This month marks a big milestone for WordPress in Vietnamese. It is now 100% translated, thanks in large part to the folks at foobla who volunteered a great deal of time and effort on the final push to finish translating the software into Vietnamese.
New WordPress translations don’t magically happen – they actually take quite a bit of manual work. It requires having a nuanced understanding of both languages in addition to a decent level of WordPress expertise for context. You forget how many words are in WordPress until you see pages and pages of strings in need of translation:
Back in December 2013, the progress of the Vietnamese translation was slow and it was nowhere near finished. Coverage was sparse with /trunk/ strings at 69% complete, WordPress admin strings at 46% and network admin for multisite at just 6%. The three most recent default themes were all 0% translated.
Today’s announcement of the fully complete translation is a huge victory for anyone wanting to use WordPress in Vietnamese. Philip Arthur Moore, who has been heavily involved in this effort, said that contributors will now change their focus to the Vietnamese WordPress.org site:
Our next steps are to update vi.wordpress.org with the updated language packages, and make sure that when WordPress users in Vietnam to go vi.wordpress.org, they know how to begin using WordPress.
Translations are an often overlooked area of WordPress contribution, but are a necessary part of expanding the software’s use to non-English speaking parts of the world. Internationalization stats on WP Central show that only 41 locals are up to date on WordPress package translations and 22 locales are behind by two or more major versions. 60 locales do not yet have a package available.
More completed translations and better support for installing WordPress in any language may be the catalyst to pushing global WordPress usage stats over the 25% mark. Andrew Nacin recently set out an ambitious plan to improve internationalization across the board for WordPress core and is aiming at getting these updates into the 4.0 release.
With the planned changes in place, WordPress core will have more elegant ways to get people on track to using the software in their own languages. 2014 is shaping up to be an important year for making WordPress friendlier for its users across the globe.