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Proper English

John Slee
  • John Slee

    John Slee - 2008-04-02

    It seems VERY strange that I have to ask this question, but ask it I must!

    How many people as well as me would like to see the Union Jack as an option when 'English' is chosen? If so, what would the two character language abbreviation be? UK?
    Actually, the current EN should change to US, and EN should be reserved for the Queen's English. Remember your history cousins ;-)

    If others agree I'd be prepared to take this on, I think - unless someone warns me about the amount of work it will take. But maybe there is a utility out there that would do it automatically: 'Anglicise English' or something similar.

    If you are interested, as well as the 'Stars and Stripes' appearing against 'English', "Favorites" upset me - it should be 'Favourites'!

    • Greg Roach

      Greg Roach - 2008-04-02

      Hi John,

      <<How many people as well as me would like to see the Union Jack as an option when 'English' is chosen?>>

      Just the English?  As well as "British" English, there is also Candian, Australian, New Zealand, South African, assorted Caribbean, etc. variants....

      PGV can happily support these language variants (e.g. "en-uk", "fr-ca", etc.), but the language configuration/maintenance GUI only works with primary languages, not the country-variants, so you'll need to do a *small* amount of editing first.

      I did set up separate en-us and en-uk settings once.  It is not too difficult.  This allows you to specifiy "M, D Y" dates for the americans and "D M Y" for the brits as well as "favorite/favorite", etc.

      You need to start with the language definitions.  The distribution file is includes/lang_settings_std.php, which is used to create index/lang_settings.php.  Which one you edit depends on whether you are installing a new system or updating an existing one.

      Just copy/paste the block for "en" to "en-uk", "en-us", etc. and edit as appropriate.

      Next you should be able to use the translation tools (from the admin page) to edit the en-uk variants as necessary.

      As a fellow brit, I know what you mean about these pesky colonials and their poor spelling ;-)  The trouble is that in the IT world, spellings are standardised (standardized!) on american spellings.  Thus the PGV source code has functions like "get_favorites()", rather than "get_favourites()".  You get used to it after a while.

      The reason we haven't included british-english in the configuration settings is that we don't have a full-time american-to-british translator....

      As Gerry will probably tell you, you'll probably end up having to change (and hence maintain) 10-20% of the translations.

    • Gerry Kroll

      Gerry Kroll - 2008-04-02

      You forgot "colour", "...ise", and quite a few others.  I want the Canadian flag, our Kiwi users want the New Zealand flag, the Aussies want the Australian flag, etc.  I want a mix of British English and American English, since in Canada we normally use the "...ize" ending together with the "our" for those words that merit it.  Alberta is Americanized, even to the extent of pronouncing "roof" as "ruff".  (Notice the "ize" ending in the previous sentence??)

      Don't go there.  A conscious decision was made some time ago to use American English as "the" standard.  To do anything else will compound maintenance problems to an unsustainable level.

      We currently have the maintenance problem with Spanish vs. Latin American Spanish (Argentinian, actually -- the other Latin American countries all have their own variants), and also with Portuguese.  There isn't any "real" Portuguese, although there SHOULD be.  What we have is "Brazilian Portuguese".  The same thing is possible with French.  The French used in France is quite a bit different from that used in some of the former colonies.  Canadian French, for instance, calls itself "French", but it isn't really -- it's French as it was in the 16th century, with a lot of Irish and American thrown in for good measure.

    • John Slee

      John Slee - 2008-04-02

      <tin hat on>
      Greg wrote, "As a fellow brit, I know what you mean about these pesky colonials and their poor spelling ;-)"

      And then Gerry replied, "A conscious decision was made some time ago to use American English as "the" standard."*
      Typical Yanks - never acknowledging the rest of the world exists.
      <tin hat off>

      All said in the true spirit of co-operation, of course ;-)

      Thanks for the swift replies. You have just saved me a lot of work, and given me an excuse when other people complain that I can't spell.

      Keep up the good work. It really is very impressive.



      *He should have used single quotation marks: 'the' not "the" - but then the ignorant will never learn, will they?
      (Now where is that hat?)

      • Greg Roach

        Greg Roach - 2008-04-02

        <<Typical Yanks>>

        Gerry (try saying his screen name out loud?) is not American.....

        As I explained, setting up "British English" with colours/favourites/customisations/etc. will probably only take 10 minutes.

        Alternatively, if you just want a union-jack instead of the stars and stripes, you can change this through the GUI.


    • Gerry Kroll

      Gerry Kroll - 2008-04-02

      On the contrary, "the" is not a quote.  The quotation marks are used for emphasis, since they're more readable than enclosing the word in asterisks.

      <tongue in cheek>
      We Canadians are very much aware of the existence of other parts of the world.  We even know that the United Kingdom isn't a country.  Some of the Brits I know don't even understand that.

      However, we choose to be selective about the spelling and pronunciation of the version of English that we commonly use.  You'll never find a "tyre shop", "ironmongers" are unknown as are all sorts of other "mongers", I never close the "bonnet" of my car after having checked the oil, I never put luggage in the "boot" of my car, most people don't buy "petrol" to refuel their cars, etc.  However, I own a "colour television", and my "neighbours" are sometimes nasty people, my "favourite" colour is green.  Canadians are discovering "roundabouts", Americans have occasionally installed "traffic circles". ...
      </tongue in cheek>

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous - 2008-04-02


      I do agree with you about the language variations. Its quite easy to overcome as well. You need to use the 'extra.en.php' language file which will over-write any of the standard language variable with your own preferences. If you want to save time I have a version available on the downloads section of my site (www.our-families.info).  It probably needs updating again, but covers most of the obvious ones, like 's' vs 'z', color, favorite etc.

      Everything else said here is right too, but 95% of my family were born and lived entirely in the UK, 100% of my users are Englih speakers (95% English, with a smattering of Canadian, Kiwi, Aussie, but no US), so I feel it is appropriate to make the changes. I also choose to change a lot of other language variables, just for my own taste, as you may see on the site (eg 'My Portal' become "My Home Page" etc...


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