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= Introduction =

This page collects and answers some frequent questions about the web translating interface [ Rosetta]. For further information, consult the [ Rosetta mailing list].

There are some features that have not yet been implemented in Rosetta. To find out what they are, and to make more suggestions, please read and comment on the RosettaWishList page.

'''Table of Contents:'''


= About Rosetta =

 0. Is Rosetta Open/Free Software?
  No, Rosetta is not Open or Free Software at the moment. Rosetta will become open source sometime in the future but we don't have a date, although some parts of the Launchpad have already been released under the GPL by Canonical Ltd.
 0. If Rosetta isn't free, how are the translations submitted to the system licenced?
  Even if Rosetta isn't Free Software at this time, the translations created in and uploaded into Rosetta will be licenced under the same licence as the software. By using Rosetta, you give permission to Canonical Ltd. to publish those translations under the same licence as the software they belong to.
 0. What happens if Rosetta closes? Will the translations be lost?
  One of the main features of Rosetta is the ability to handle PO files easily. All the translations in the system can be exported and editted in a PO editor such as PoEdit, KBabel or GTranslator. You will be able to continue your work outside Rosetta.
 0. Where does the name Rosetta come from?
  "Rosetta" is the name of a [ space probe], which in turn, is named after the [ Rosetta Stone], the stone which was the vital key to deciphering Egyptian heiroglyphs.

= Translating with Rosetta =

== Getting started ==

 0. I want to translate the upstream project ''foo''. Can I use Rosetta?
  Yes, if you want to translate and upstream project with Rosetta, go to and look for it. You will be able to translate it from there. If your language is not translated at all, please check in the project's website that there isn't a translation for your language already.
 0. How do I join my language's Ubuntu translation team?
  You just need to go to your team's Launchpad page (for example, French would be and click on "Join the team" at the right block. Depending on how the team is setup, you may have to wait a bit until your team leader approves you to join. Once you're an ''Approved Member'', you'll be able to do official Ubuntu translations for that language.
 0. I can't find any Ubuntu translation team for my language, Elbonian, in the [ team list]. What should I do?
  In that case, e-mail and tell the Rosetta team about it. If you anyone else interested in joining the team, please include their name in your request. Soon after your team will be created so you can start translating.
 0. Elbonian has no ISO 639 code assigned. Can I still translate in Rosetta without one?
  Rosetta's policy is that having a language code assigned in ISO 639 is a requirement for us to be able to setup a translation team. In most cases, getting a code assigned by ISO is not complicated. Visit the [ Library of Congress]' website to get [ more information] on how to do this.

== Translation process ==

 0. How do I coordinate with other translators in my team?
  Normally translators for a given language gather around a mailing list, where they discuss their translation policies, get work assigned and discuss their translation process. If you don't have a mailing list to discuss your Ubuntu translation, don't hesitate to ask for one at
 0. I don't see the upstream project in Rosetta, how can I import it?
  * Before doing anything else, have a look at our [ Import Policy] and see if we will be able to handle your request.
  * Make sure the upcoming product series is registered in Launchpad (add product, add series).
  * Use the Request Translation Upload links in your release series pages to upload a tarball with the .pot AND ALL PO FILES. This means we can import not just one language, but the complete state of upstream, and it greatly improves the way we can work with upstream.
 0. My project is now imported. How can people join and translate it?
  Rosetta can assign translators that are members of a given team. If you don't have very specific needs for translation permissions for your projects, we '''strongly''' encourage you to assign your project to the Ubuntu Translation Team, which has many translators assigned in many Language subteams, and will take care of translating your application for you.
 0. I imported a template for my product, but the main page for it shows an older translation template for the older version included in the latest Ubuntu release. I want people to translate my development branch!
  Rosetta currently tries to give more visual relevance to the templates shipped with Ubuntu, mainly because those translations will be the ones which will be used immediately by Ubuntu users, via 'language packs'. We acknowledge that program authors may not necessarily be interested as much in this feature, and really want to push people to translate the bleeding edge strings. We're working on making both the templates supplied by Ubuntu and those supplied by the product maintainer reasonable visibility.
 0. What happens with the translations done on the Ubuntu templates for a product? Do they get shared with my template for my development branch?
  All translations introduced into the Rosetta system get included in a huge "translation memory". If someone translates an application for its Ubuntu breezy series, these translations will appear as suggestions when someone else translates another series of that product.
  A planned feature for Rosetta is "Translation Sharing", which would allow a translation to apply to all series of a product when it's updated in just one, which will make it a lot easier to do.
 0. I'm trying to translate an application, but I find that the template name is something scary like ''xxx-deprecated-do-not-use'' or ''xxx-review-breezy-foo''. What are these? Should I translate them?
  When one of these templates appears it means something went wrong with Rosetta's autoimport. To fix it, manual intervention from the Launchpad admins is needed. We're working on the causes so this doesn't happen in the future, while we cleanup all these templates one by one. There are a lot of them, and it takes some time. Please, be patient, but do '''not''' translate them, as there's some risk that your work would be lost with these templates.
 0. I am translating an Ubuntu documentation piece in Rosetta (such as aboutubuntu, releasenotes, and quickguide). I come across some strange looking strings such as {{{&convention}}} or {{{<example>}}}. Should I translate them?
  No, these strings should not be translated but should be left as they are!
 0. I see a "Translate this Application" link in many Ubuntu applications, but the message itself isn't translated into my language. Where can I find it?
  That message belongs to the "[ launchpad integration]" module.

== Rosetta and GNU Gettext Plural Forms ==

 0. Rosetta asked me for plural forms information. What info do you need?
  The plural form information is to handle correctly the plurals in your language. You can read more about it [ here].
  As a summary, the rules we need to define are related with the number of objects/things/persons you are talking about, for instance, in English we have:
    * 0 items
    * 1 item
    * 2 items
    * 3 items
    * ...
    * n item(s)
  With that, we get that only when n == 1 is singular and when n != 1, it's plural. In this case, the plural form expression is: "n==1 ? 0 : 1" and the gettext's nplurals value == 2.
  In a non programming language, "n==1 ? 0 : 1" means:
  If 'n' is 1, then use the first entry, otherwise, use the second. 'n' is the number of items and usually, in computer programming we start counting with '0' instead of '1'.
 0. How the plural forms affect Rosetta?
  If you get a message to translate with plural forms, you will get as much entries fields as plural forms defined for your language so you should be aware of your plural form expression and fill the fields as needed.

= Other Launchpad questions =

 0. What's the difference between a 'Team Admin', 'Team Member' and a 'Non-Member'?
  This is part of Launchpad's permission system. Every user of Rosetta has a a given set of rights, which are, roughly:
    * Non-Member: If you haven't been accepted in a translation team, you can translate a PO template, but your contribution will be a "suggestion" which has to be reviewed by a Team Member before it is "officially" accepted in the message catalog that software authors will eventually download and include in their releases. This way, Rosetta protects translators from trolls and vandals who could try to otherwise fill Rosetta with obscene or wrong translations, while on the other hand permits non (yet) members to contribute to the translations without losing their work.
    * Member: When you join a Translation Team, you're given rights to upload PO files and modify existing translations. All your contributions will eventually end up in released products such as Ubuntu Breezy.
    * Admin: Every team has one or a small set of Team Admins. They are in charge of accepting new members into their team and other coordination tasks.
 0. Is the Rosetta code updated often?
  Unless there's something very urgent, Launchpad updates its codebase once a week, normally on Tuesdays. During a short period of time, you'll notice the whole site is unavailable, while this update takes place. After it's back up online, all the bugfixes and new additions that have been implemented during the week get applied to the site so you can take advantage.

RosettaFAQ (last edited 2008-08-06 16:59:50 by localhost)