IntroTranslate

Ubuntu Open Week - First steps in translating Ubuntu - DavidPlanella - Wed, Nov 4, 2009

Summary

First steps in translating Ubuntu

Welcome to this OpenWeek session on Ubuntu translations My name is David Planella, and I work as the Ubuntu Translations Coordinator in the Community team. In this session I'll try to outline the first steps to follow for anyone wanting to do their first contributions in translating Ubuntu.

Ubuntu has got an amazing translation community. Every day, people all around the globe contribute to translate your favourite distro in one of the hundreds of languages available, so that everyone can use it in their own.

This is a key part of the Ubuntu philosophy:

  • Every computer user should be able to use their software in the language of their choice.

So how can I join them and make my first translation contributions to Ubuntu?, you might ask yourself.

Let's start with the basic requirements.

First of all, you have to have some knowledge of English, and obviously of the language you are trying to translate into Wink ;)

The requirement of English is necessary so that everyone can translate from the same common language. It is basically a convention that applications and documentation are written in English, which is also the main common language for communication amongst the international developer community. Translators then translate from English to their own languages.

You will also need a Launchpad account.

If you don't already have one, I'd recommend you to check out the help page on creating a new account.

Once we've cleared that up, the next thing you might want to get familiar with the collaborative tool we use to translate Ubuntu: Launchpad, and in particular the Translations component:

If you go to that page with your browser, you'll see that there are quite a lot of things which can be translated in Launchpad: on one side Operating Systems, and on the other individual projects.

You can click on them if you want to explore a bit, but for now we are going to focus on Operating Systems, which is the category in which Ubuntu falls.

Ubuntu is an Operating System, which we can consider a collection of applications that make your computer work. In that sense, we will be translating applications

You've got two possibilities to go to the translatable applications in Launchpad:

  1. On the main Launchpad Translations page, click on the link of the Ubuntu version you'd like to translate, for example https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu/karmic/+translations. You'll then be taken to a list of languages. Click again on your language and you'll be shown a list of translatable applications, which you can then click and start translating them. This is useful to have an overview of all packages to translate.

  2. The other option, which might be easier, is to open an application, e.g. Firefox, go to the Help menu and choose the "Translate this application..." entry. Following that, a browser window will take you directly to the page in Launchpad where you can translate the application. This is useful if you know beforehand which application you'd like to translate.

Most Ubuntu applications provide a link to the translation page on the Help menu.

In one way or the other, you'll end up in a page where you'll see a collection of texts in English (also called strings) and a textbox where you can input your translation. Along with that, you'll see other links to navigate within the translation and to save your work. That's all you need for the start.

The interface is pretty intuitive, so I'll let you play with it and figure it out.

The key idea is to provide translation suggestions through the interface and save them in Launchpad along the way. The main goal of Launchpad Translations is to make it easy for people to collaborate on translations, but at the same time keep a good balance with the quality of translations.

To that extent, everyone with a Launchpad account can provide suggestions from day one, and these are shared amongst all projects hosted in there.

This greatly eases the process of translations, since thanks to these global suggestions, quite often adding a translation for a string already translated somewhere else is just a matter of pointing and clicking Smile :)

However, before strings can be used in Ubuntu, they must be reviewed for consistence and correctness. Without review, it could well be that spelling mistakes or misleading translations for actions or options in an application appear in Ubuntu.

That's one of the main reasons we need review. Another one is consistency.

It is always desirable that translations for the same strings are consistent across applications so that the user gets a consistent experience and he or she knows that translations for a particular option, preference or action are always the same regardless of the application.

You can of course keep providing suggestions, in particular if you are new and want to get familiar with the interface and the functionality, but at some point you will want to see if your translations are being used or get feedback on them.

So how are these translation suggestions reviewed and accepted?

And here we come to the interesting part: Community. Enter language teams.

The Ubuntu Translations community is organised in language teams, one per language, which are normally integrated in a bigger LoCo team.

In Launchpad, these teams are further integrated in the Ubuntu Translations _group_, which is basically a container for all Ubuntu translations teams:

There you can see the list of all existing teams which have started a translation effort in Ubuntu.

There is is a good chance that you'll find a team for your language (if not, stay tuned and I'll let you know how you can start one later on).

These teams are in charge of translating and reviewing the translations for Ubuntu, so the next step in your Ubuntu translations journey is to get in touch with them.

Communication is a key aspect in open source communities.

The translation team members will give you feedback about your translations, and accept them after review. They will also let know about the way they work, their guidelines, and of more advanced aspects of translations if you want to contribute further.

Most importantly, they will be your entry point in entering the Ubuntu translations community and helping you along the way.

After you've gained some experience in translations, you might want to ask them if you can join in as well! So here's how you can contact the particular translation team for your language:

  1. Go to https://translations.launchpad.net/+groups/ubuntu-translators

  2. Find your language's team and click on their link
  3. You'll then be taken to the team's home page in Launchpad, which should give you further instructions on their preferred way of contact.

Each team works differently, but in general terms most of them use a mailing list or a forum for communication, and getting in touch is normally as easy as sending an e-mail or a post with a short presentation of yourself saying that you'd like to contribute.

You'll then be welcomed and they'll let you know more about how the team works and answer the questions you might have.

Apart from the local teams, there is also a global translations community in which members of all different teams interact and discuss everything related to Ubuntu Translations.

Discussion there takes place in English as the common language, and I'd very much encourage you to participate if you want to learn more about how translations globally work.

The main point of contact is the mailing list, but we've got an IRC channel where you can ask any questions as well:

There's quite a lot more interesting stuff in translations: upstream projects, translation milestones, online and offline translation, etc. but this should get you started for now.

I'll leave the rest for a future session or for the language teams to explain.

And finally some links as reminders:

Questions

  • QUESTION: why launchpad translations doesn't sent into mainstream (e.g. gnome project)? That's a good question, and a bit more advanced, so let me quickly give some background first Ubuntu is a collection of applications and open source efforts which most often are organised as separate projects quite often as well, translations of those projects are imported into Ubuntu and the whole Ubuntu community greatly benefits from those as well. Ubuntu translators can complete translations in Launchpad, but it has been historically complicated from a technical point of view to contribute back those translations to the upstream projects. It is still doable, but has been left to local teams to do that manually. Things have changed though, and you'd be happy to hear that the Launchpad Translations team is working towards providing better upstream integration as their main focus
  • QUESTION: What languages are currently being worked on and which ones need to be worked on?

    Basically all are currently being worked on Smile :) Translations mostly happen during the development cycle but they can be also completed during the stable release and translations are released through language packs All teams need help And are happy to get new contributors

  • QUESTION: Knowing a few languages myself, I understand the need for a common base langauge to be used, but for those who would be frustrated, wanting to convert from say German to Deutch instead of English to Dutch, could you talk a moment to talk about the importance of using one language as a base? I'm not sure I understand the question, but basically having a single language as a basis helps in consistency on the process in any case, Launchpad also provides you suggestions from another language you might be fluent in, if that can help you
  • QUESTION: How to you about reporting an improper translation or translation abuse? If for some unthinkable reason they aren't caught

    You can use the ubuntu-translations project for that -> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Translations/KnowledgeBase/ReportingBugs

  • QUESTION: Ubuntu and Debian share translations? In general terms, Debian translations are shared by importing them. In particular applications, developers are both Debian and Ubuntu members, so sharing works best on those cases

Log

(01:01:00 PM) akgraner: up next is David Planella..
(01:01:08 PM) akgraner: with First steps in translating Ubuntu
(01:01:14 PM) dpm: thanks akgraner
(01:01:28 PM) akgraner: take it away!
(01:01:37 PM) dpm: Hi everyone :) !
(01:02:00 PM) dpm: Welcome to this OpenWeek session on Ubuntu translations
(01:02:28 PM) dpm: My name is David Planella, and I work as the Ubuntu Translations Coordinator in the Community team.
(01:02:58 PM) dpm: In the next hour I'll try to outline the first steps to follow for anyone wanting to do their first contributions in translating Ubuntu.
(01:03:24 PM) dpm: As usual, if you've got any questions, feel free to ask them at the #ubuntu-classroom-chat channel prepending them with QUESTION. I'll leave some time before the end of the session to answer them.
(01:04:03 PM) dpm: So let's get started, shall we?
(01:04:23 PM) dpm: Ubuntu has got an amazing translation community.
(01:04:36 PM) dpm: Every day, people all around the globe contribute to translate your favourite distro in one of the hundreds of languages available, so that everyone can use it in their own.
(01:05:03 PM) dpm: This is a key part of the Ubuntu philosophy:
(01:05:16 PM) dpm: Every computer user should be able to use their software in the language of their choice.
(01:06:00 PM) dpm: So how can I join them and make my first translation contributions to Ubuntu?, you might ask yourself.
(01:06:37 PM) dpm: Let's start with the basic requirements.
(01:06:49 PM) dpm: First of all, you have to have some knowledge of English, and obviously of the language you are trying to translate into ;)
(01:07:14 PM) dpm: The requirement of English is necessary so that everyone can translate from the same common language
(01:07:39 PM) dpm: It is basically a convention that applications and documentation are written in English, which is also the main common language for communication amongst the international developer community.
(01:08:08 PM) dpm: Translators then translate from English to their own languages.
(01:08:35 PM) dpm: You will also need a Launchpad account.
(01:09:00 PM) dpm: If you don't already have one, I'd recommend you to check out the help page on creating a new account -> https://help.launchpad.net/YourAccount/NewAccount
(01:10:12 PM) dpm: Once we've cleared that up, the next thing you might want to get familiar with the collaborative tool we use to translate Ubuntu: Launchpad, and in particular the Translations component:
(01:10:30 PM) dpm:   https://translations.launchpad.net/
(01:11:20 PM) dpm: If you go to that page with your browser, you'll see that there are quite a lot of things which can be translated in Launchpad: on one side Operating Systems, and on the other individual projects.
(01:12:04 PM) dpm: You can click on them later on if you want to explore a bit, but for now we are going to focus on Operating Systems, which is the category in which Ubuntu falls.
(01:12:51 PM) dpm: Ubuntu is an Operating System, which we can consider a collection of applications that make your computer work. In that sense, we will be translating applications
(01:13:31 PM) dpm: You've got two possibilities to go to the translatable applications in Launchpad:
(01:14:16 PM) dpm: 1) On the main Launchpad Translations page, click on the link of the Ubuntu version you'd like to translate, for example https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu/karmic/+translations.
(01:14:58 PM) dpm: You'll then be taken to a list of languages. Click again on your language and you'll be shown a list of translatable applications, which you can then click and start translating them.
(01:15:20 PM) dpm:  This is useful to have an overview of all packages to translate.
(01:15:52 PM) dpm: 2) The other option, which might be easier, is to open an application, e.g. Firefox, go to the Help menu and choose the "Translate this application..." entry.
(01:16:25 PM) dpm: Following that, a browser window will take you directly to the page in Launchpad where you can translate the application
(01:16:55 PM) dpm: This is useful if you know beforehand which application you'd like to translate
(01:17:26 PM) dpm: Most Ubuntu applications provide a link to the translation page on the Help menu
(01:18:24 PM) dpm: In one way or the other, you'll end up in a page where you'll see a collection of texts in English (also called strings) and a textbox where you can input your translation.
(01:18:56 PM) dpm:  Along with that, you'll see other links to navigate within the translation and to save your work.
(01:19:36 PM) dpm: That's all you need for the start
(01:20:10 PM) dpm: The interface is pretty intuitive, so I'll let you play with it and figure it out. If you have any particular question, feel free to ask me at the end of the section.
(01:20:46 PM) dpm: The key idea is to provide translation suggestions through the interface and save them in Launchpad along the way.
(01:21:33 PM) dpm: The main goal of Launchpad Translations is to make it easy for people to collaborate on translations, but at the same time keep a good balance with the quality of translations.
(01:22:23 PM) dpm: To that extent, everyone with a Launchpad account can provide suggestions from day one, and these are shared amongst all projects hosted in there.
(01:23:45 PM) dpm: This greatly eases the process of translations, since thanks to these global suggestions, quite often adding a translation for a string already translated somewhere else is just a matter of pointing and clicking :)
(01:24:05 PM) dpm: However, before strings can be used in Ubuntu, they must be reviewed for consistence and correctness.
(01:25:30 PM) dpm: Without review, it could well be that spelling mistakes or misleading translations for actions or options in an application appear in Ubuntu
(01:26:05 PM) dpm: That's one of the main reasons we need review. Another one is consistency.
(01:26:41 PM) dpm: It is always desirable that translations for the same strings are consistent across applications
(01:27:52 PM) dpm: so that the user gets a consistent experience and he or she knows that translations for a particular option, preference or action are always the same regardless of the application
(01:28:29 PM) dpm: You can of course keep providing suggestions, in particular if you are new and want to get familiar with the interface and the functionality, but at some point you will want to see if your translations are being used or get feedback on them.
(01:28:51 PM) dpm: So how are these translation suggestions reviewed and accepted?
(01:29:30 PM) dpm: And here we come to the interesting part: Community.
(01:30:00 PM) dpm: Enter language teams.
(01:30:25 PM) dpm: The Ubuntu Translations community is organised in language teams, one per language, which are normally integrated in a bigger LoCo team.
(01:31:20 PM) dpm: In Launchpad, these teams are further integrated in the Ubuntu Translations _group_, which is basically a container for all Ubuntu translations teams:
(01:31:30 PM) dpm:   https://translations.launchpad.net/+groups/ubuntu-translators
(01:32:01 PM) dpm: There you can see the list of all existing teams which have started a translation effort in Ubuntu.
(01:32:25 PM) dpm: There is is a good chance that you'll find a team for your language (if not, stay tuned and I'll let you know how you can start one later on).
(01:33:22 PM) dpm: These teams are in charge of translating and reviewing the translations for Ubuntu, so the next step in your Ubuntu translations is to get in touch with them.
(01:33:43 PM) dpm: in your Ubuntu translations journey, I meant :)
(01:34:04 PM) dpm: Communication is a key aspect in open source communities.
(01:34:46 PM) dpm: The translation team members will give you feedback about your translations, and accept them after review.
(01:35:33 PM) dpm: They will also let know about the way they work, their guidelines, and of more advanced aspects of translations if you want to contribute further.
(01:36:33 PM) dpm: Most importantly, they will be your entry point in entering the Ubuntu translations community and helping you along the way.
(01:36:53 PM) dpm: After you've gained some experience in translations, you might want to ask them if you can join in as well!
(01:37:34 PM) dpm: So here's how you can contact the particular translation team for your language:
(01:37:44 PM) dpm: 1) Go to https://translations.launchpad.net/+groups/ubuntu-translators
(01:37:59 PM) dpm: 2) Find your language's team and click on their link
(01:38:08 PM) dpm: 3) You'll then be taken to the team's home page in Launchpad, which should give you further instructions on their preferred way of contact.
(01:38:38 PM) dpm: Each team works differently, but in general terms most of them use a mailing list or a forum for communication, and getting in touch is normally as easy as sending an e-mail or a post with a short presentation of yourself saying that you'd like to contribute.
(01:39:23 PM) dpm: You'll then be welcomed and they'll let you know more about how the team works and answer the questions you might have.
(01:39:49 PM) dpm: Apart from the local teams, there is also a global translations community in which members of all different teams interact and discuss everything related to Ubuntu Translations.
(01:40:13 PM) dpm: Discussion there takes place in English as the common language, and I'd very much encourage you to participate if you want to learn more about how translations globally work.
(01:40:38 PM) dpm: The main point of contact is the mailing list, but we've got an IRC channel where you can ask any questions as well:
(01:40:52 PM) dpm:   https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Translations/Contact
(01:41:18 PM) dpm: (so in fact you can just come to #ubuntu-translators and say hi ;) )
(01:41:46 PM) dpm: There's quite a lot more interesting stuff in translations: upstream projects, translation milestones, online and offline translation, etc. but this should get you started for now.
(01:42:01 PM) dpm: I'll leave the rest for a future session or for the language teams to explain.
(01:42:26 PM) dpm: And finally some links as reminders:
(01:42:41 PM) dpm: * Launchpad Translations: https://translations.launchpad.net/ (the collaborative tool we use to translate Ubuntu)
(01:43:00 PM) dpm: * The Ubuntu Translators group: https://translations.launchpad.net/+groups/ubuntu-translators (how you can join the translation community in your language)
(01:43:19 PM) dpm: * The Translations home on the Ubuntu wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Translations/ (all information around Ubuntu Translations)
(01:43:49 PM) dpm: * Launchpad Translations help: https://help.launchpad.net/Translations/ (if you need help in using Launchpad for translations)
(01:43:59 PM) dpm: * IRC channel for Ubuntu Translations on Freenode: #ubuntu-translators
(01:44:10 PM) dpm: * IRC channel for Launchpad questions on Freenode: #launchpad
(01:45:01 PM) dpm: So I hope you found the session interesting so far, and I hope it generated some food for questions. Please feel free to ask anything
(01:45:03 PM) dpm: So
(01:45:10 PM) dpm: Bring them on! :)
(01:45:57 PM) akgraner: <yltsrc> QUESTION: why launchpad translations doesn't sent into mainstream (e.g. gnome project)?
(01:46:56 PM) dpm: that's a good question, and a bit more advanced, so let me quickly give some background first
(01:48:21 PM) dpm: Ubuntu is a collection of applications and open source efforts which most often are organised as separate projects
(01:48:55 PM) dpm: quite often as well, translations of those projects are imported into Ubuntu
(01:49:12 PM) dpm: and the whole Ubuntu community greatly benefits from those as well
(01:49:48 PM) dpm: Ubuntu translators can complete translations in Launchpad, but it has been historically complicated from a technical point of view
(01:50:02 PM) dpm: to contribute back those translations to the upstream projects
(01:50:26 PM) dpm: it is still doable, but has been left to local teams to do that manually
(01:50:36 PM) dpm: Things have changed though
(01:51:13 PM) dpm: and you'd be happy to hear that the Launchpad Translations team is working towards providing better upstream integration as their main focus
(01:51:34 PM) dpm: next question?
(01:51:46 PM) akgraner: <Jesi> QUESTION: What languages are currently being worked on and which ones need to be worked on?
(01:52:29 PM) dpm: basically all are currently being worked on :) Translations mostly happen during the development cycle
(01:52:42 PM) dpm: but they can be also completed during the stable release
(01:52:55 PM) dpm: and translations are released through language packs
(01:53:15 PM) dpm: all teams need help
(01:53:27 PM) dpm: and are happy to get new contributors
(01:53:34 PM) dpm: next question please?
(01:53:47 PM) akgraner: <Jesi> QUESTION: Knowing a few languages myself, I understand the need for a common base langauge to be used, but for those who would be frustrated, wanting to convert from say German to Deutch instead of English to Dutch, could you talk a moment to talk about the importance of using one language as a base?
(01:55:11 PM) dpm: I'm not sure I understand the question, but basically having a single language as a basis helps in consistency on the process
(01:56:15 PM) dpm: in any case, Launchpad also provides you suggestions from another language you might be fluent in, if that can help you
(01:56:30 PM) mode (+v ScottK ) by jcastro
(01:56:40 PM) mode (+v notmart ) by jcastro
(01:56:49 PM) mode (+v MoRpHeUz ) by jcastro
(01:57:24 PM) dpm: <Jesi> QUESTION: How to you about reporting an improper translation or translation abuse? If for some unthinkable reason they aren't caught
(01:57:55 PM) dpm: you can use the ubuntu-translations project for that -> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Translations/KnowledgeBase/ReportingBugs
(01:58:13 PM) dpm: <jimbodoors> QUESTION:   Ubuntu and Debian share translations?
(01:59:06 PM) dpm: In general terms, Debian translations are shared by importing them. In particular applications, developers are both Debian and Ubuntu members
(01:59:18 PM) dpm: so sharing works best on those cases
(01:59:42 PM) dpm: I'm not sure if we've got time for another question
(01:59:45 PM) dpm: ?
(02:00:24 PM) dpm: So I think that was it. Thank you very much for listening and I hope to see you around in the translations world!
(02:00:27 PM) akgraner: nope times up dpm..:-)
(02:00:40 PM) dpm: thanks a lot for your help akgraner!
(02:00:48 PM) akgraner: Thank You dpm!!


CategoryTranslations

MeetingLogs/openweekKarmic/IntroTranslate (last edited 2009-11-05 21:59:16 by dpm)