Slideshow: "Ubuntu is all about working for real people"

Bug #855685 reported by Gema Gomez on 2011-09-21
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I am doing beta 2 testing for Oneiric and found a very strange sentence for this:
"At the heart of Ubuntu’s philosophy is a belief that computing is for everyone. With advanced accessibility tools and options like your preferred color scheme, text size, and language, Ubuntu is all about working for real people."

Which has ended up on a Spanish translation such as this:
"..., Ubuntu funciona para la gente auténtica." -> "Ubuntu works for authentic people."

I think the original sentence is somehow implying that Ubuntu is not for everyone, but only for real people, and I am not sure who are "real people" vs "not so real people". I would like to see something along the lines of "Ubuntu works for everyone" rather, which is a positive and neutral sentence and doesn't exclude anyone.

Gema Gomez (gema) wrote :

I got a comment from Roz Strachan that I think is worth mentioning:


I agree.

I would maybe suggest a change from

"Ubuntu is all about
working for real people."

to something like:

Ubuntu is open to all. Whoever you are. Wherever you are.


tags: added: rls-mgr-o-tracking
Dylan McCall (dylanmccall) wrote :

Thanks for bringing this up. That back-translation is definitely strange. Looks like it was a literal translation, which isn't always the best here.

I can't push any more msgid changes in Oneiric, so Is there a better way this could be expressed in Spanish? At least with English stuff in western Canada, the concept of “we work for real people” isn't unusual, where the purpose is to indirectly tell the reader we realize he/she is a real person. (The usual weirdness, of course, with English making no sense. And I'm sure it's culturally sensitive, too).

The copy will surely be fiddled with in the next release, but do you think a note for translators would have helped in this case?

Gema Gomez (gema) wrote :

After talking about the issue to many English speakers, they agreed that it is wrong in English as well. The fact that the sentence isn't unusual doesn't mean it conveys the right message, in my opinion.

Let me explain the problems we've identified with the sentence in English:
"Ubuntu is all about working for real people."

"Ubuntu is all about..." : What do we mean by Ubuntu here, the project? the operating system? Ubuntu as a free software project?

"... working for real people.": As opposite to what? working for "unreal people"? "virtual people"? "not so real people"? What makes real people real? "Real" is not adjective we should be applying to people, unless we are comparing them to characters on TV or something like that, do you see my point? Or maybe are we comparing people without technical knowledge to geeky people/technical people?

What is the real message we are trying to convey here? Because imo, at the moment is ambiguous and open to interpretations that do not necessarily benefit what we are trying to achieve. I know being a non native speaker gives me a viewpoint of this issue that differs from native speakers, but we are writing for everyone, not just native speakers. I think the message from Roz is a brilliant example (probably) of what we were trying to say, which is why I posted it for everyone's information.

The strange translation was just the hint for me to look at the original and think about it. If we write an unambiguous and positive sentence, there will be no problem to translate it to Spanish or to any other language. As it stands, the best translation I can come up with for Spanish, is removing the sentence.

tags: added: iso-testing
Steve Langasek (vorlon) on 2011-09-22
Changed in ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Triaged
Changed in ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Steve Langasek (vorlon) on 2011-09-22
Changed in ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu (Ubuntu Oneiric):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

I think Roz's text, or something like it, is much better. Are we sure we can't make this change for Oneiric? No translations of that text have yet been uploaded anyway. No doubt it would require a notice to translators, but I think it might well be worth it.

Okay, sure! I'll put in a freeze exception request a little later today.
(Unless someone does it faster :b)

Dylan McCall (dylanmccall) wrote :

Okay, a new version is in the attached branch. Feedback is welcome :)

“With advanced accessibility tools and options like your preferred color scheme, text size, and language, Ubuntu is for anyone. Whoever you are, and wherever you are.”

And thanks for convincing me. I love that people care about this!

Changed in ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu:
status: New → Fix Committed
Tom (tom6) wrote :

Hi :)
As a native English speaker i think i can see what the intention was in the original statement. I think it was meant to imply that sometimes it is questionable who would enjoy using the product.

I do prefer the simple phrase "Ubuntu is for anyone. Whoever you are, and wherever you are."

<Long-winded explanation of the possible hidden depths of the original phrase ...>
Some companies assume that people DO want heavy, bloated, slow apps that have a tendency to revert to American English - apps that are so vulnerable to malware and other security issues that outside of people's homes everything has to be locked down so tightly that it can't be customised to make a more harmonious working environment (or more exciting, or dramatic or whatever directions different individuals like to aim for).

Market research often shows what people think they want rather than what they really want. It is difficult to find a fair sample of people that have experienced non-proprietary systems and even the people writing questionnaires and such like may inadvertently write "leading questions" and then ignore answers that fall outside of their own experience. They try to avoid it obviously, at least the good researchers try to avoid it. f the research is being paid for by a particular company the results may be interpreted to suit what the company wanted to hear. This is not always done deliberately. Even a good research company might be grateful to get paid and that gratitude may sway results a bit. It is difficult to tell people something they don't want to hear and it's unlikely they would really listen anyway.

Also we see from corporate environments, the fashion industry (even 'alternative' clothing companies), "top ten" type music industry, the movie industry, and so on, that often people prefer to be told what they like, what to wear, what songs are 'good'. In most corporate environments it is important for most workers to blend in or else they face ridicule and get ignored when it comes to getting promoted. Obviously they have to "stand out" just enough and in the right way but going too far scares colleagues and bosses.

All this means that there can be a vast difference between what a person really wants and what companies think that people want. "We all want the same thing", right?? (No, we don't, but would many people dare to say so?).

Perhaps companies ideas about people could be called "virtual people" but i have a feeling that we need to reserve that name for something quite different, perhaps "invented people" or "fake people" or something might be better? The phrase "Ubuntu is for anyone. Whoever you are, and wherever you are." neatly avoids us having to invent or rediscover a more appropriate word than "drones".
</Long-winded explanation of the possible hidden depths of the original phrase ...>

And no i am not fat. I have just had to buy a larger size of jeans temporarily until i regain my normal size ;)

Regards from
Tom :)

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu - 47

ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu (47) oneiric; urgency=low

  * Ubuntu is people! Thanks Dylan McCall (LP: #855685).
  * Update translations from Launchpad.
 -- Evan Dandrea <email address hidden> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 11:09:01 +0100

Changed in ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu (Ubuntu Oneiric):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) wrote :

So... where’s the new string? I’m not seeing it in the translation table. :)

no longer affects: ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu
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