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New tooltips hard to translate in declensional languages

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:01 am
by Antyradek
In some languages like Polish it's impossible to create valid universal tooltip categories without sounding weird.

In English we can say "Uses steam" and the word "Steam" can be used as noun in other places.
Therefore you can calculate tooltip as verb + item, which can be modified by mods and works in all cases.
The same goes for "item + temperature".
And so verb is saved in core.ini and item name is saved in base.ini and used in wholla other places.

In other languages the verb can modify noun, which means the noun cannot be used as a simple name of an item.
And the form(case) of the noun depends of verb.
So in Polish for example:
• Steam → Para wodna
• Consumes steam → Zużywa Parę wodną
Also in other places like pipe tooltip:
• Steam temperature → Temperatura Pary wodnej

So the ugly solution would be to add a colon to the noun:
• Zużywa: Para wodna
Or modify icon so that there are different icons for producer and consumer (" :arrow: Nuclear fuel").
Or replace noun with icon (" Consumes :idea: ").
Or create full different tooltip category for each icon and item interaction. ← My favourite

And for pipe just remove noun as pipe can only carry one fluid anyway and it's displayed above too. Let it be simply "Temperature:".

If no-one cares in a week I'm changing translation for Polish for colons and let other declesional languages wonder themselves.

Re: New tooltips hard to translate in declensional languages

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:44 am
by Deadlock989
To be honest, the fuel category localisations are weird in English as well. English still has plenty of declensions, just fewer than many other languages like Finnish - it only has a very few remnants of grammatical case marking from its Germanic heritage for nouns and pronouns (e.g. accusative "whom", nominative "I" versus accusative/dative "me", "us" versus "we" etc.), and it doesn't assign gender to nouns, but it does mark tense and person for verbs and it does mark possession and plurality.

Fuel category localisations are used in the tooltip fuel category header "[icon] Consumes [localised-category-name"] but category name is also used in the tooltip for the fuel items as well, for example:
item.png (39.43 KiB) Viewed 1898 times
entity.png (93.89 KiB) Viewed 1898 times
Both of the vanilla fuel categories end in the word "fuel": "chemical" is rendered as "Burnable fuel" and "nuclear" is rendered as "Nuclear fuel". The problem is that in English, "fuel" in this context is a mass noun, i.e. it's uncountable. English mass nouns don't take a plural form. So if a modder creates a new category that isn't a mass noun - e.g. "Charged batteries" - you can't ever select a localisation that works in both locations. You can have "Consumes Charged batteries" and a dangling "Charged batteries" on the item tooltip, which looks wrong, or you can have "Charged battery" as the category in the item but then "Consumes Charged battery" on the entity which is also wrong.

So I was tempted to put a colon in the locale string for the English version as well. It doesn't quite make the mass noun oddness go away but it's less marked. It would also help if the item tooltip had a "Fuel category:" prefix or some such, because then non-mass nouns like "Fuel category: Charged batteries" would look a lot more natural.

Re: New tooltips hard to translate in declensional languages

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:57 pm
by Twinsen
It's hard balance between making it understandable and making it too complicated. I don't want modders to have to define too much stuff, it's great when you can add a new fuel category and it "just works".

For the polish translation, I think using the colon is perfectly reasonable. And something like "Consumes: Charged battery" seems good enough also. I don't really want to add a new string to be used in tooltips only unless really necessary.

I should probably change the translation to be "Consumes __1__" in case the order is different or the form is simple(like adding an s), but i'll wait until someone reports it since I don't want to change the translation again.

If you have suggestions for how exactly it should be done and how these situations should be defined exactly, let me know, maybe it's not too hard to implement.

Re: New tooltips hard to translate in declensional languages

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:10 pm
by Honktown
I think it would make more sense if the description was shortened entirely. Although Factorio eats items when it "fuels" things, in English, at least, we describe things as consuming the property of an object. Using an icon and a word describing the property would seem more intuitive:

(fire): "Combustible"
(angled AA-looking battery): "Charge"
(stereotypical three-electron atom): "Nuclear"
(sun): "Solar"

The tooltip for the consuming entity could just read "Energy source:" or "Powered by:"

There wouldn't be a good description for something that needs line electricity, but that's listed differently.

Edit: I thought about a power-line description: (cord plug): "Grid". Might need to make multiple icons for different countries lol

Re: New tooltips hard to translate in declensional languages

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:25 pm
by Honktown
To add more:

(thermometer): "Heat"
(steam cloud): "Steam"
(water drop): "Water"