Abbreivating long localized strings?

Discussion in 'iPhone/iPad Programming' started by samdev, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #1
    I'm thinking about adding some localized strings to my app, however, the localized version
    of the string may be too long for a particular GUI that was designed for a short English word.
    The GUI is not a button or something that can be easily resized. Space is limited.

    If I can't fit a particular word into my GUI, would it be reasonable to somehow truncate
    or abbreviate the localized word? I don't know anything about abbreviating a foreign word.
    Or perhaps just leave it as English? Making the text smaller would just look crappy.

    I can't decide what to do. :confused:
     
  2. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #2
    If you're truncating words to fit a GUI layout, you're doing it wrong. The whole thing -- layout, text, etc. -- is normally changed to suit a particular language. That means the nib, any text used by the program, etc.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    #3
    Ask a translator, that what they are for.

    A professional translation service (or the person behind it) will do more than simply translating word by word into the foreign language. Translation is the first pass, second pass is to verify the GUI and to check for the things you mention. As they know the foreign language the tend to come up with good suggestions.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #4
    Localize the nib or storyboard itself. Adjust the button size for different languages so that everything fits without abbreviations.
     
  5. Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #5
    And what if it can't fit without abbreviations? For example, some German counterparts to English words can be rather long. What do you do if there is no room in the layout for the entire word?
     
  6. samdev, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #6
    Rather than using a direct translation, I usually have to use an alternative meaning to get the
    shortest possible word. For example, "on/off" doesn't seem to translate nicely to all languages,
    so I have to change the meaning to "yes/no". This gives me the shortest translation with little
    change to its meaning. I think Apple's solution was to change the words into bar/circle symbols.

    Anyway, if I still don't know what to do, I take a look at what other apps have done in
    similar situations. And there are already many button-word examples you can find on the iPhone
    after changing the language settings. I grabbed some of those words for my own app.
     

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