FW: Localization of timezones from zone.tab

Mark Davis mark.davis at icu-project.org
Tue Jul 10 17:44:14 UTC 2007

The Unicode CLDR project (http://unicode.org/cldr/) does supply translations
for timezone IDs. There are a few caveats.

   1. The timezone database really has equivalence classes of IDs. One of
   these can be used as a representative for any in the equivalence class. It
   is the zone.tab file that contains such IDs. CLDR started by using
   that file, but unfortunately it is not stable (different equivalent IDs can
   be substituted at any time). So what we do is use as the representative the
   one that historically the first one used in any zone.tab file (after
   CLDR started).
   2. We allow, but do not encourage, translation of zones that are the
   only zone in a country. For that we use the country name. This cuts down
   very substantially on the number of translations needed. That is, you would
   see the equivalent of "Italy", and "United States (Los Angeles)" -- only in
   the latter case do we need translations for the cities.
   3. Translators can optionally add other variations: daylight (summer)
   time, standard (winter) time, and generic time, both abbreviated and long.
   4. These choices percolate out to clients of CLDR: Google, IBM, Apple,
   Adobe, and many others.


On 7/10/07, Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E] <olsona at dc37a.nci.nih.gov>
> I'm forwarding this message from Vincent Untz, who is not on the time zone
> mailing list.
> Those of you who are on the time zone mailing list should direct replies
> appropriately.
>                                 --ado
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vincent Untz [mailto:vuntz at gnome.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 1:24 PM
> To: tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov
> Subject: Localization of timezones from zone.tab
> Hi,
> [please keep me cc'ed since I'm not subscribed to this list]
> I know that, at least in GNOME, there are now three places where we
> parse zone.tab to get a list of timezones supported by the OS. I suppose
> other projects are also doing this. This list is then presented to the
> user to let him choose the timezone.
> The problem here is that we let the user choose strings which look like
> "Antarctica/South_Pole". This is not really good for
> non-english-speaking people ;-)
> Of course, we can add all the timezones to our list of strings to
> translate, but this means all projects needing to do so will duplicate
> this work and the translations.
> I'd like the tz database to ship translations in po files. This would
> imply the following:
> + create a small script to generate a POT file from zone.tab (easy)
> + submit the POT file to the translation project [1] (or any other
>    place that helps with translation)
> + add the po files for translation to the tz database
> + choose a gettext domain
> (Of course, I'm quite probably forgetting about a step :-))
> I've seen that this topic has been discussed before [2], but the
> proposition there was really more ambitious, so I'm hoping a simple
> approach would be welcomed.
> What do you think?
> Thanks,
> [1] http://translationproject.org/
> [2] http://osdir.com/ml/time.tz/2004-09/msg00000.html
> Vincent
> --
> Les gens heureux ne sont pas pressés.

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