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Grammar, Style and the Colopedia

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by Kendon, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    Since proofreading the English text I’ve noticed spelling questions pop up in other threads. It would be good to have all that in one place to be included in a major release, whether it’s 2.8.1 or 2.9.

    Simply looking at the length of text in the code shows either that Germans take a long time to say something or, probably, that the German description is more interesting. The English version could use more content along with natural syntax.

    It’s not just words. Format and links affect what can be said. It can be tricky to keep the original style for new entries.

    For example I noticed The New World wasn’t in the Colopedia even though there were links to it. I thought that might be a simple mistake so I tried putting it back. That revealed old content that needed serious updating, particularly for terrain and resources.

    My first reaction was to take it back out. My second was to edit, keeping brief references to terrain with links to Basic Terrain and Terrain Features. As for Resources, we’ve gone from 11 to 45 so a quick link to that page is the only approach that makes sense. The text code has an updated New World entry, but I can’t make it appear in the Colopedia.

    Imagine a new player making landfall for the first time, seeing the resources on the tile and wondering if it’s a good place to settle. Where can they check? The New World is an obvious place to start. If that entry is short and simple it’s a good confidence-builder.

    When We the People is easy to understand for people who rely on English, there will be more new players. I think that would be good.
     
  2. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Sure, let us collect them here. :thumbsup:

    Yes, most of these texts are still from TAC and 2 team members then heavily focussed on immersive and flavourful texts.
    TAC was a German speaking team though (German, Austrian and Swiss modders) and originally it was not fully translated from German to English.

    In RaR, we tried to translate all texts into English of course, but e.g. @Schmiddie and myself are Germans as well (not native English speakers)
    and it was really a lot of text to write and translate.

    That would really be nice. :)

    That is easy actually. You need to create an entry here if it is missing.
    CIV4BasicInfos.xml

    If you are having problems, let me know. :thumbsup:
    (You could also simply send me the file and I will do it for you.)

    Fully agree. :hug:
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  3. Mr. ZorG

    Mr. ZorG Prince

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    yes, when I translated texts into Russian, I often used the German version of the text. the English version of the text was very often monotonous. it will be great to diversify it)
     
  4. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    As ray said: The reason is that most of the developers of TAC and RaR are Germans and we never took care about great English texts. Hence best solution would be a 1:1 translation of the German texts.
     
  5. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    You're right. It's done. Thank you.
     
    raystuttgart likes this.
  6. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    I've finished the literal German to Engish translation of the largest document, \ Assets \ XML\Text \ XML_AUTO_UF8_ConceptInfo.xml. It will take me a while to go through it and make sure it reads well in English.
     
    Mr. ZorG and raystuttgart like this.
  7. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    @ConjurerDragon

    On the Pasture screen:
    ‟the links to "(with Resource Horses)" and "(with Resource Cattle)" do not lead to the description of the resource horses or cattle, but to a strange description of a horse or a cow as a unit. Has someone hidden plans to drive the spanish into the sea with a stampede? Or horses and cattle running wild over the prairie?”

    On the Plantation screen:
    "The production of all goods other than Livestock, Food or Barley there is increased." - while Food and Barley are listed both as +1 under the "Improvements" list.
    So - is the text right and should a plantation not increase food and barley at all (because that is a farms job to do) or should the text be changed to something like "The production of all goods other than Livestock, Food or Barley there is increased by +3, the latter two only by +1"?”

    Right now I'm about halfway through the ConceptInfo.xml rewrite which adds detail from the original German version. It's going well.

    Once that's done, this is exactly what I'd like to get to, removing errors so new players don't get any more confused than the normal learning curve requires.

    Thank you for pointing this out.
     
    Mr. ZorG likes this.
  8. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Are you referring to this bug, which I fixed yesterday (in Develop_2_8)?

    Be aware that the fix required an update to the code itself. It's not a text only issue. I'm happy that you fix issues in the text, but don't hold back asking for programming help if you run into this in semi-autogenerated text.
     
  9. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    Sorry about that. I was also looking at the Plantation screen. Is that also semi-autogenerated? I see while I'm playing that plantations do increase food and barley by +1.
     
  10. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    No need to apologize. I spotted the risk of double work and reacted to it.

    Each page in Colopedia has a source file to draw it. This means we have the same code for all improvements. The fix in question is fairly simple, but it does require the python file (.py) to add the type (in this case as %s5) for the text to use it.

    Some text is autogenerated based on xml and some isn't. If you can't easily find the text in the text xml files, then it's likely autogenerated.
     
  11. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    I’ve uploaded revised text to GitHub -- the Game Concepts and Basic Infos documents.

    I’m starting to get an idea of how things fit together. That’s why BasicInfos is included, to show The New World entry , and to make a cleaner connection to Piracy and Smuggling.

    The English version has been conformed to the German text, with English formatting checked and changed for a consistent look. To a new player Health, Happiness and Large Rivers should look as familiar as Visibility and Professions.

    Game Concepts has been done first because changes accumulated since Vanilla are dotted throughout various concepts. Elsewhere changes are easier to notice but in Concepts a privateer with a strength of 5 and a silver miner can slip by on a quick read.

    Text for some screen placements has been adjusted because it matched the Vanilla or TAC screen but wasn’t what a current player sees.

    I’ve done this first on the assumption someone seeing this as a new game might start with Game Concepts. I want to go through the rest of the Colopedia but this was the big document.

    I’ve been testing play on The New World map with large rivers. I know that’s not part of the current release but I’m hoping a new player might ignore a description of something that’s not there, leaving one less thing I have to change for 3.0.

    Check to see if you think this version is better. I’m particularly interested to hear about any game play errors I may have made, any missing links from early mods, and typos or format problems.
     
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  12. Fürstbischof

    Fürstbischof Chieftain

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    Using the latest GitHub version 2.8.2.2 I've revised (read re-translated) a good part of the diplomacy texts. There are huge differences between the English and the German texts, e.g. leading to identical texts from very different tribes. Although being German I've usually played the English version. To say the least I was very surprised to see what was hidden from me all this time.

    Sadly, the diplomacy texts are split over several files. I'd be helpful if these (and also pedia texts for tribes, goods, units, leaders, founding fathers, etc.) could be moved to a single file, so that later changes can be done quickly. Is anything planned along these lines?
     
  13. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Yes and no. We want text to be organized but nobody is actively working on it. Well apart from Kendon, but that's a different kind of updating. We could for sure use somebody willing to spend time on this. If you (or anybody else) wants to contribute, feel free to join our discord and we can talk about how to organize it.
     
  14. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    I've completed an English update for CIV4GameText_Achievement_utf8.xml where I’ve translated and added the German text, start to finish. The document is now 337 kb, up from 263 kb.

    Achievements will be much more involving for English-speaking players. Previous statements were matter-of-fact and that remains as a short introduction.

    Now there are vignettes giving a personal feel to each achievement. Even better, character attitudes change as the game progresses. It would be interesting to know who wrote the original stories, maybe for TAC or RaR.

    It looks like I was naive to think the Colopedia represented most of the writing. I’ll keep chugging along through Text file documents in the order they appear. I can upload each as I finish it so as much as possible will be current for any new release.
     
  15. Mr. ZorG

    Mr. ZorG Prince

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    that's great news)
    the old texts were monotonous and I had to use translation from all languages to diversify the Russian translation. That was hard. I know at least a little English)))
     
  16. Fürstbischof

    Fürstbischof Chieftain

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    Well done! Yes, there is a lot to be done. I've already fixed the English diplomacy texts, which were mostly identical, in the same way as you have done. ATM I'm working on German diplomacy texts which suffer from the very same problem just the other way around. Yep, the colourful descriptions were only halfway done, while losing a good part of the German vanilla texts.

    I'm working mostly on files related to FFs, leaders, civs, diplomacy and quotes. (Just think about proper Spanish names...) These are also spread over various CIV4GameText_ files. Besides that I'm also improving the readibility of UI, messages and pop-ups. These files still have a lot of (now) superfluous content which needs to be deleted to avoid wasting your time revising it. My partly machine-translated English does need a proper revision, too, but I haven't completed - or uploaded - any files yet. And you're quicker than I'd originally expected! :)

    May I suggest that you for the moment take a closer look at yields and units and their implementation in the pedia texts? That would buy me some time...
     
  17. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Seeing that we have lots of activity with the strings/translation, I have been wondering about how to organize it. I'm seriously considering setting up a new git repository, one with only translations. It then has a folder for each language. This way two languages can update at the same time without conflicting even if the same string is edited. It does however require scripting to split and merge files.

    Ideally we should also have an interface to it, one which supports assigning gender and stuff to text. Ideally we could code it in javascript and put it on github meaning we get a text editor in the browser, but if we do that, then we need somebody with javascript experience to code it. It would solve the problem of getting it out to everybody because everybody has a browser.
     
  18. Mr. ZorG

    Mr. ZorG Prince

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    Why such complications if each language has its own folder?
    As a translator from English, it would be more important for me to know that some text has been changed and my translation is no longer relevant.
     
  19. Kendon

    Kendon Warlord

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    I can go through XML_AUTO_UTF8_UnitInfo and XML_AUTO_UTF8_YieldInfo. I'll do units first, unless you'd prefer I start with yields.
     
  20. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Obviously each translation needs access to English. It would be pointless otherwise. We can also add extra tags like <comment>, which the game then ignores. Updating English could add the old English string as <old> in the translations to make it easier to see which lines have been updated. There are plenty of tools we can use to get a better overview of the translation process and maintenance.

    The main reason for splitting is that ideally only one person works on a single file at a time. If more than one works on the same file, we risk conflicts with risk of overwriting the work of other people. If there is a file for each language, then an update in Russian can't conflict with an update in German. As the number of translators and languages increases, the conflict avoidance becomes more complex unless we use a better system to avoid it.
     

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