Translation issue: lack of capitalization etc

Not sure in which category translation issues should be posted (general? bugs?), so please move it if appropriate.

I realized that nouns, which are all capitalized in German, are often displayed in small letters. This is in particular the case for all these variable terms (‘observation’, ‘ID’, ‘comment’ etc).
As a translator on crowdin, I do not see a way to tell the system how to do it properly.

On top of that, English is a weakly inflecting language, so new challenges arise during translation.

As an example, this translation is inaccurate on several levels, and I don’t know how to fix that:

red circles: should be capitalized
orange underline: wrong case (should be accusative, here it is dative)
blue underline: wrong gender (‘Beobachtung’ is female, here it is neuter or male)
green arrow: the colon should replace the indefinite article (‘einem’), so I don’t know why it is not working here. In the messages above and below (concerning our beloved Gerald) it is displayed as intended (except for the capitalization).

Looking into crowdin, I don’t see the issues reflected there:
Gender is correct for 'observation’

String looks also fine (approved since >2 weeks and the older version of this translation was not phrased as in the above example):


There is another issue with the German language on the page “Your Observations”. The rightmost column with the map of the world seems to be fixed, whereas the other columns in the left of the map could have different widths according to the language of their heading. An example is “Date observed” vs. “Beobachtungsdatum”. Because there is not enough space for all columns the last column ls partly covered by the map of the world.

The solution could be changing the heading “Beobachtungsdatum” into “Datum der Beobachtung” or “Datum Beobachtung” which then would be displayed in two lines instead of one and therefore resulting in a narrower column.

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Thanks @ppinat

As this is a suggestion that could be handled by translators, I would suggest this to be moved in a separate topic, dealing with (German) translations in general. I would like this thread to be restricted to the ‘buggy’ stuff not easy to be solved by ‘normal’ users.

I adjusted the translation you suggested, so let’s see how it looks like when these changes are implemented


Very good!

@kueda Still not fixed, nor a reply that this issue will be addressed at all.
This looks really wrong for native speakers and I find it a bit embarassing, and it might be an easy fix


Short story: I’ll see if I can patch up some of the capitalization issues, at least.

Long story: it is not an easy fix. The system that generates this text is not well-globalized, i.e. it is a large, branching conditional structure that incorporates a lot of variables to generate a large number of potential outputs. All that variability means that it is just not adequately translatable in its current state, and making changes that benefit one language will come at the expense of another. Ideally these strings would have fewer variables, preferably no variables. We’re currently working on overhauling our notifications system and making it more translatable is definitely high on our list of priorities, but that work got put on hold by some developments in Seek and by CNC this spring. I’m hoping we can get back to it this summer.


@kueda Thanks a lot for your reply. My main concern here is not the captilization, but that the workaround to avoid the indefinite article is working for notifications in general (by using the ‘:’) but not in this case, when someone faves an observation. This is what I do not understand, and how to adjust it

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Sorry, that’s the one part of your critique that is hard to address and that I didn’t just fix. The %{noun} variable there includes an indefinite article right now, and I’m pretty sure we did that to make that indefinite article translatable in sentences like “kueda faved an observation by carnifex.” I could probably make the translatable text something like %{user} faved an observation by %{owner}, at the cost of forcing everyone else to re-translate this text in all the other languages. Would that solve your problem in German?


Well, if observations are the only variable that can be faved, this would indeed be a solution. I see, however, that this will affect all languages, and I haven’t heard from other translated languages that there is an issue here - so it might not be worth the jumble…?
I am willing to find a workaround myself, just was lacking the insight into why all the other variables (id added, comment added) are working as intended - so with theses examples I am trying to make clear where I am struggling with:




why are there different articles in front of ‘beobachtung’, although the same variable %{noun} is given? If I understand the rationale behind this, I might be able to tackle the problem myself. Can I not just replace the %{noun} with the fixed translation ‘eine Beobachtung’?

Also, a revamped notification system has been mentioned frequently on crowdin - not sure at what stage this project is at the moment ;-)

Not right now. %{noun} will get replaced by, which should be “einer Beobachtung” now that the gender bug has been fixed.

just to let you know, I removed the variable %{noun} completely and replaced it with the fixed term ‘eine Beobachtung’ - now it looks good :-)


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Are these capitalization issues resolved?

It seems in some cases yes, but there are still issues left:


Another case:

I see another issue: word order.
“%user% hat eine ID zu einer beobachtung von %owner% hinzugefügt vor weniger als einer Minute”
should be
“%user% hat vor weniger als einer Minute eine ID zu einer beobachtung von %owner% hinzugefügt”
I.e. the %time% field is at a different place.
Does the translation system support that?

I tried to look at the page in Hungarian language, but that’s not available (yet?). There, the expression “to an observation by John” would be rendered like “to one of John’s observations” (“Johnnak egyik megfigyelésére” or similar, I am not sure because my Hungarian is not good).
I.e. declination is also required.

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I have a creative fix for this one. Please transfer some of the extra capitals from the French Seek app ;-)

I’m not creating a new bug report because I suspect everybody is already aware of the issue, but on the pic

Mésange À Tête Noire should read Mésange à tête noire
Gaultheria Procumbens should read Gaultheria procumbens (in English as well, if I’m not mistaken)
iOS Seek app 2.12.2 (177) @kueda