January & February 2018 update: I'm almost done with the translation of the base install package (i.e. the GUI of the game, the translatable texts in two of the three FMs in the package).
I've decided it wouldn't be all that bad if I provided you guys with some insight into the current state of things, what will still need resolving, and so on. First, I want to talk about some of the minor GUI issues I've run into (and which I prefer to resolve first), then also cover the issues with the FMs from the base install (which can still be fixed/improved later).
1. GUI TRANSLATION
1.1) GUI Font Problems and Glitches
The following paragraphs are a hopefully complete list of problems I’ve run into while translating the game's GUI into the Slovak language. The problems are sorted into issues concerning:
a.) the visual appearance of letters in fonts. In this section, I’ve listed the problems in orders of decreasing severity.
b.) the current inaccessibility of some GUI titles to translators (as they are still „visually hard-coded” at this time, in this current version).
a.) Problems with letters in fonts
My recommendation is simple: These two letters need to be added to the standard game fonts in some future language update for TDM. Naturally, only if it's in any way possible for the particular font we used for most of the menu text. (But I have a feeling it certainly is possible.)
Until then, I've decided that all Slovak translations of TDM content will replace these letters with „l“ and „L“. An improvised solution, but it at least prevents the words that would include the letter from looking weird.
The letters ť and Ť („t with a caron“ and „capital t with a caron“), while working well in the prevalent font, have some degree of aesthetic problems. The „Ť“ letter is actually all right appearance-wise, but the way the „ť“ letter is depicted makes it look a bit like it was actually the letter „t with an acute accent“ (this is a non-existant letter in real world alphabets). It’s not a major problem, certainly not on the smaller titles of the GUI, but in the GUI of the main menu, it looks rather odd and ugly.
For the time being, just for the sake of visual appeal, the more major titles in the major game menus have had the „ť“-s in them changed to „Ť“-s, since it looks a little better and less confusing that way. This is, obviously, just a temporary solution at best. But for now, it will have to do.
A more minor issue, but still quite annoying. The letter á („a with an acute accent“) works pefectly everywhere in the game, with the sole exception being the GUI element „Enter Name“ in the Save/Load menu. It’s translated as „Zadaj názov“, but the á letter is not showing up correctly. For the time being, I’m changing the letter to a simple „a“, but this font issue will need fixing in the long term.
Issue similar to the third problem. The letter č („c with a caron“), which otherwise works perfectly in the game, is replaced by an „@“ on the „Loading“ splash screen title of the mission screenshots preview gallery (the clickable one, in the previews of the mission downloader). The splash screen title is translated as „Načítavam...“, and the glitch is making it look like „Na@ítavam...“ in-game. For the time being, I’m changing the letter to a simple „c“, but again, this font issue will need fixing in the long term.
A really minor one. The translated titles for the little settings bar in general video settings doesn't show letters with diacritics.
b.) Problems with untranslatable bits of the GUI
Some of the GUI titles are simply not yet available to be translated from English via the .lang files. Here’s a list of all these titles: „Load Mission“, „Save Mission“, „Description“, „Mission Statistics“, „Downloaded Missions“, „Online Mission Archive“, „Download Status“.
The popup window informing the player about all newly downloaded missions is translated fully, outside of the bit in parentheses at the end of the sentence (‘New Mission’), which for some reason remains in English. This is probably not due to an unaccessible font, but because of an algoritm I may have either overlooked, or don’t have direct access to via the .lang files. I'll probably look into this soon, there might be a solution.
Some strings for translating newer elements of the menus, already present in 2.05, are not available. Inventory Grid cannot be found in the all.lang file of 2.05, not even among the English language strings of that file. Currently, Inventory Grid is possibly the only untranslated line I have in the options menu, given the inaccessiblity. I've seen some advice on adding new strings, but I'd prefer if my own synced up with an official English one (code number and all).
1.2) Screenshots of the translated GUI
Here's a mix of screenshots, older and newer, to show how the finished translation of the GUI looks like. The "(DL)" bit means "download link" and is there just in case, if the image file view doesn't load properly.
FM Shop menu items and goods: Blackjack (DL), Sword (DL), Lockpicks (DL), Compass (DL), Spyglass (DL), Lantern (DL), Flashbomb (DL), Mine (DL), Broadhead arrow (DL), Water arrow (DL), Moss arrow (DL), Fire arrow (DL), Rope arrow (DL), Noisemaker arrow (DL), Health potion (DL), Holy water (DL). (The Gas arrow and other rarer items are also translated and work in a shop, but I can't remember an FM with a starting shop that sells them. I have seen them work perfectly fine in the shop menus, like the items in these images.)
Can't post too many screenshots visibly in the post, so I prefer linking to them. They should be easy to view. Same with the FM screenshots further down this post.
1.3) .lang files stuff for the GUI only
Finished, up-to-date .lang files, ready for download and testing.
These are the most up-to-date versions of the GUI .lang files (all.lang & slovak.lang) and of a working tdm_base01.pk4 file with said updates. Anyone of you can have a look and criticque whether the menus or the HUD text need a little rearranging to look better or not. Though I've taken great care to avoid omitting something, I'm sure I could have still overlooked something, and that's partly why I need your second opinions.
2. BASE PACK FMs TRANSLATION
2.1) Translated Training Mission and Tears of St. Lucia FM Font Problems and Glitches
The following paragraphs are a hopefully complete list of problems I’ve run into while translating the two base pack FMs (sans the latest, A New Job, which lacks usable .lang files) into the Slovak language. The problems are sorted into issues concerning:
a.) the varying presence or absence of letters in fonts, the visual appearance of letters in fonts
b.) translating some of the signs and items via the regular l10n method (involving strings and the separate l10 pk4)
a.) Presence and absence of letters in fonts, visual problems with letters in fonts
This mainly concerns readables, but in the case of the Training Mission, also the various hints you get throghout in the upper left corner of the screen.
Diacritical letters don't occur within translated readables at all. The book readables and the note readables do not display any diacritical letters, whatsoever. This results in virtually unreadable texts. (Unreadable without extensive guess work about the missing vowels and consonants with diacritics, at least.)
Diacritical letters do show up in mission briefings, and on the hint scrolls in the upper left corner of the screen that are unique to the Training Mission. However, even in these case, some of the diacritical letters are either missing completely or getting bizarrely replaced with entirely different letters (resulting either way in equally unreadable text).
Diacritical letters that are displayed correctly (on briefings and hint scrolls only):
Á á, Ä ä, É é, Ú ú, Ô ô, Í í, Ý í, Č č, Ň ň
Diacritical letters that are displayed incorrectly (on briefings and hint scrolls only):
a.) Š š are replaced with U u, for some reason
c.) Ď ď are displayed as D´ d´ (arguably a problem similar to the strange look of a non-capital ť letter in the GUI)
d.) Ĺ ĺ are apparently replaced with Å (upon closer inspection, this letter has the identical ALT+0197 as the two acute accent Ls, but on the English keyboard, not the Slovak one)
b.) Problems with translating some of the signs and items via the regular l10n (localisation) method
I've tested the translation in the Training Mission in particular, because the TM has just more content and thus more ground to cover. One of the unpleasant surprises was the realisation that, although the translation for all of the readables and the little hint scrolls in the Training Mission work, the translation for items and for in-game signs does not work. Mind you, all of the signs and all of the items unique to the Training Mission are listed in the strings of the same .lang file as the mission's readables and hints. The hints and readables work, but the items and signs are still in English. This is a mystery to me. Do those particular texts require a separate manipulation of the Training Mission's .lang file ?
2.2) Screenshots of the translated missions (Training Mission, Tears of St. Lucia)
Here's a mix of screenshots, older and newer, to show the current state of the two FMs' translation. Each of these is provided with a commentary by me. The "(DL)" bit means "download link" and is there just in case, if the image file view doesn't load properly.
a.) Training Mission
TRAINING MISSION - READABLES
The introductory book readable in the TM's atrium. All the letters with diacritics are gone. I.e. I will have to add them to this font. And not only to this font, unfortunately...
The font in the book readables is the "Mac Humaine" font used by TDM.
Same thing. The text looks okay, but any letter with a diacritic is simply not registered by the readable.
The book readable on lockpicking. Once again, all letters with diacritics are completely missing. In addition, I'll have to ammend the translation of the title, because there is no way I can get a conventional translation of "lockpicking" into that one line reserved for the title.
The text itself looks nicely, but the diacritical letters are missing.
Book readable about object handling. Missing diacritics again... For instance, the title is supposed to read "Ovládanie predmetov" (Handling of objects, Controlling of objects).
To make matters just a little bit worse, the original text in the second half of the readable is hard to translate, because you have to cram in all your translated text, and even, a portion of it gets cut off at the end. This is even without all the missing letters with diacritics. Mind you, I've tried to keep my translated text as brief as possible. But sometimes, it's hard to really fit it in, even in some readables like this one.
The above are in the "Nancy" font used by TDM.
Not much to say about these. If you get the impression they're bizarrely sparse, that's because the length of these notes, and the amount of letter with diacritics used in them, absolutely messes up the text once they're absent. You can still vaguely make out my translated text, but given the different style and size of the font, the absent letters are even more noticeable here than in the book readables.
TRAINING MISSION - MENU & BRIEFING TEXT AND ADDITIONAL TEXT
Now we're getting to the real meat of the issues, but these are thankfully unique to the hint scrolls and wall signs that appear in the Training mission. The hint scrolls are, just like the menus and briefings of TDM, in the "Carleton Caps only" font.
First off, as in the GUI, the Ľ letter doesn't work properly. This isn't obvious from the screenshot, where a normal L is seen instead in the second line. But this is because I have pre-emptively removed the Ľ, awaiting the same issue as with the GUI. I've outlined it in red.
Secondly, a Ď letter is in the first line of that screenshot excerpt, but shows up as more of a "D with an acute accent", with an acute accent diacritic above it instead of the caron diacritic. I've outlined it in blue.
Why is Ľ/ľ in particular such an issue in both the GUI and the FM font usage ? If Wikipedia is correct on this, the letters Ľ and ľ (l with a caron) only exist in Slovak. Ergo, they're very rarely used letter outside of the language. Hence, they weren't accounted for in any of the current fonts, because no one would really suspect such an obscure letter with diacritics to show up at all.
The Ď/ď letter is only slightly more frequent, existing in a few more languages, but not that many either. Rather rare diacritic letter in most fonts.
The letters Ť/ť ("t with a caron") and Ž/ž ("z with a caron") don't show up at all. They're replaced with squares. So, these need to be added to the diacritical letter library of whatever font is used for the hint scrolls. I have outlined the missing ť letters in red and the missing ž letters in blue.
There is also the added issue of the static signs in the Training mission having translatable strings, but the result of that translation not showing up at all.
The letter Š ("s with a caron") gets messed up more than most. it's neither a square, or an S with acute accent, it outright changes into another letter: U, of all things ! Believe me, it got very annoying whenever I tried to read the hint scrolls containing Š/š, and I read U/u all the time. Horribly distracting and makes the words utterly nonsensical.
Š isn't a very common letter with diacritics, but it shows up in some languages. The phonetic nature of the letter is widespread, though. E.g. in English, it shows up commonly as the combination "sh" (shadow, short, etc.), and in French, as the combination "ch" (chien, cheval, etc.).
The letter Ĺ ("L with an acute accent") is a rather rare letter too, similarly to the Ľ. When it comes to how it shows up in probably only this one hint scroll, it is displayed as a weird "A with a circle" letter. Similar situation as with Š, showing up as a completely different letter.
Suprisingly enough, a tiny minority of the hint scrolls that had diacritical letters already present in the font for the scrolls showed the translated text well. This is one of the few scrolls where I found nothing wrong with the translation. Pity so much of the other text from the Training Mission looks nowhere near as finished and correct as this example...
Like with the translated strings for the mission-specific signs seen in the FM, for some reason, the translated strings for mission-specific items (keys, etc.) don't show up either. They're still in English.
All of my translated strings are in the same .lang file, which is structurally identical to the FM's English-language .lang file. Do I need to do a separate perl process for the item and sign strings or what ? Any ideas ?
TRAINING MISSION - FIXING READABILITY AND FITTING STUFF IN
Due to the limiting nature of both the fonts (at least currently) and especially some of the strings for the Training Mission, it is a bit difficult to get it localised. Nevertheless, I want to provide a few sample screenshots of where this has worked out fine, even if I had to do a bit of out-of-the-box thinking.
* - I've noticed a few minor font-related typos in the final sentences on the screenshot, but these have been already repaired since I took it. Will update the screenshot when I'll have time.
** - The slight tweak needed being that I apparently have enough space to reintroduce the blank line between the title and the text. I don't like cramming text in these readables, and whenever at least some space can be spared, I prefer to spare it (though space is at a premium in most shorter readables, due to the limitations of the strings).
b.) The Tears od St. Lucia
THE TEARS OF ST. LUCIA - READABLES
Disappointing bit of news: After testing my l10n addon for the mission, I realised that the varied fonts are going to pose an even bigger problem. This time, it isn't just missing diacritical letters. Effectivelly, none of the readables (at least those that I had time to find and view) showed any of the translated text. All readables remained in English.
So far, I've only had experiences with how the translated text looked like within the fonts used in the Training Mission, which uses about 3 different fonts max. St. Lucia uses a lot more custom fonts, and aside from Carleton, none of the fonts from Training reappear in St. Lucia. I was in for a cold shower...
This readable is in the "Shopping List" font.
This readable is in the "Andrew Script" font.
This readable is in the "Popsies" font.
This one actually isn't much of a biggie. It's a photoshopped image, much like the various posters and notes dotting the level. There are no strings assigned to it, so I doubt it can get a translation without remaking the asset (and it's dubious whether the player would need to read this one for any hints, unlike the readables). Not entirely sure about the font used for this ad, it's probably the "JD Hand" one or similar.
THE TEARS OF ST. LUCIA - MENU & BRIEFING TEXT
All three of these seem to be in the "Carleton Caps only" font, typical of most TDM menus and popups (including those seen in the two FMs detailed here).
Important addendum (please read): Earlier this week, Springheel explained to me why there are plenty of issues with translating a still-in-development official mission like St. Lucia. To summarise, it's a bit of a headache to regularly update everything, including the existing strings, so it's possible I might have to play the long game with these official missions. Prepare the translations if needed, but be ready it might take a while before their implementation can become technically feasible. (Ideally, having the missions in a state that is considered closed and definitive would help a lot.) Yes, this is unfortunate, but I'd rather work on something that can be finished sooner than much later. Therefore, you'll still be getting at least a stripped-down translation of the Trainining Mission, and once I get the fonts to work, possibly translations of other completed FMs (other than the two from the official campaign).
2.3) .lang files and l10n stuff for the translated missions (Training Mission, Tears of St. Lucia) only
.lang file and l10n pack for the Training Mission (2.06 compatible) coming the following week (12th-18th February)
I have them largelly finished and have used them for testing (hence the screenshots above), but the GUI is more top priority now. (All the more that fixing the font issues in the FMs might take a good while longer than the much less numerous GUI font issues.)
Closing thoughts for now (late January 2018)
I doubt I'll get all the fonts issues resolved by 2.06, so we might opt for a barebones translation without repaired diacritics (the GUI one already is, albeit only for one or two of the letters that don't work) and then fix these font issues a little later, for 2.07. I'm already doing two different versions of the texts (one with diacritics, one without), so it wouldn't be much of a time issue on my part. I can prepare the diacritics-less text for the two FMs in no time, and much of it is already done.
Of the people who could help with fonts, Tels and Charisma are currently away and unavailable. I've contacted Skina, who has some practice with editing the font sets, so I might eventually patch all the missing letters and get the whole thing to work well with the translated GUI and translated texts in FMs. In the absence of Tels, Grayman also seems to know a bit about this area, but I'm not sure how much. I'm all very knew to fixing issues with fonts and it might take me a while to fix those issues.
Which brings me to what I wrote in the first of these three paragraphs: As things currently stand, it is highly probable a Slovak release with repaired diacritics will only show up in 2.07. So, it might still be a bit of a wait. However, I want to ensure that the Training Mission, at the very least, gets a (for now) "without diacritics" translation release for 2.06, alongside the GUI translation release for that same upcoming version.
P.S. I am hosting the screenshots via Mediafire. If some of the screenshots don't load, even if they loaded perfectly well before, it's a problem of the hosting service, not your computer. If anything like that happens, please use the download links I've provided as well, after every screenshot. The downloads work fine, even if the image viewing function hiccups.
Edited by Petike the Taffer, 13 February 2018 - 09:39 PM.