User talk:AaronCooper/Classical Release Language

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I cannot disagree more with this. ReleaseLanguage has a clearly defined function and meaning - if you need something new/different for Classical releases, then have a new extension in the database, but don't misuse an existing feature. Most people arguing for this I've heard about where clueless about the use of ReleaseLanguage anyhow, which I find pretty symptomatic. Reasons why having a new rule for classical releases about ReleaseLanguage is bad:

  • create (yet another) discrepancy in the database between Classical and Non Classical: actually, if this would be used, I would definitely object against having Erik Satie or Gerschwin assimilated as "Classical"
  • would you really argue that setting this release to english makes any sense? How would you handle the massive amounts of such "corner cases" where there is almost no "functional" (or "localized" in your definition) elements?
    • That release is a mess and should choose either French of English. If English, the track titles will need to be translated. If French the release title will need to be translated. I don't why in the world that release's title is in a different language than the track titles. -AaronCooper
      • That release is not a mess and I will vote no on any clueless attempt at "fixing" it. The track titles mustn't be translated, and no label right in their mind would ever do that, and no, the release title mustn't be translated either (why would you do that?) - though, certainly, if you actually know anything about Satie, feel free to enhance the style if there is something to be done on that front. Now, I am curious what exactly you think is a mess in it - the French cap and spacing style? the fact Satie track titles are never translated (at least very rarely)? -- dmppanda 09:35, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
        • I called it a "mess" only because the release title is in English and the track titles were in French. This makes no sense (to me) and it has been a constant practice (for me and others) to "fix" classical releases by choosing one language and either translating the track titles of release title. I see no harm in having a French release title on that album you linked to - the track titles are already in French. -AaronCooper
          • I find this quite disturbing :-) There is definitely no such release going by the name "Œuvres pour piano", so why would you want to actually have one? If I owned it, I would definitely search for it as "Piano Works", and I would definitely expect the titles to be in French (eg: the language used on the sleeve, and on *any* decent edition of Satie's works). This is absolutely not specific to classical. There are many releases called "Le Meilleur de X" for (say) English artists (with English track titles) and I would clearly refuse any attempt made at changing the title to "The Best Of X". As for translating the titles themselves into English... again, why? This totally contradict everything MB - ArtistIntent, consistency with the sleeves, etc. Transliteration is one thing, *this* is entirely another one. As you're stating doing such changes are common practice for you and others, and as I don't see anything in our documentation stating that we should do that, I would really suggest that you speak about that on the MLs and have it officialized. -- dmppanda 13:27, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
  • apparently you're suggesting that the "release language" should describe the language used by the functional elements, which is actually the only part of the titles that can be mechanically identified and recognized, while the language of the title themselves is the only part that *can't* (hence your suggestion would turn a useful piece of information into a useless one)
  • what would actually be the benefits of this new definition? I can't see any...

-- dmppanda 13:14, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

dmppanda: While I understand your points, the problem is that, unlike just about any other work type, classical does end up with inherently "mixed" language titles, between Italian for tempos, Italian or German (normally) for work titles, librettos, and opera titles, and then CSG- or OperaStye-specified "Act", "Scene", instruments, etc. The edit referenced above, http://musicbrainz.org/show/edit/?editid=7784460 was a perfect example of the "basically nothing functional left" case. All this is rarely, if ever, true for non-classical, where work titles and such are as the artist named them, rather than per a common naming formula, as with CSG. -- BrianSchweitzer 01:09, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, I agree about what the problem is - what I don't agree with is the proposed solution :-) - my question was and is still: what are the advantages in setting the language to that of the functional parts instead of the titles? -- dmppanda 09:35, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
    • If we set the release language to the "titles" it would be useless because commonly the "titles" are not transalted.
      • So, you are actually arguing that ReleaseLanguage is entirely useless in MusicBrainz, which I definitely disagree with: the ReleaseLanguage is clearly and definitely helpful in identifying in what language the titles are written. The fact they "get translated" or not is totally irrelevant (in most music genre, "the titles are not translated" <- this is not specific to Classical you know :-) )
      Consider "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (German) box sets with English packaging, English descriptions, English movement titles like "Prelude" and "The Ride of the Valkyries" and things like "Scene" and "Act". Setting the RL to German is useless because then 99% of Ring sets will be German
      • Why on earth would that be useless? How am I supposed to know that "Der Ring des Nibelungen" is German if there is nowhere an indication about that? In 99% of the cases, the release type will be set to "Album" as well - does this means this is a useless piece of information? I don't think so.
        • The point is that it doesn't matter what language "Der Ring..." is because whether one speaks English or French, it is known as "Der Ring des Nibelungen". This part rarely changes. -AaronCooper
          • Err... :-) Trying to rephrase it once again: it *does* matter. A lot. Knowing in what language is "Der Ring..." is actually the main reason why we had a ReleaseLanguage entry in the first place :-) Like I said, the fact it "doesn't change" over successive "editions" is entirely irrelevant. It's still in German :-) - by solving your problem that way (eg: describing the language used in functional elements using the ReleaseLanguage entry), you are loosing a piece of information which is important, making this a non-acceptable solution unfortunately... -- dmppanda 16:21, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
            • Sounds like we have opposing opinions. You argue that, in determining the release language, unchanging elements are relevant while I argue they are not. Perhaps we should consult with the Style mailing list to see what other editors think. -AaronCooper
      and all the subtle differences that we actually care about will not be recognizable.
      • Yes, I certainly understand that you miss a piece of information. My position still is: borking another piece of data to have yours right is just wrong.
        • I don't think it's borking things. (By the way guys, SIGs here would make this an easier discussion to follow...) I think it's taking into mind that even though we don't have the ability to do it now, I think ALL classical editors eventually want some way to have generic work lists. Those work lists then would be translatable to any desired language. In that case, the important part of a classical release which we would want to know the language is the mutable part, not the consistant part. If I have "Sonata for Piano" or "Das Rheingold: Scene III: Wer hälfe mir", or whatever, the useful part is knowing if it's formatted in the English manner, the German manner, the Italian manner, whatever, because those are the parts such an auto-translation *would* be modifying. -- BrianSchweitzer 05:44, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
      I don't want to read French scene and act descriptions.
      • With Erik Satie, you'll have to read them in French, dot. They are humorous, a mockery of the "classical" description system, and an integral part of the piece titles (hence should not be translated as you pointed out earlier).
        • If Erik Satie has ArtistIntent, then this wouldn't apply to his releases. People translate real classical works (Beethoven, etc) all the time into countless languages. -Aaron
      I thought I explained this above since the point of this page was to explain why we'd do this. -AaronCooper
      • If you want systematic translated versions of releases, fine - have an AR on it and make them pseudo releases - why not (though that would make an insane amount of duplication, while I tend to think that the translation of the functional elements could be scripted). Now, misusing the ReleaseLanguage and actually entirely loosing an important piece of information (eg: the language in which the titles are written): not fine. In the hope that clarifies my point... Regards -- dmppanda 13:27, 12 December 2007 (UTC)