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

Rob Thorne rob at torenware.com
Thu May 3 22:20:38 UTC 2007

Gabor Hojtsy wrote:
> Earnie Boyd wrote:
>>> Earnie, how would that SQL table work for translations? Different 
>>> languages need very different suffixes. I don't see what table 
>>> structure you envision here.
>> Chris was looking for "simple" and and realized his needs are 
>> "English-centric" but was wanting some way to possibly support simple 
>> translation.
>> int|locale|string
>> 1|en|st
>> 2|en|nd
>> So now he creates a function to look for the passed int value and 
>> locale and appends the suffix or some administrated set default.  No 
>> it doesn't fit all scenarios.
>> Frankly, I would suggest using t('first'), t('second'), etc instead 
>> of the lazy symbols.
> Yes, the problem with the above table that it is hardly (if at all) 
> fits into the gettext based translation toolset translators are using.
Yeah, gettext is the wrong tool for this this job.  A "locale" library, 
or a numerical/calendaric library is what needs to get used here.  The 
whole concept of doing ordinal numbers by tacking on "st", "nd" is too 
specific to English to practically handle any other way.

For a really good explanation of some of the reasons why this is so, 
it's worth reading this tutorial from Sun:


While the APIs are Java specific, the issues apply to any kind of coding 
you want to work for more than one human language or script.

> Gabor

More information about the development mailing list