Translations

September 2010 Community Report : Translations

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This report is being put together by: David Planella

This report is here to satisfy the following use case:

Sam speaks a second language and wants to translate Ubuntu in it.

The goal of this assessment to identify what typical experience Sam may have and areas in which it can be approved.

Assessment Process

To perform this assessment we would like to ask those involved to perform the following steps:

  1. First put yourself in the position of Sam who has no idea how to participate within this area. How does find out about to participate, where our resources are, which communication channels they can use etc? Please enter your findings into the Discoverability section below.

  2. How does Sam learn the skills to participate in this area? Enter your findings in the Learnability' section below.

  3. How does Sam know what to work on and how to contribute? Enter your findings in the Doability section below.

  4. Find five community members who are very new to the community and ask them to answer the questions in the New Community Member Feedback section below.

  5. Finally, review all the findings you have notes down here and propose a set of improvements that are concrete things we can work on. Note these in the Recommendations For Improvement section below.

Findings

To ensure our work is as useful as possible, please ensure that all findings are factual and not based on opinion and perception, and where possible, backed up with links to resources that outline the findings.

Discoverability

According to the feedback given in this document, the main entry point to the translations community are the local forums and other resources in the local language (mainly wiki and IRC). It seems that other than Internet searches, new translations community members do not discover the global community resources or the team information in Launchpad. The Translations Quickstart Guide is reportedly useful, but would gain more visibility if translated in the local languages.

Another entry point are local events: release parties and Global Jams offer the possibility to talk with experienced members that can offer face-to-face mentoring and help newcomers find their bearings.

Launchpad does act as an on-ramp for new members. It allows submitting translations very easily, but it makes it non-obvious to join a translation team and start participating in a community.

Finally, the Launchpad Integration menus on most applications provide a shortcut to start translating Ubuntu, but were not mentioned by any of the new contributors interviewed.

Learnability

Items to consider:

  • What documentation/resources are available?
  • What support channels are available to help them learn?

Critically - from the perspective of someone completely new to learning the skills in this area of the community, are our resources easy to follow and understand?

Doability

Items to consider:

  • How does someone know what to work on?
  • How do they contribute their work back?
  • How easy is it for Sam to understand how this works?

New Community Member Feedback

Within this part of the community, look at which community members are new (such as new MOTUs in the Packager assessment or those newly participating in LoCo teams in the Advocacy assessment) and pick five community members to answer the following questions on this page. They should include their answers below.

Alessio Buccoliero

I'm a student graduated in Oriental Languages at the University of Rome. I use Ubuntu since the 7.04 edition. Now I'm using it from a VM because I own a Mac and I found the installation process on it a bit tricky. I'm studying to became a translator and I decided to do some practice helping the community in translating this beautiful OS in my language.

  • How did you learn about this part of the community?

  • I always wished to know how a distribution like Ubuntu could be translated in so many languages and the people behind a magic like this. I started searching on the net because i wanted to know about it.
  • What attracted you to this type of participation?

  • I participate because I think is a right of every single human being to have the opportunity and the possibility to use an OS in his own language. If I can help I will certainly do. Because I want to...
  • Where did you look first for information on getting involved?

  • I searched on the net and I found most of the documentation in the official site.
  • Did you feel the places you looked for information were useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • I'm Italian. I read the official italian wiki and I found all the necessary info there. Everything is explained very well and, however, the community is always ready to help. I'm not happy only for one thing. I translate from a Mac with Ubuntu on a VM. It was a bit annoying the registration part because it can be done only on a Ubuntu running machine. I think that will be better if it could be done in a less tricky way and from whatsoever OS. I needed to use an Ubuntu Machine when I signed the CodeOfConduct. When I had to generate the gpg key to insert in Launchpad, I found only the wiki with the how to for Ubuntu. I don't know if it can be possible with other OS (I think it is but I don't know how...) but that how to is the only I found on the official website. If the procedure can't be changed (it is a bit complicated) maybe it can be automated in some way. For a newbie it would be a great help in joining the team.

  • When learning skills and content for participating, were the resources you used useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • I found very useful the translation guidelines. I'm a newbie in translation and these guidelines helped me so much when I started.
  • What recommendations would you make for improving your experience in our community?

  • I think that the 1translation-1translator structure is a good idea. However, sometimes getting a translation is very hard or people starts translations that are over their skills. It could be a good idea a sort of chart with all the translators ranked by their skills and the translation assigned to them by a senior translator.

Anonymous

From the Slovenian translation team.

  • How did you learn about this part of the community?

  • Through our local Ubuntu forum
  • What attracted you to this type of participation?

  • I already did some translation of other projects that are not Ubuntu related. When I used Kubuntu, Ubuntu and Xubuntu I realized that translations aren't perfect, in some cases they were missing, so I decided to help out and help Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu to become 100% translated into Slovenian.
  • Where did you look first for information on getting involved?

  • I was looking on Launchpad and Ubuntu Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Ubuntu-l10n-sl.

  • Did you feel the places you looked for information were useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • The Ubuntu wiki was really helpful as it covers most of the required information. The Launchpad translation page is not so helpful. For someone who is here first there it should had information on how to help translating in your language or at least link to Ubuntu wiki.
  • When learning skills and content for participating, were the resources you used useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • Launchpad is very nice as it suggests already translated items, but the search is not so great. Lugos glossary and Open-tran.eu helped me the most for the items I had doubt how to translate.
  • What recommendations would you make for improving your experience in our community?

  • Improve Launchpad package search. Improve Launchpad word search (take a look at how its done on Open-Tran).

Cheng-Chia Tseng

From the Traditional Chinese translation team.

  • How did you learn about this part of the community?

  • Well, firstly I trid to use Launchpad to translate, but there was no guide for translating (such as accelerator format) and I gave it up for a long period. Then I found some documents and a on-line translating website having the information I need some day, then I dived in translating.
  • What attracted you to this type of participation?

  • The first time I contacted Linux (about 5 years ago), the traditional Chinese support was such a disaster that many common programs were mostly in English, not have appropriate input engines and ugly displaying with Chinese fonts. So I think that contributing to translation is what I can do as a basic user speaking some English for all traditional Chinese users.
  • Where did you look first for information on getting involved?

  • The local forum.
  • Did you feel the places you looked for information were useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • There was little information. Local forums are somewhere for users to discuss something they are confused or interested, maybe there are few people interesting with contributing translation or the translators not considering making public on the forum.
  • When learning skills and content for participating, were the resources you used useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • The resources I found were in mostly in English and Simplified Chinese. If there is some basic introduction information written in Traditional Chinese, it would be better for the beginners.
  • What recommendations would you make for improving your experience in our community?

  • The interactions between Ubuntu traditional Chinese translation team members should be more active. There is no appropriate way (such as local mailinglist or googlegroups) for them to communicate now, we should set up one.

Rachid BM

I'm participating in the Ubuntu Dutch Translators team since August.

  • How did you learn about this part of the community?

  • I was active for a while on the forum, wiki and IRC channel of the Dutch LoCo team ubuntu-nl. This is how I found out about the Dutch Translators team.

  • What attracted you to this type of participation?

  • I use Ubuntu for a couple of years now. I'm very glad that it's free, but I also want to do something back. Maybe some day I'll contribute in programming. But because it's easier to start translating I choose this team. This way I can contribute step by step, and learn more about Ubuntu and its Communities.
  • Where did you look first for information on getting involved?

  • The first place where I found out how to get involved was the forum. ( http://forum.ubuntu-nl.org/vertalingen/vertalers-gezocht!-50567/ ). There, I followed the link to the Translators team page on our wiki (http://wiki.ubuntu-nl.org/community/Vertaalteam ). Eventually I read the Starters Guide: http://wiki.ubuntu-nl.org/community/Vertaalteam/Naslag/Startersgids This page contains all information on how to get involved in translating Ubuntu with the Dutch Translators team.

  • Did you feel the places you looked for information were useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • Who is "we"? I didn't really looked into international resources. I was satisfied by the Dutch LoCo resources and the information I found there was useful.

  • When learning skills and content for participating, were the resources you used useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • Most resource on translating specifically are on our Dutch wiki and is useful. Only some things in terms of Launchpad are a bit vague to me. For example:

    • - which projects are upstream...
      - Sometimes I see really old untranslated strings. Is it useful to still translate those? (How can I see when it's still useful).
      - What is the next best "project" to translate.

The Dutch Translators team is now working on some sort of TODO page on the wiki. So I think these kind of problems will be solved in the future..

  • What recommendations would you make for improving your experience in our community?

  • Recommendations to whom? The Dutch Translators team has a monthly meeting. My opinion and problems I can discuss there. Furthermore I know very little about the Translators in the international community.

Sergi Mateo

Hi. I'm a member of the CatalanTeam since December '09. You can go to SergiMateo in this wiki if you want to read my story about how I found Ubuntu.

  • How did you learn about this part of the community?

  • I met the translators community and also learned how to translate Ubuntu into Catalan when I attended the Ubuntu Global Jam that the CatalanTeam held in October '09. That UGJ meeting helped me to learn about using Launchpad for translations and also to learn the guidelines that the Catalan translators follow for producing proper and consistent translations.

  • What attracted you to this type of participation?

  • Basically, it's the fact that translations is the only part of the OS that I feel that I can be helpful because I know almost nothing about programming, bugs, etc. And also because I think that translating Ubuntu into your language makes the OS more friendly to the people that live near you and, therefore, it's easier to find more people that can be interested in using Ubuntu in their daily life.
  • Where did you look first for information on getting involved?

  • As I explained above, I did not have to look for information because all of it was given to me during the Karmic UGJ. Smile :-)

  • Did you feel the places you looked for information were useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • Very useful... UbuntuCatalanTranslators is the home page for our translation team, and there you can find (almost) everything you need to get started. I've always used this part of the wiki, so I don't have a proper opinion for the «general» info and guidelines that can be found in the wiki or in Launchpad. About improvements: I tried to have a look to the «general» Translations section in the wiki (the Quickstart Guide looks nice), but it took me a few seconds to remember how to find it. So i went to the wiki homepage and... no direct link to the translations team. In the «Getting Involved - Teams» sections there are like 10 teams listed... but no translations team nor link to the main translations page (just like the Marketing and Advocacy team has). Hope it gets fixed soon, looks like no big deal.

  • When learning skills and content for participating, were the resources you used useful? If not, how could we improve?

  • Actually, I'm quite new in this translations world and I've spent most of my time translating the app-install-data package, so nearly all the time I've used Launchpad to translate, and it has been very easy and friendly to use since the beginning. Although I've tried to translate a .po file directly, I feel that Launchpad is easier and also you can translate just a few strings and submit them, you don't have to worry about completing all the strings before submitting your translation.
  • What recommendations would you make for improving your experience in our community?

  • Maybe the search box found inside the translation template can be improved. When I do a word or string search it only returns text that has been found in the package being translated. But... what about the other packages? What if a nice suggestion for my search is in another package? I won't be able to find it... I like opentran. I find it useful because it gives me lots of suggestions from many other packages and OS. But as far as I'm not a programmer I don't know if it's hard to create this whole-launchpad-packages word search.

Recommendations For Improvement

The goal of this effort is to make practical changes that improve our community. Please place these recommendations here, and make sure every suggestion is a practical achievable goal.

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Commentary

This section is for those not involved in the report to leave their feedback.

CommunityReview/Sep2010/Translations (last edited 2010-10-23 19:36:37 by rachidbm)