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CLDR Ticket #9948(accepted docs)

Opened 15 months ago

Last modified 12 days ago

Japanese and Chinese need "zero" plural category

Reported by: eflarup@… Owned by: mark
Component: plurals Data Locale: ja
Phase: spec-beta Review:
Weeks: Data Xpath:


I know that Japanese and Chinese (and other languages) have only a single noun form, but it seems that they do actually require special handling for the "zero" case. Here's feedback from our Japanese linguist:

"There is no such expression in Japanese as “no items” or “0 items”. Actually, in Japanese, there is no equivalent word for ‘no’ (zero) but there is only the word for ‘not’ (to negate the entire sentence).

So, translating the phrases like “no items” or “0 items” into Japanese requires a special handling.
Please check the following EN-JP pairs:

  1. There is an item in your cart. お客様のショッピングカートには 1 個の商品があります。
  2. There are 15 items in your cart. お客様のショッピングカートには 15 個の商品があります。
  3. There are no items in your cart. お客様のショッピングカートには商品がありません。

Note that the last sentence (#3) is actually back-translated as: “There isn’t any item in your cart.” (“…がありません” = “There is not any …”)"

We have received similar feedback for Chinese.

In order to accommodate this, we would actually need to add a "zero" category to the Japanese and Chinese plural rules.


Change History

comment:1 Changed 15 months ago by eflarup@…

Soo, we figured out that we can actually easily achieve the results that our Japanese and Chinese linguists are looking for by using

to match 0 as a value regardless of the plural categories of the current locale

We are also leaning towards thinking that the Japanese request is really more of a "nice to have" feature rather than a strict requirement dictated by syntax. Simply saying "お客様のショッピングカートには 0 個の商品があります。" is probably no worse than saying "There are 0 items in your cart" in English. Which means that this ticket can probably be cancelled.

comment:2 Changed 14 months ago by mark

Right. A language really only needs the zero case when it encompasses more numbers than just 0.

comment:3 Changed 14 months ago by mark

Right. A language really only needs the zero case when it encompasses more numbers than just 0.

I think it would be worth keeping this ticket, but redirecting the outcome to be documenting that fact.

comment:4 Changed 11 months ago by emmons

  • Status changed from new to accepted
  • Priority changed from assess to major
  • Phase changed from dsub to spec-beta
  • Milestone changed from UNSCH to 32
  • Owner changed from anybody to mark
  • Type changed from data to docs

comment:5 Changed 4 months ago by mark

  • Phase changed from spec-beta to dsub
  • Milestone changed from 32 to 33

comment:6 Changed 3 months ago by mark

  • Phase changed from dsub to rc

comment:7 Changed 12 days ago by mark

  • Phase changed from rc to spec-beta

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