Photoshop: Very old translation error in German and Czech

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  • Updated 7 months ago
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The english word 'clip' has a lot of meanings, two of them are:
- tie or clamp together (hook up)
- cut off or detach (the opposite of 'hook up' or 'join')
The Photoshop term 'clip mask' means something like 'tied mask', 'linked mask', or 'joined mask'.

Corresponding translations into German and Czech are misleading.
In German ... 'Schnittmaske' means something like 'snip mask', 'cut off mask', or 'trimm(ed) mask'.
In Czech ... 'Ořezová maska' means the same as the German term, it has something to do with cutting but nothing to do with 'clipping together'.

Non-misleading terms would be e.g.:
in German: 'Verlinkte Maske' or 'Gemeinsame Maske'
in Czech: 'Spojená maska' or 'Společná maska'
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Otakar Seycek

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Posted 7 months ago

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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You can add the French translation "Masque d'écrétage", which means "a mask to crop". It's true that the image modified by the mask is linked to the mask, but the purpose is also to clip=crop. Your suggestion 'Verlinkte Maske = masque lié' is not convincing for me. Since only English has a word combining both ideas while still being ambiguous about the way the mask works, I can only suggest another translation in French : masque de liaison. The 'crop' idea is clear from masque, and the purpose of the link is clearer and the idea that the mask is not an attribute of the linked layers, but a master layer with linked children layers.
My guess is that the present translations come from practices before the digital era.
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David, Official Rep

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Thank you for the updates!  I've forwarded this on to our translators.

Please do feel free to share your critiques of our translations for other aspects of the product as well.

Thanks again,
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Jaroslav Bereza

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It is weird but if you rename it then all Czech tutorials will be broken.
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Otakar Seycek

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@ Michel:
Thank you for your replay, you are right, and I was - at least partially - wrong.

There is no such term as ’clip mask’ in the english version of Photoshop, which could be understood as ’clip the mask’. Mea culpa. Only the term ’clipping mask’ is used and it describes what the mask effects. Namely ’cut out’, may be better ’punch out’ or ’stamp out’ the content of the upper layer. A perfectly clear description of what is the clipping mask can be found here:

If the clipping mask is applied as described in Adobe’s User Guide, the content of the bottom pixel layer works like a stencil: non-transparent content reveals, transparent content conceals. However, that’s not all. You can create a clipping mask not only from the pixel layer but also from an adjustment layer with layer mask. I didn’t find a corresponding paragraph in Adobe’s User Guide.

If you do it, the layer mask in the base (bottom) layer determines what happens: white reveals, black conceals, grey reveals/conceals partially. There is no transparency in the layer mask as it must be in a pixel layer if it should work as a clipping mask. Long story short, the layer mask in the bottom adjustment layer works equally in all ’linked’ (’clipped’, ’hooked up’) layers above the bottom layer. This simplifies the work when you need the same mask in two or more layers. For this kind of use, the term ’clipping mask’ doesn’t correspond well with the impact of the action.

I’m used to work with clipping mask in connection with adjustment layers (with layer mask) but not with pixel layers. That’s the explanation why I overlooked the punch-out-function of the clipping mask. And therefore I thought the terms ’Schnittmaske’ and ’Ořezová maska‘ were misleading.