Team communication

Launchpad is a great tool to ease translation work, but it is not yet a substitute for real communication. In order for a translation team to run effectively, members need a communication channel where to talk in their own language, discuss problems, ask for help, set goals, etc.

It is for this reason that we make it even a requirement for Ubuntu translation teams to have at least a communication channel. This guide will tell you more about team communication resources and will show some examples on how other translation teams communicate.

Mailing list

This is what most teams use as their main method of communication. It is great for discussion and announcements, especially for team coordinators to forward the announcements from the global translations community. It can also be used (most effectively together with a wiki) to assign translations to people and track who is translating what, or to discuss difficult translation terms.

(i) If you wish to do so, you can request the creation of an official Ubuntu mailing list for your translation team by sending an e-mail to rt(at)ubuntu(dot)com. The name of the list should match the name of the team in Launchpad (ubuntu-l10n-<language code>).


Generally used as a complement to mailing lists, forums are also great for general discussion and announcements, and are especially good for tapping into bigger user bases not generally involved in translation and getting feedback from users on the overall translation status and on bugs or spelling mistakes.


An IRC channel can be good for quick discussions or questions in real time.

Most importantly, it can be used for meetings for e.g. discussing the translation goals, the status of projects, translation events, etc.


A web site can be good as the main entry point to the translation project, to provide an appealing view and to direct potential contributors to the available resources, so they can easily start collaborating. It might be a good idea to integrate the translations section in your LoCo's website as well.


The combination of a wiki with another communication channel provides the best results. In a wiki you can assign people to translations, create glossaries, your team's guidelines, add event information, and in short, provide really useful content in short time.

You can use this wiki and a namespace such as<language>Translators to host your translations team content.

Team testimonials

Spanish Team

For my part, I come from the Ubuntu Spanish Translators team, where we rely almost entirely on the mailing list [1]. Recently however, due in part to concerns that people newly interested in Spanish translations weren't getting enough feedback, we've been making use of an IRC channel [2] for our team. We also have a wiki [3] which houses our more permanent information, information on how to join our team, links to translations resources, etc.

  1. ML
  2. IRC
  3. wiki

Evan R. Murphy

Italian team

For the Italian team we rely on our mailing list as the primary communication channel. We have an IRC channel too, but it's almost empty.

We store information of our team, guidelines, and how to join the team and mailing list in our wiki.

We have also a small place on the Italian forum where for each release we set up a "discussion" that users can use to tell us about typos, errors or untranslated strings they see. We do this because of the big users base our forum has.

Milo Casagrande

Russian team

We also depend mostly on the maillist.

We have IRC channel (#ubuntu-translators-ru @, but similar to Italian team it's almost empty all the time.

We have a Wiki page, and section about localisation on the popular Russian Ubuntu forum.

Oleg Koptev

Hebrew team

The Hebrew team uses mostly the forum, where we also get translation requests.

We also use the mailing list, but less frequent.

Information about translation process is stored in the wiki.

Eyal Levin

Danish Team

In the Danish translation team we normally just use the general mailing list of danskgruppen (Danish Team), which is used by a variety of Danish FOSS translation groups, including KDE, Gnome, Xfce, Fedora etc. We tag the mail header, e.g [Ubuntu], [Gnome] [KDE] and so on...

We try to guide new translators into the mailing list, when they start making translation suggestions through Launchpad.

Translation instructions are available on the Danskgruppen wiki, though the complexity of the instructions reflects the complexity of the current challenges of Launchpad :-).

IRC is not used very much.

I do, however, like the idea of communicating more through the Danish Ubuntu Forum, but when we try to recruit potential translators through the forum, I get almost no replies.

Mads Bille Lundby

Finnish Team

We use our mailing list to send announcements to our translators and they can also use it for a discussion. We also have a section on about translations and some users use it to report i18n problems. Some translators use our IRC channel (#ubuntu-fi-tiimit @ Freenode) frequently and there is also a common IRC channel for every Finnish translators so that translators from different projects can discuss and work together.

Translation instructions are available on our Launchpad page and on our wiki.

Heikki Mäntysaari

Swedish team

The Swedish team (2-4 persons) are mainly coordinated through the Swedish Ubuntu Forum [1]. We also have our own mailing list [2] but it is rarely used. We are a small (by design) team with close collaboration with upstream (me doing GNOME, GNU, Debian and with the Swedish KDE team). We get l10n reports (spelling issues and other issues) directly over IRC [3], the forum [1] or directly to the translator (mainly me). We have our translation guidelines over at [4]. We currently do not accept more translators in the Swedish team. Translation suggestions are always welcome though.



  3. #ubuntu-se @ Freenode

Daniel Nylander

Hungarian team

The Hungarian team uses the wiki for storing general information about Ubuntu-specific workflow[1], and we have another page to track what is important and who is working on it[2]. The mailing list is used for general discussion not covered in the wiki. There is a generic Howto about translation (spelling, style, technical details of gettext, frequent errors, etc) in the wiki of, biggest Hungarian Unix news site[3]. Too bad that it's too big for beginners to actually read it. We do not use forums at all, and IRC usage is minimal at best - there is no dedicated channel, only #ubuntu-hu is used when needed. For translation errors, there is a Google hosted project[4], that provides one unified interface and place for all Hungarian localization projects (Gnome, Kde, Xfce, Openoffice, Mozilla, Ubuntu, Opensuse etc.) and for users. The idea is, that users should report any localization problem they encounter while using open source software at only one central project, and we assign it to the correct maintainer, who then fixes it.





Gabor Kelemen

Portuguese team

On the Ubuntu Portuguese Translators team, we use the mailing list as our main communication tool. We also use the Portuguese Ubuntu Comunity website to store information about translating Ubuntu (how to apply to our team, best practices, getting started guides, what packages should be translated on Rosetta, language consistency resources, how to contribute upstream, etc) and try to make that information useful to both prospective contributors and established members of the team.


Croatian team

Even though our team is not very big, we are communicating in lot of ways. We use forum [1], IRC channel [2] and mailing list [3]. For storing useful information, we use our wiki [4], which is in some occasions used for communication too.

For informing other members of the community about translation progress and attracting new translators, we use our website [5]

Translation related discussions on our forum are fairly minimal, which is a shame because we have a lot of active users there. Nevertheless, for bigger and more important discussions we use our mailing list, and for smaller, less important things we use IRC channel.


  2. #ubuntu-hr on freenode



Sasa Tekovic

Slovenian team

Not much special communication for Slovenian team. We are on the way to change this; the mailing list is being encouraged. There is some discussion on Slovenian ubuntu users forum though.

Bernard Banko

German team

The German translators team uses a mailing list and the wiki.

One of our most important communication tools is a kind of ToDo-List in the wiki which we use to coordinate our translation and QA tasks.

Beside this we document our guidelines, workflows and general information in the wiki.

We also have a section in the German Here we inform the users, answer question and a lot of users uses this section to report translation bugs.

Currently we discuss using IRC, but we have no experience with this.

Jochen Skulj

Tamil Team

The Tamil translators have dedicated mailing list & conducts weekly IRC meeting every Sunday at 9.30 AM UTC at #ubuntu-tam at

The issues are taken up in the weekly meeting's agenda, discussed and updated to the list. Apart from this, normal communications also take place at the mailing list.


Translations/KnowledgeBase/TeamCommunication (last edited 2010-02-16 15:49:20 by 28)