While working on the german translation of the user manual (feel free to join), I found the treatment of marking and flagging a bit odd.
In the reviewer, flagging is actually translated to the literal meaning of “mark” in german (“markieren”), while the actual mark action is translated to “kennzeichnen”, a synonym of “markieren”.
Replace “kennzeichnen” with “markieren” for the actual marking action
The browser sidebar won’t use the expected german word “gekennzeichnet” and its negation “nicht gekennzeichnet”, but instead use the literal meaning of marked (“markiert”) again with “Unmarkiert” for “Unmarked”, while the tag marked isn’t translated at all. This seems unnecessarily confusing to me.
Give the marked tag an ftl translation, just like Unmarked
I know “marked” is just a regular tag, but special multi-language handling doesn’t seem impossible to me at least. Perhaps we could just display the translated version, but keep it in english in the backend. For searching, we’d either have to tell users it still has to be done in english, or apply some filtering to get to the english term again.
As mentioned above, flags are called “Markierungen”, the german word for “markings” for some reason:
… substitute “Markierungen” with “Kennzeichnungen” and call the action “kennzeichnen”
… go for the literal meaning for “give flag” = “Flagge geben” and call the category “flags” = “Flaggen”
… or find another solution for the flag/mark-dilemma
Apple actually calls the Finder equivalent of Anki’s flags “Tags” in the german version.
Hence, the action “taggen” (anglicism for tagging) and “Tags” as the category would also be an option for flags, since Anki’s actual tags are called “Schlagwörter” in german.
Such inconsistencies are likely present in other languages too, since “flagging” is nowadays used in file management to describe “to mark so as to be easily found”, for which other languages lack a succinct translation. German just serves as a good example here.
In general, I’m in favour of creating unique names for concepts instead of giving them more generic names, as long as the new terms are clear from context and don’t sound too alien. Flags are a great example: Every Anki user will recognise them by their icon and the concept of assigning a flag to mark something is fairly intuitive.
I don’t think localising the marked tag is worth the effort, given its rather limited usefulness. How would you handle it in the tag completer e.g., and isn’t it even more confusing to special case certain sidebar labels?
An alternative might be to add a default saved search with filter tag:marked and a localised label.
I would also be hesitant to create false friends, like “taggen” for anything else but tagging. Many users have set Anki to their native language, but use other resources in English, like the original manual or this forum. (For instance, I see many people referring to decks as stacks here, what is apparently a wrong back translation.) So this makes consulting external resources and communication more difficult.
“markieren” instead of “kennzeichnen” sounds good.
As for flags, I’d go with the literal translations (although “Flagge geben” sounds clunky.)
Yeah, I think you’re right. It would feel like putting a band-aid over the actual issue and preventing it from peeling off would probably be the same effort as just reworking the “marking whole notes” feature altogether.
The argument that the “marked” tag isn’t useful enough to justify changes is recurring. However, the current implementation seems unpolished and marking whole notes is useful in certain cases, so imo it deserves fixing. Maybe this feature can be separated from the tags (also in the backend) eventually? It would be cleaner in my opinion to have it in the vicinity of the flags in the sidebar instead of somewhere within the tags.
Edit: Since I’m constantly complaining about this, it would seem fair I’ll have to try and find a solution for this and propose a PR eventually
Good point, I agree with you that this wouldn’t be optimal either and could create more issues.
Translations don’t go through an approval process like code changes do, so if you and your fellow native speakers think something should be changed, please just dive in and change it You can request a translation account with a private message: https://translating.ankiweb.net/