Problem Words

These are some words that always create problems in that they are often translated into a language using the same word but these words have different meanings in computer terminology.

How to check for duplicates

You can use pocompendium -v to see if you have used the same word for various English words.

In and Out of your computer and programs

The following are in order of severity

Word Meaning
Off Swith an option off (like switching off a light switch)
Close Usually closing the Window of an application but not closing the application itself (close a window)
Quit/Exit Close the application (exit from the stage)
Logout Close all the applications and return to the login screen (go outside)
Shutdown Shutdown all systems on the computer and often turn it off (turn the light off)

Getting rid of things

Word Meaning
Cancel Ignore this action
Delete Remove a file
Stop Do not continue with this task
Erase Same as delete
Remove Same as delete
Clear Usually to clear the screen, to erase a white/black board

Your settings, etc

Most of these are the same, although some programs might use them slightly differently.


Programming languages

You will often see text that relates to programming or programming like languages. Some of them you can change.

  • Spreadsheet functions – you can translate these if they make sense
  • Program syntax – never translate as this is the grammar of a programming language
  • SQL – you should never change this unless the program is providing some user interface that will hide people from the actual SQL language.

Do translate

  • Many people cannot read Latin characters so the words and names will appear meaningless
  • You don’t need to think about whether this is or isn’t translatable

Don’t translate

  • Think of it as another language, you have to learn the language of the spreadsheet
  • Outside of your application people will see only the English so if you translate it will confuse them
  • If people work in a multilingual environment its better to leave it untranslated becauase you don’t want them to struggle when they can’t remember the Afrikaans naam for SUM()