gmane.org>
Hello,

Something that came up on IRC but needed more discussion is how to
handle lists of items, in a human readable form. In English, one would
write, for example:

Foo
Foo & Bar
Foo, Bar & Baz

With any more than 3 items, we join them together with commas except the
last item. Saddly, I only speak English, so I don't know how this
construct looks in other languages.

It does crop up in a few places in the templates (displaying
relationships, and other short lists) - so it would be nice to have a
solution to display lists in this manner, taking i18n.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

---

   Oliver Charles / aCiD2

_______________________________________________
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MusicBrainz-i18n <at> lists.musicbrainz.org
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Alexander Dupuy | 19 Apr 13:38 2009
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Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

Oliver Charles asked:
Something that came up on IRC but needed more discussion is how to
handle lists of items, in a human readable form. In English, one would
write, for example:

Foo
Foo & Bar
Foo, Bar & Baz

With any more than 3 items, we join them together with commas except the
last item. Saddly, I only speak English, so I don't know how this
construct looks in other languages.

It does crop up in a few places in the templates (displaying
relationships, and other short lists) - so it would be nice to have a
solution to display lists in this manner, taking i18n.

Nobody has mentioned the East Asian languages, I don't have any special experience with these, but Wikipedia provides some relevant information (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_punctuation):

Enumeration comma ( 、 )
    The enumeration comma, known as the "pause mark" in Chinese (simplified Chinese: 顿号; traditional Chinese: 頓號; pinyin: dùnhào; literally "pause mark"), must be used instead of the regular comma when separating words constituting a list. Chinese language does not observe the English custom of serial comma (extra comma before "and" or "or" in a list), although the issue is of little in Chinese at any rate, as the English "A, B, and C" is more likely to be rendered in Chinese as "A、 B 、 C", without using a conjunction such as 和 or 与.

Japanese apparently follows this style as well, whereas Korean uses more Western punctuation forms.

Worth noting for all of these East Asian languages is that the fullspace comma does not need space character between it and following list item.

So, you could probably do fine with just three i18n terms:

1) ' and '
2) ', '
3) ', and '

although in theory, if you wanted to support a localization that required punctuation around each item (e.g. a Lisp-like syntax that uses parentheses like ((a) (b) (c)) for lists of items), you could add two more terms for start-of-list and end-of-list (which in English would be empty strings, although end-of-list could be a period).

Sample localizations of these terms might look something like the following table, showing space characters as ␣ for clarity (it might well be worth making these a personal preference, since users in any locale might well prefer different variants, for example "and" vs. "&"):

Name
en_US
en_UK
es       
zh      
lisp    
conjunction
␣&␣ ␣and␣ ␣y␣ ) (
list-comma
,␣ ,␣ ,␣
) (
final-comma
,␣&␣ ,␣ ,␣ ) (
list-start




((
list-end

.
.

))

<at> alex
-- mailto:alex.dupuy-ee4meeAH724@public.gmane.org
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Brian Schweitzer | 21 Apr 06:29 2009
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Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

The ampersand isn't English?  (Totally random and useless fact of the day I happened to have drifting around in my head.  :P) It's a stylized ligature of "et", which is an English loanword from French dating back to like the 12th century, maybe earlier, back when French was the "language of the court" in English high society... 

Brian

On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 1:47 PM, Z <johnnyooh <at> gmail.com> wrote:
For all I know it's the same in spanish. You could of course replace "&" with "y" ("and") but no one would be surprise to see the ampersand (which isn't english anyway).

2009/4/16 Oliver Charles <oliver.g.charles-gM/Ye1E23mwN+BqQ9rBEUg@public.gmane.org>

Hello,

Something that came up on IRC but needed more discussion is how to
handle lists of items, in a human readable form. In English, one would
write, for example:

Foo
Foo & Bar
Foo, Bar & Baz

With any more than 3 items, we join them together with commas except the
last item. Saddly, I only speak English, so I don't know how this
construct looks in other languages.

It does crop up in a few places in the templates (displaying
relationships, and other short lists) - so it would be nice to have a
solution to display lists in this manner, taking i18n.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

---

   Oliver Charles / aCiD2

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Simon Reinhardt | 21 Apr 13:41 2009
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Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

Brian Schweitzer wrote:
> The ampersand isn't English?  (Totally random and useless fact of the 
> day I happened to have drifting around in my head.  :P) It's a stylized 
> ligature of "et", which is an English loanword from French dating back 
> to like the 12th century, maybe earlier, back when French was the 
> "language of the court" in English high society... 

I doubt it. I think it's more likely to be taken from Latin directly. Apparently it can be traced back to Roman
times and is connected to the development of scripts and typefaces across Europe that were used for
communication in the then still large empires that spanned half of Europe anyway. Since languages and
nationalities weren't that differentiated then I don't think you can relate it to any language specifically.

Regards,
  Simon
Brian Schweitzer | 21 Apr 13:50 2009
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Re: [mb-i18n] Internationalization for lists

Ah, you're right - the ligature itself apparently goes back even further, to Roman times, for Latin.  ( http://www.adobe.com/type/topics/theampersand.html ).  I think the loanword end would still apply to English, be it French or Latin sourced, for this particular case of "et" (not now used in English) as still being valid "English", though also quite valid in many other Latin-derived languages.  :)

Brian

On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 7:41 AM, Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt-EbTbQB9lnPI@public.gmane.org> wrote:
Brian Schweitzer wrote:
> The ampersand isn't English?  (Totally random and useless fact of the
> day I happened to have drifting around in my head.  :P) It's a stylized
> ligature of "et", which is an English loanword from French dating back
> to like the 12th century, maybe earlier, back when French was the
> "language of the court" in English high society...

I doubt it. I think it's more likely to be taken from Latin directly. Apparently it can be traced back to Roman times and is connected to the development of scripts and typefaces across Europe that were used for communication in the then still large empires that spanned half of Europe anyway. Since languages and nationalities weren't that differentiated then I don't think you can relate it to any language specifically.

Regards,
 Simon

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