Quoting from the same post (bolds are mine)
Since Ubiquity provides a natural language interface between the user and the computer, the way that the user interacts with the commands should feel natural at his language, conforming (although not strictly necessary) with the language’s grammar, and specially conforming with how the user thinks and expects to give commands in his own language.
Consider the verbs in this Jono’s post.
23 are verbs: bookmark, calculate, close, convert, define, delete, email, exit, help, hilight, map, print, redo, refresh, restart, save, search, tag, translate, undelete, underline, undo, zoom
Since you’re giving a direct order to the browser, verbs should be in imperative form (at least, in my mind there’s no doubt about this). For example: underline should be sottolinea (imperative form of sottolineare).
First problem: for some of those verbs there’s no Italian equivalent. Take for example bookmark or email: we don’t have a single verb to define this kind of actions, in most cases we use the form verb+noun (“add bookmark”->”aggiungi segnalibro”, “write email”->”scrivi email”).
Some English verbs are adapted to Italian using the first conjugation (“to schedule”->”schedulare”), but these forms are simply awful 😉
Second problem: some verbs are not easy to understand out of their typical context. Think about undo and redo: as menu items these two actions are universally translated as annulla and ripeti, but to be really “natural” we should at least add a noun (“Undo action”->”Annulla azione”, “Redo action”->”Ripeti azione”).
The first problem (the biggest one) could be solved using overlord verbs (see this proposal): “google”->”search google”->”cerca in google”.
What are the possible shortcomings of this approach? The first I can think of: what if the English overlord verb is not suitable for another language? For example, the verb “make” is quite difficult to translate (too generic): “to make” could be “fare”, but “fare grassetto” (“make bold”) doesn’t make any sense, people would use more specific verbs:
- make bold -> trasforma in grassetto (sounds like “change to bold”)
- make page editable -> rendi pagina modificabile
Two different localized verbs for a single overlord English verb. Is the Ubiquity’s parser able to manage this situation?