Ubuntu Translations Quickstart Guide > Starting to Translate

Starting to Translate

At this point you've got a Launchpad account and you're all set and hopefully eager to start translating. What we need to do now is to find the Ubuntu applications we want to translate, get familiar with the interface and submit the first translation suggestions.

We'll start by going to the main Launchpad Translations page. There you'll see that Launchpad allows you to translate two categories of software: Operating Systems and Projects.

We're interested in translating Ubuntu as a collection of integrated applications, so we'll go to the Operating Systems category and we'll click on the latest Ubuntu version.

Translate Ubuntu

The next step is to choose the language to translate into. You should only initially see the language or languages chosen as preferred. On that page you can also see some translation statistics.

Click on the link to your language to proceed to the translatable applications.

Translate language

On the next step the full list of translatable applications for Ubuntu is shown. These applications are often named templates using the translation jargon, and are the translatable units which you can work on to localize Ubuntu in your language.

You can browse through the list of templates to explore and get familiar with them. Do not get overwhelmed by how many of them there are: you'll find that by taking things step by step and working in a translation community, completing translations is easier than it may seem at first glance.

There are several statistics on that page, most of which are self explanatory. The most important for now are the green colour in the graph, which means translated messages in the template, and red, which means untranslated (or need review, more on that later).

As a new translator you should concentrate on completing the untranslated messages (or strings in translation jargon). Navigate to a template with untranslated strings and click on the link with the number.

New account

(i) If you already know the Ubuntu application you'd like to translate, you can use a quicker way to go to its translation page. Try this: start the application and then go to Help Translate this application... , which will open a browser for you and take you directly to the translation

Assuming this is your first time to be translating in Launchpad, you'll be prompted to agree to license your translations for use by all projects that use Launchpad. Feel free to read more about licensing at the link provided in that dialog.

Accept license

After accepting to license your work, you are finally at the step where you can submit your first translation suggestion. The translatable messages look like the one below: they are pairs consisting of original messages in English and translations in your language. In the web UI, English is the original to translate from, Current is the currently used translation, and New suggestion is where you can submit your translation.

Try this: find a message you think you can translate and enter your translation in the text box. Once you've done that, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Save button.

You've now submitted your first translation suggestion. Congratulations!

You'll find that the interface is very intuitive and self-explanatory, so try to get a bit more familiar with it before submitting more suggestions.


Once you are comfortable with the basic functionality, you might want to explore other aspects:

  • Guidelines: at the top of a translation page there are often guidelines on the conventions for translating your language or on how the team responsible for translations works, accepts new members, etc. Do check them: they will make the translation process easier and will help you resolving doubts and getting in touch with other translators if you want to.

  • Navigation: the First/Last and Previous/Next in the user interface will allow you to navigate through the messages in a template.

  • Saving: remember to save your work by pressing on the Save button at the bottom of the page. Only then your suggestions will be recorded

  • Filters: there are filters which allow you to view only a subset of the messages for easier navigation. Try using the drop-down box next to the Translating label. For now, you'll find the untranslated items and items with new suggestions the most useful

  • Search: you can use the Search box to look for a string in a template. It is powerful and easy to use: it returns results for the searched strings both in the original and translated messages

What you've just been doing now is to submit translation suggestions. These translations will not be used in Ubuntu until they have been first reviewed by another translator, which is where Ubuntu translation teams come in. You can learn more about them in the next section

Next Step

Now that you know how to do translation suggestions, why not get them reviewed and accepted by contacting or joining a translation team?.


Translations/QuickStartGuide/StartingTranslate (last edited 2015-10-27 01:45:09 by frozenzia)