[development] Translatable strings for 1st/2nd/3rd/nth

Earnie Boyd earnie at users.sourceforge.net
Thu May 3 18:45:41 UTC 2007

Quoting Konstantin Käfer <kkaefer at gmail.com>:

>> Are there existing math libraries that might help?  Simple solution  
>> might be a SQL table that you add the exceptions to 'th' to.  So  
>> the translation for 1 would contain 1st and the translation for 2  
>> would 2nd and your 'th' default would be suffixed for everything 
>> else.
> This doesn't work like you imagine it: Different language have  
> completely different concepts of ordinal numbers. In some cases, they 
>  even depend on the genus (other languages have > 1 grammatical 
> genus)  of the word. In French for example, you say "mon 1er chat" 
> (my 1st  cat) but "ma 1ère souris" (my first mouse). In German, the 
> short form  of ordinal numbers is constructed by simply adding a dot 
> to the  number: "meine 1. Katze" and "meine 1. Maus".

The OP had said that 1st, 2nd, etc was English oriented.  I gave an 
English oriented solution.  My first opinion was to use the full 
English word, i.e. first, second, etc and avoid the need for the 
specialized translation.  Yes, I am stupid when it comes to other 
language vernacular.

> Different genera are already a problem with translation variables,  
> for example, take the string: "Your %post has been created." where % 
> post is a content type name. Now the problem is, that "Artikel" (=  
> article) is masculine while "Umfrage" (= poll) is of female gender.  
> You can't write "Der %post wurde erstellt." because "Der" is the  
> masculine article while "Umfrage" would require "Die" instead of 
> "Der".

I really appreciate those that are forced to learn English to 
communicate with the rest of the world.  I do understand the 
difficulties and I am amazed at how much of the world is able to 
communicate with me.  One of the best stories I have heard is one set 
of parents who knew 7 different languages and forced there children to 
speak a different language on the different days of the week.  If we 
typical Americans had to actually learn and _use_ some other language 
to communicate with others we might be a better country.


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