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I am translating the user interface of a text editor into German. This editor has "code folding" capabilities, i.e. fold (=hide) and unfold (=reveal) sections of code, usually defined by structural criteria such as function definitions, loops etc.:

Example of code folding

Now I'm unsure about what the best translation for the relevant commands/terms should be. I've come across different translations, none of them felt quite right to me.

For example, one editor uses "Falten" as the menu title, and then the commands "Ausblenden" (Fold) and "Einblenden" (Unfold). I don't really like mixing terms like this.

I'm currently leaning towards a simple verbatim translation: "Falten"/"Entfalten" (as well as "Faltpunkte" for "Folding points", "Faltbereiche" for "Folding sections"), but I've also contemplated "Einklappen"/"Ausklappen". Then again "Klappen" as a menu title sounds strange.

Do you have a better suggestion? Is there an accepted term that everybody uses, so I should just get behind that?

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Just as a starter: I usually check what other programs do. A quick example would be Geany which uses Quelltext-Ausblendung. (I agree with the others that you shouldn't translate it though.) –  musiKk Jan 10 '12 at 8:55
Hey, it's Python! –  polemon Jan 19 '12 at 13:18

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

At first glance I would choose the term "klappen", since that is what I usually say for that kind of interaction in directory trees (and I believe that term is quite common in that context).

In an IT context I'm a little bit tempted to not translate this kind of term at all, since the users usually are familiar with them, but not necessarily understand your translation. This may also be the reason why the translators in your example chose "Falten" as a title (because it hints to the familiar, English term, and then go with another translation. For this reason you could choose "Falten" as a title and then "falten"/"entfalten" as the two actions.

Wo aktiviere ich denn in dem neuen Editor das Code Folding? Ah, unter "Einklappen".

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+1 for the second paragraph. Every language has a bunch of loanwords from English, insisting on translating them wouldn't make it better if not worse. –  user508 Jan 10 '12 at 8:30
Thanks, this is very helpful. I had briefly been contemplating "Zusammenfalten" and "Auseinanderfalten" to make it absolutely clear, but that sounded much too "Germatic" (to use Quentin Tarantino's words). –  Tim Pietzcker Jan 10 '12 at 8:36
-1 for the second paragraph. If I like English explanations, I buy English books. Who wouldn't understand 'einklappen'? There are older PC-Users, which might know Latin and Greek, but not Englisch, there are Eastgerman midagers, who learnt Russian but not English, there are Russian Emigrants, which have enough problems learning German and there is a Job "Anwendungsentwickler" which pupil can choose after 9 years of school, which often struggle enough with English. Today, every job is IT-Context. –  user unknown Jan 11 '12 at 4:55
@userunknown: You are probably right about the broad range of people which are in IT. But I would like to see translations which you can easily connect to the English term you already know. That's also the reason why I prefer "falten" over "klappen". –  0x6d64 Jan 11 '12 at 9:52

I agree with 0x6d64 that in an IT context (say: if the text editor's primary use will be coding) no translation is needed. Also a bad translation can make things harder to understand than an English term that is to the point.

I would keep "code folding" as Title since the German translations seem to be weird.

For the verbs I would propose the obvious:

i.e. fold (=hide) and unfold (=reveal)

Use hide and reveal and translate it to verstecken and anzeigen. Alternatively you could use einblenden and ausblenden as proposed by splattne.

That way it is clear what it does even to a user who doesn't understand the term code folding: It hides and reveals parts of the text.

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verbergen would be more appropriate than verstecken. –  Takkat Jan 10 '12 at 9:04
@Takkat true, didn't think of that one. –  Lukas Jan 10 '12 at 9:08
Please see my comment at @0x6d64 Post. Today, every Job is IT-Context. –  user unknown Jan 11 '12 at 5:00

According to Wikipedia the German expression is Code-Faltung:

Code-Faltung oder Code-Folding bezeichnet eine Funktion in Editoren, insbesondere in modernen integrierten Entwicklungsumgebungen, um logisch zusammengehörende Quelltextabschnitte wie Klassen oder Methoden in sogenannten Folds bzw. Falten zu gruppieren.

Man kann die Abschnitte dann einfach ein- und ausblenden, als ob man ein Blatt Papier faltet, um bestimmte Zeilen auszublenden.

As verbs I would choose einblenden und ausblenden or aufklappen bzw. zuklappen in a more colloquial form.

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I read the Wikipedia article while researching my problem before posting here. It (ein/ausblenden) just didn't feel right for me, that's why I came here. –  Tim Pietzcker Jan 10 '12 at 8:41
It definitely doesn't feel right... urgs. –  perdian Jan 11 '12 at 14:22

Well, we use the term "Code einklappen" and "Code aufklappen".

But in all places that I worked, we were simply using the English words as anglicisms. "Schalte mal Code-Folding an..." or "kannst mal deinen Code unfolden?".

We often use that for indenting as well: "Indentier das mal" instead of "Rück das mal ein". Einrückung means indentation in that context.

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