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Maximum translation length=20 ASCII characters
Thread poster: Willa95

Willa95
France
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to French
+ ...
Dec 14, 2014

Good evening everybody,

I have to translate User Interface strings but I must stick to character limitation (character limits include spaces). I tried to understand what does "ASCII" mean but I am not sure.

For instance:

"LIKES_0 likes, DISLIKES dislikes"
(Label used to show number of likes and dislikes in social products [Maximum translation length=20 ASCII characters])"

My translation: LIKES_0 J’aime DISLIKES Je n’aime pas

Do I need to cut spaces, characters here? How many ASCII characters does this sentence (LIKES_0 J’aime DISLIKES Je n’aime pas) have? When I copy the sentence on Word, it gives 32 characters without spaces and 36 spaces included).

Could you please help me?

Thanks a lot!


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:59
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some calculations Dec 14, 2014

Assuming reasonably that LIKES and DISLIKES variables are numerals up to 999,999 (and include the thousands separator, be it comma, space, dot or any other single character), the longest possible English source string could be expressed as follows for purposes of ASCII length:

XXX,XXX likes, YYY,YYY dislikes

The string above is 31 characters long. That's way over the limit.

Even if we were to assume that both variables are only 2-digit numbers, i.e. from 0 up to 99, the source string would be:

XX likes, YY dislikes

This string is 21 characters long. Still slightly over the limit.

I would definitely contact the client asking for clarification on how they are counting characters.

If none can be obtained, I would do my best to keep the target not longer than the source.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 19:59
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Standard characters on an English keyboard Dec 15, 2014

The maximum allowed length is 20 characters. The characters that you can use are limited to the 26 letters of the English alphabet (upper/lower case), numbers, spaces, and special characters that you can find on a standard English keyboard: !"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~

Standard ASCII would presumably NOT include unicode characters, such as non-English letters found in European languages, currency symbols, special symbols like §. This may be relevant for French where you cannot use é, è, ç, etc.

[Edited at 2014-12-15 03:54 GMT]


 

Willa95
France
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
French version Dec 15, 2014

Thank you Lincoln Hui for this useful summary.
Thank you Mikhail.
Mikhail, I don't understand why you put "XXX" and "YYY" here. Does this imply that we need to remove the placeholders "LIKES" and "DISLIKES" in the target version and put "XXX" and "YYY" instead?
It is hard for me to ask clarification to the client since it's a translation test...
And what about the French version (the one that I am supposed to give) :

"LIKES_0 j'aime, DISLIKES je n'aime pas". Do you think we need to remove the "LIKES_0" and "DISLIKES"? I thought they were supposed to stay.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Agree with Lincoln Dec 15, 2014

Lincoln Hui wrote:
Standard ASCII would presumably NOT include Unicode characters, such as non-English letters found in European languages, currency symbols, special symbols like §. This may be relevant for French where you cannot use é, è, ç, etc.


Yes. On the other hand, it may be that the client uses the word "ASCII" to mean "Latin", i.e. not Cyrillic or CJK letters. The word "ASCII" is a rather overused, misused word and can mean many things. But if we assume it means those characters that Lincoln mentioned, then it is possible that you shouldn't use the curly apostrophe either, but the straight one instead (i.e. "J'aime" instead of "J’aime").

As for your original query, my quess is that the placeables count for 1 character, so that "LIKES_0 likes, DISLIKES dislikes" can be regarded by you as "# likes, # dislikes", which is 19 characters long. There is actually a small chance that the note is inaccurately written, and that the programmer really intended to say that the translation of "likes" and "dislikes" is limited to 20 characters each.


 

Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 20:59
Japanese to English
Labels usually exclude placeholders/variables... Dec 15, 2014

Lincoln gave you the list of ASCII characters, and you are limited to just those plus the space character,
but ordinarily the character count doesn't include placeholders ("LIKES_0/DISLIKES"), so you would have 20 characters to use in addition to that.

Counting that way, your example: LIKES_0 J’aime, DISLIKES Je n’aime pas, would have 19 characters including spaces (within the prescribed 20 characters.):

J’aime (6 characters) + Je n’aime pas (13 characters, including spaces) = 19 characters

On Mikhail's point: I doubt they are including the actual number (numerals up to 999,999, including the thousands separator) because it changes dynamically. Ordinarily the developer would make an allowance for the number display regardless of the labels, because he/she wouldn't want the labels shifting around as the number of likes/dislikes increases.

The actual count (i.e. "999,999") would fit within one space in the UI, while the label (i.e. "J’aime") would fit into another space (next to the number) in the UI. So, most likely, the 20-character limit only includes characters other than the placeholders "LIKES_0" + "DISLIKES".

But, alas, we all know that you can't assume anything when it comes to translation, so be sure to check with your client as Mikhail suggested.

MLG4035


 

DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 12:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
One of a well-defined set of 95 characters. Dec 15, 2014

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII#ASCII_printable_characters

 

Willa95
France
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Another example Dec 15, 2014

Thank you Samuel and DLyons.

@Samuel: if, as you said, the placeables count for 1 character (which I hope), we can write "LIKES_0 j'aime, DISLIKES je n'aime pas". If we can't, what would you suggest?


I've got another example (perhaps more concrete because the sentence doesn't have placeholders...):

"Swipe thumb from left or right edge to access quick controls and hide Application and URL bars."
(Context: "Summary for lab quick controls feature [Maximum translation length=80 ASCII characters]")

My French version would be: "Effleurez l’écran vers la droite pour accéder aux contrôles rapides et masquer les applications et les barres URL."

The sentence has 96 characters without spaces and 113 spaces included...

The client said: "you must stick to the character limitation, regardless of the source length and regardless of the best words being too long."

What do think about that?

Thank you everyone


 

Willa95
France
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Other sentence Dec 15, 2014

Michael Grant wrote:


Lincoln gave you the list of ASCII characters, and you are limited to just those plus the space character,
but ordinarily the character count doesn't include placeholders ("LIKES_0/DISLIKES"), so you would have 20 characters to use in addition to that.

Counting that way, your example: LIKES_0 J’aime, DISLIKES Je n’aime pas, would have 19 characters including spaces (within the prescribed 20 characters.):

J’aime (6 characters) + Je n’aime pas (13 characters, including spaces) = 19 characters



Thank you Michael. As I said before, I unfortunately cannot ask anything to the client because it is for a test. Asking something about this particular thing would imply I don't understand how it works...

Regarding the sentence "Swipe thumb from left or right edge to access quick controls and hide Application and URL bars."
(Context: "Summary for lab quick controls feature [Maximum translation length=80 ASCII characters]")

I tried to reduce it to: "Glissez vers la droite pour accéder aux contrôles rapides/masquer les applications et barres URL." which still gives us 96 characters space included...

I don't know if any of you speaks French but I can't see how to reduce this sentence more...


 

DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 12:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
You can become progressively more terse as you get towards the end of a sentence Dec 15, 2014

Willa95 wrote:


"Swipe thumb from left or right edge to access quick controls and hide Application and URL bars."
(Context: "Summary for lab quick controls feature [Maximum translation length=80 ASCII characters]")

My French version would be: "Effleurez l’écran vers la droite pour accéder aux contrôles rapides et masquer les applications et les barres URL."



Effleurez l’écran vers la droite pour accéder aux contrôles & masquer apps/URLs

That's 79 chars. "et" can become "&" or ",". Full stop can be dropped. "/" removes two blanks. If really stuck " vers la droite" could become "->" etc, etc.


 

Willa95
France
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
77 characters Dec 15, 2014

DLyons wrote:



Effleurez l’écran vers la droite pour accéder aux contrôles & masquer apps/URLs

That's 79 chars. "et" can become "&" or ",". Full stop can be dropped. "/" removes two blanks. If really stuck " vers la droite" could become "->" etc, etc.



Thank you so much DLyons, I finally managed to have 77 characters (spaces included)!icon_smile.gif

"Faites défiler pour accéder aux menus rapides/masquer les applications et URL."

What do you think about this?


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:59
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
The length of the basic French version is not 19 but 21 Dec 15, 2014

Michael Grant wrote:
Counting that way, your example: LIKES_0 J’aime, DISLIKES Je n’aime pas, would have 19 characters including spaces (within the prescribed 20 characters.):

J’aime (6 characters) + Je n’aime pas (13 characters, including spaces) = 19 characters


You've omitted 2 spaces from this character count. The correct count, with all the same assumptions, is 21.

[Edited at 2014-12-15 12:31 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-12-15 12:32 GMT]


 

Willa95
France
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
First sentence Dec 15, 2014

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:


You've omitted 2 spaces from this character count. The correct count, with all the same assumptions, is 21.

[Edited at 2014-12-15 12:31 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-12-15 12:32 GMT]


Thanks Mikhail. I removed a comma between “J’aime and DISLIKES”

"LIKES_0 J’aime DISLIKES Je n’aime pas"
I think there are 20 characters no? Could you please confirm that?icon_smile.gif


 

Silvia SG  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:59
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Same Test Dec 2, 2015

Hi, can I ask you if you finally passed this test?
I have been recently asked to do what it seems to be the same test.
I have delivered it already but I would like to speak in private if possible.

Thanks


 

JRoozendaal  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 13:59
English to Dutch
+ ...
Test Dec 16, 2015

I'm doing the same test translation. Open to talk if you want. I'm submitting tomorrow.

 
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