flod put up a nice blog post on thinking about Ubiquity in Italian. flod points out that what seems natural to him as a speaker is the use of the imperative form of the verbs, but that some verbs may not translate neatly, even following the overlord verbs proposal:
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
This is a great point. Although the overlord verbs may naturally map into many languages, it may not be perfect for some commands in some languages. Where would English overlord verbs not translate well into your language?
I suggest on flod’s blog that a “synonym” system could be implemented to map single verbs to specific overlord’ed functionality, but these would definitely have to be done on a language-specific basis, unfortunately adding a little work to the localization process.