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Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:53 pm
by Ralf
In this thread I was uploading a game by Russian programmer Destr:

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=693

I have noticed that he's stored in database twice, as Destr and as Destructor

Destructor: https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... el_id=3746
Destr: https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... l_id=16564

I'm sure this is the same guy ;)

What's more, this game of him is currently called 3AMOK:
https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... 6&id=30226

It's actually a fake cyryllic written with Latin Letters ;) It should be read as ZAMOK which means "Castle"

As we keep translated names of Russian software I would suggest title replace to Castle with Zamok as alias.

Re: Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 8:33 pm
by R-Tape
Ralf wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 3:53 pm
It's actually a fake cyryllic written with Latin Letters ;) It should be read as ZAMOK which means "Castle"

As we keep translated names of Russian software I would suggest title replace to Castle with Zamok as alias.
Cheers Ralf. Yep I'll add both these corrections to the spreadsheet.

Actually I wanted to ask about these 'translated Russian' names. Are they meaningful to anyone? Is it a recognised way of storing Russian without using cyrillic? I can't help but feel we should be storing games with Russian titles with an alias that is the correct cyrillic name rather than a 'Russkglish' one.

Re: Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 9:26 pm
by Ralf
Cheers Ralf. Yep I'll add both these corrections to the spreadsheet.
Thanks
I can't help but feel we should be storing games with Russian titles with an alias that is the correct cyrillic name rather than a 'Russkglish' one.
Well, we definitely have some historic bias with Russian games. I'll try to tell the story.

It all started on WOS 15 years ago or earlier. WOS never supported letters from another alphabets. It was an English language website, 90% of people seeing things like Черный Ворон wouldn't know even how to read it.

So at some moment a decision was made to translate all titles into English. It solved one problem but created another - a Russian speaker who knew some game under its original name would be in many cases unable to find it as it was stored under another, "fake" name that was actually never used.

It was also a mess, some games had translated titles and other had Russian titles written with English letters.

At some moment I personally volunteered to tidy it up a little bit. All titles were translated to English and original titles written with English letters were stored as aliases.

Answering your question - such notation is understandable to an educated Russian speaker. It is called transliteration In Russia, unless you are a 80 years old granny living in a deep taiga, you generally can read Latin letters. It can make problems as there isn't one standard and you can translit the same word in many ways (which WOS and ZXDB does ) but with some effort you'll get the words and original titles of the games. It was better than nothing.

But you are absolutely right, keeping original titles written in original alphabet would be perfect solution. It would make some problems for database and website - searching, sorting etc. but nothing impossible.

But I wouldn't say it's urgent. Preserving the MIAs seems more important to me at the moment. But maybe one day... I hope we are going to live a few decades yet :D

Re: Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:48 am
by Nomad
One thing that is interesting is where the majority of a countries published spectrum output being in Latin alphabet when they themselves used Cyrillic.
SpoilerShow
Serbia
From what I understand there was an active user base, therefore there must be more titles from Serbia that are as of now not documented on western websites. Kind of like the situation with the Romanian scene.

There has to have been a active user base for from what I can see from the database more than 5 pro-level, published programmers working with Ocean & Mastertronic. These guys didn't come out of nowhere there had to have been a scene to support them to get to that stage.

Re: Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 4:55 am
by Rorthron
Using Cyrillic for the primary ID would make Russian titles unreadable to the vast majority of users. Since Russian-speaking users are likely to be comfortable with Roman letters, it seems to me better to use transliterated titles, rather than titles in Cyrillic, as the primary title.

Translated titles are too far removed from the original to make good primary IDs, in my opinion. They introduce too much vagueness.

The Cyrillic title and English translation should, though, I think be kept as aliases, as they are useful supplementary information.

If you go down the route of transliteration, I suggest you decide on a consistent transliteration scheme. I do not know Russian, so cannot suggest one (though I am familiar with the transliteration problem from other languages). Fortunately, Wikipedia has a guide to Russian transliteration:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Russian

There is one other possible kink. If the game uses a transliterated title itself at any point with a different transliteration approach, you should probably also store that transliteration as an alias.

And, of course, you should use the same approach for other non-English languages to be consistent.

Re: Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 9:44 am
by Ralf
Translated titles are too far removed from the original to make good primary IDs, in my opinion
I suppose by saying "primary ID" you mean main, official title. ;)

ID in ZXDB (and generally most of cases) is a number like 12500. It's unique while title may be not unique. There is certainly more than one game called Tetris or Sokoban ;)

I definitely agree that using one consistent transliteration in all cases would be good. But as said it would require going through all such titles and making adjustments.

We would also have single titles coming from another alphabet, not English but not Russian too, like Ukrainian or as you say Serbian.

Re: Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:02 pm
by Rorthron
Ralf wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 9:44 am
I suppose by saying "primary ID" you mean main, official title. ;)
Yes, I meant the main title under which it is indexed.
Ralf wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 9:44 am
ID in ZXDB (and generally most of cases) is a number like 12500.
I thought so, but as I don't know ZXDB's terminology, I thought "primary ID" would be close enough to get the meaning across.
Ralf wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 9:44 am
I definitely agree that using one consistent transliteration in all cases would be good. But as said it would require going through all such titles and making adjustments.
Can we get a list of Russian titles out of ZXDB easily?

Re: Database correction: Russian progammer Destr

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 1:33 pm
by R-Tape
Fascinating and informative posts guys.
It was also a mess, some games had translated titles and other had Russian titles written with English letters.
There are probably still plenty of examples of this, a few updates ago we merged Manager and Menedjer into one. It was in passing conversation but the guy that raised it also said he hoped to see a day where 'also known as Mенеджер' would be visible.
It is called transliteration In Russia, unless you are a 80 years old granny living in a deep taiga, you generally can read Latin letters.
Not babushka?
Rorthron wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 4:55 am
If you go down the route of transliteration, I suggest you decide on a consistent transliteration scheme. I do not know Russian, so cannot suggest one (though I am familiar with the transliteration problem from other languages). Fortunately, Wikipedia has a guide to Russian transliteration:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Russian
Going by that article, since the transliterations began in the early 2000s we've had two new standards, with changes over 5 letters.