Translations and virtual touch keyboards - tracking localization


Tele (far) and phone (voice) come from Greek, not Latin. The question is whether you should create a neologism based on Latin, or use a loan word from the Greek. In order to be understandable, it is probably best to use a loan word, but then the question becomes whether it should be phonetized with Latin letters or not. The φ in classical Greek was pronounced as /pʰ/ (an aspirated p sound), but it changed to /f/ in modern Greek, so in Latin should it be spelled as telefonice for modern Greek pronunciation or telephonice to reflect the classical Greek with a loan letter from the Greek since Latin doesn’t have an aspirated p sound in the language?

Gee, isn’t it fun to argue about a language that nobody speaks!


Classical Latin has plenty of words both with Greek origin and as direct loanwords from Greek transcribed into the Latin alphabet, and many of these used “ph” to render phi. Since medieval times people have been introducing words from English, often with Greek roots, into Latin so they could continue to write and speak it. Telephonum has documented use, while a unique pure-Latin neologism like “ultravox” or “longevox” would leave many users scratching their heads about why you’re talking about a “super voice” or “long voice.”

As far as whether to use the latinized spelling or not, “telefonum” isn’t documented. See also the Vicipaedia article on telephonum. The citation for the word “telephonum” seems to be from an edition of the Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis, but the book is pretty much impossible to find. A small excerpt from it (Italian to Latin) can be found on the Vatican’s website.


I like these too, but I’d prefer even dead languages to make their own thread when words and translations are discussed.

But on the subject of how to go about transfer meaning from one cultural context to another (as language is not just the words), similar conversations than what you two are having could be had about Klingon, Dwarwish, Elvish [Btw. late “Happy birthday!” J.R.R.!] or any other fantasy (made) languages. Gets me to think - along the lines of what Jt0 said - should cultural referencepoint be used more to help people of that culture to better understand the meaning of the thing that’s translated. As in, fantasy settings often have magic (insert here reminder of “sufficiently advanced tech is like…”) and some form of communications and transfer of information with it (“live-streaming via crystal ball shaped display” etc.). Then again, didn’t ancient people (not just latin speakers: vikings and their runes or early civilizations of other continents etc.) also think they had similar (seers, shamans, druids and such)? How about, if the advanced “technomagical” methods - as they would seem to them - would be translated using those as a reference point? “Tele-hex” (telex), “teleconjuration”, …? “Your all-seeing-eye spell is provided by Google” or “Click here to sacrifice a virtual chicken to find the wisdom you seek”?

No? A bit extreme examples perhaps. Not how the language is used and developed today, I suppose. And now I have to search if there already is a superhero called Ultravox… :wink:


NOTE to translators: Chats has updated in Zanata again, remember to update and add more translations. Most languages dropped from “fully translated” status.


New squeekboard release 1.8.0 will hit the repos in a day or two, and contains the ability to choose the terminal layout prototype at will.


Terminal seems to have only added “actions” view, it seems. Do I understand this right: only this keyboard for terminal and these buttons are available only in terminal? As I can’t seem to find reason why a different keyboard is for terminal, two questions:

  • For languages: will this view be added to other language keyboards as well automatically - as it would be difficult to go to another keyboard just to type a special character on a filename that’s not included in the terminal version?
  • For actions: why not add it to all, even if not using terminal, as they seem useful buttons and are out of sight if not needed? Or: why have two separate keyboards (normal and terminal versions) of each language?


I’m not sure if I understand your question, but: a separate layout was easier to implement at the moment. Those buttons are available in any layout you decide to create, but they may not be accepted upstream if they are used in any other layout.

This was planned by the design team, and will likely happen, but I don’t know how exactly yet.

The keyboards are very cramped already, languages with more than 30 buttons are already troublesome to support with this amount of space. The majority of users will never need those buttons, and for the rest the layout will switch automatically for the terminal (patches in vte will take care of a lot of terminals).


I think were switching different terms, therefore misunderstanding… I’m still under the impression that there will be only one (language) terminal keyboard without possibility to use chosen language version that includes the same “actions” layout view. I am worried, that the action view will not be available in normal keyboards with other apps than terminal, because it’s been talked that terminal has a separate keyboard. And, because the terminal keyboard doesn’t seem to have language versions, it won’t include special characters of user’s chosen language, which would make it problematic with file names in terminal. Does this make a little more sense?


The terminal keyboard layout is intended to eventually work with any language (reality might verify that).

When it comes to applications that are not terminals, then you can bring up the layout manually in 1.8.0.


From another conversation:

… something for next versions.


For those who want to make this happen, there’s , which supports modifiers. Your move can be to:

  1. Add a control key to the layout
  2. Test/review the MR so that I can be sure it’s safe for inclusion


Latest observations…

  • Chatty has updated its source and only two languages are at 100%, so updates are needed. Phosh had a good start last year but there is much to update there too for those marked with blue and white.
  • @dcz was asking about layouts and several languages need people to tell what is the normal layout of their (touch)keyboards. Especially non-latin languages should have input methods. Also, don’t forget, you can test in emulator and give feedback.
  • The Transifex site (and probably the software that’s available) has updated with new features. Pure Maps there has a small source update as well.
  • Zanata seems to have updated too: “The Zanata server at will enter maintenance mode on Tuesday March 3 between 02:00 and 03:00 UTC. After this, the server will be migrated to a new location so expect noticeable downtime. Please be aware that the server will stop accepting new projects. Existing projects will continue to exist and operate as usual. If you are interested in running your own Zanata server instance, or contributing to the further development of the Zanata platform, please check out the source repository at: For questions regarding outages or support for this server please contact the Red Hat OSPO Comminfra Team

(Grayed out external projects were not updated this time - not much changed)
(edit, update 10.2.: added Polish keyboards, that had appeared - sorry about missing that)

Zanata translation server is down

@dcz I see in the above table that for Greek the keyboard says “yes/-” Does this dash means that the portrait/wide mode is not done? If yes, what should be done for this? Any directions? I want to complete the Greek part if this is missing.


Yes, portrait layouts were added later and only some languages have that.

To add a portrait layout, you need to take a look at the tutorial

The landscape layout would be called gr_wide.yaml, not mentioned in the tutorial yet (updates to the tutorial welcome, it’s in the docs directory).


New delayed 1.9.0 release of Squeekboard arrives in a few days.

The release is based on a big new feature: when the application supports it (GTK), then text is sent as text instead of key presses. The change would have gone live earlier, but it turned out deleting text not as key presses ended up fundamentally broken and needs to get redesigned.

Other features:

  • Fixed glib critical when switching layouts
  • Fixed minor memory leaks when switching layouts
  • New Polish language layout
  • Fixed greek layout
  • Better key locking
  • Less leaks
  • Tweaks in terminal layout
  • Better emoji layout

Thank you to all contributors and reporters!


All languages dropped :part_alternation_mark: to low percentages in translations as phosh translationfiles in Zanata just updated :astonished: with several entries - it might take you all of 20 minutes to do them all :sweat_smile:. It should be suggested that updates should be done soon / this week :spiral_calendar:, as the server and service is due to change :electric_plug::computer: and no one want’s to have last minute translations go missing due to the move :truck: :articulated_lorry: :truck:.

I’d hope and expect that someone will a post about when to stop using Zanata, when to move to new system, where to find manuals, how to ask for context on strings, how to decide on accepted translation, if there are any timetables/cycles for updates, how to get additional languages added, how to handle group effort and quality control, automatic/machine translations, anonymity settings, policy on using shaping and labels, rate limits, commenting or changing source, will there be pro checkups, how to get community apps to the same service etc. etc. etc.

And after the move, it would be nice to have more than two apps to translate - like, community apps too


Tracking update:

  • terminal keyboard is coming along nicely
  • keyboard layouts still need people from almost all languages to define what are their preferred character layouts (vertical and wide layouts - maybe terminal too?)
  • translation server change is still in the works, it seems [edit to add: Zanata is down]
  • translations updated and all languages need to update, but depending on the server change, volunteers should make sure that the change is not happening while they work or risk losing latest updates
  • I’ll update the table once the server change is done

Phosh needs YOU!