Clone wiki

hgbook-it / Home

Welcome to the wiki for the Italian translation of "Mercurial: The Definitive Guide". The Italian book is entitled "Mercurial: la guida definitiva" and it is published under the same Open Publication License as the original, so it can be freely read online.

This wiki describes the challenges faced and explains the choices made during the translation of this technical book. As such, is aimed at other translators of technical books from English into Italian, especially those who work on books dealing with Version Control and related tools (Subversion, git, and so on). The wiki will definitely contain text in English and Italian; however, all the pages are written in English unless otherwise noted.

Translating the Mercurial book

"Mercurial: The Definitive Guide" is written in DocBook (coming from LaTeX, really) and uses a mixture of shell scripting, Python, and some graphic programs (Graphviz and Inkscape) to build itself in a readable form, e.g. HTML. In particular, the book features live code examples, which are a primary challenge for translators.

Images are crafted in SVG, graphs are specified using the DOT format from Graphviz, all text-based. This is just... great. PNG is the target format which images and graphs are converted to, and also the preferred format for screenshots and icons throughout the book.

Sometimes a translator has to slightly adjust part of the content, add footnotes, and so on. Everything that differs from the original content should be collected in a document and made available to interested people.

One of the tasks that a technical translator naturally faces is building a technical vocabulary in the target language, sometimes translating technical terms, other times preserving the original terms. Publishing such a vocabulary helps translators dealing with the same conceptual space or similar tools to collectively build a shared terminology.