The second Global WordPress Translation Day was held November 12 and the stats released this week show the event was an even greater success than the first one. In April, WP Translation Day connected 448 participants through both online and in-person translation events. The second event brought 780 translators together, a 74% increase in participation. Attendance at the local events increased from 39 in April to 67 in November.
— Petya Raykovska (@petyeah) November 16, 2016
“We really wanted to build on top of what was already there, reach more people, and bring more important topics front and center,” said Petya Raykovska, one of the members of the Polyglots Leadership Team. Participants had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming internationalization features in WordPress with core developers, including a session by Pascal Birchler and a panel led by John Blackbourn. Translators also discussed gender neutral languages in the WordPress UI, prompted by a discussion around gender neutral German.
Raykovska said one of the goals of the second event was to “bring more people on screen so everyone can feel like they’re a part of a truly global event.” Local participation for the live streaming meetups increased from April.
“The activities in India have kept their strong growth rate – we had eight events last time, this time they were 14, with Mumbai even having two events,” Raykovska said. “For the first time we had events in Russia and in South Africa.”
Raykovska said she’s hoping the Polyglots Leadership Team will soon begin developing events in African regions, following patterns of success in Asia and Europe.
— WordCamp Mumbai 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣9️⃣ (@WCMumbai) November 12, 2016
Global WordPress Translation Day Expands Into South Africa
South Africa has 11 languages and Raykovska said the event gave a big boost to the translation community there, with Xhosa being translated for WordPress for the first time. Xhosa is spoken by 7.6 million people, which is approximately 18% of the South African population.
“Africa has a huge potential and a lot of wonderful, enthusiastic people,” she said. “There will be more WordCamps there in 2017 and hopefully more activity on the translation side.”
Jon Bossenger and Hugh Lashbrooke, who co-organized the Cape Town event, had attendees translating WordPress into Xhosa, Sotho, and Setswana.
“By the end of the day we had two translation files for these languages that we’ll be looking to submit requests to be added as locales for WordPress,” Bossenger said in his recap post. “We’re almost halfway towards adding all 11 official languages, just in one day.”
Trisha Cornelius, co-organizer the WP Johannesburg Meetup, organized the in-person translation event in Johannesburg where the team made major progress and assisted the Cape Town team in getting their languages started.
“We managed to get Xhosa approved in time for us to translate some strings for our translation day event,” Cornelius said. “We translated into Afrikaans (which is at over 95% so we are pushing to get to 100%) and South African English as well. People who were at the Cape Town event have volunteered to become translators for Tswana and an attendee at our event has volunteered to become GTE for Zulu.”
Cornelius said the excitement of live streaming and connecting with Cape Town and others around the world could have easily made for an event that spanned longer than three hours.
“The biggest success was in showing people how easy translation is,” Cornelius said. She hopes the translations will make WordPress easier for more people in South Africa and help more people get onto the web.
“South Africa has an interesting case in that we have a clear racial split between being multi-lingual and not,” Cornelius said. “The majority of our population speaks English/Afrikaans as a second language and I would love to see WordPress available in all 11 of our official languages so that WP users can choose to use WP in their mother tongue.”
Cornelius said language accessibility in South Africa is less of a challenge than actual access to computers with the Internet, but they are making progress in Johannesburg to make the internet more widely available.
“Especially with the prevalence of smart phones, I think having WordPress in more indigenous languages will mean that we are able to hear more of each others voices which we desperately need,” Cornelius said.
Overall, the WordPress Translation Day participants translated a total of 60,426 strings, up from 40,350 in April. This includes popular plugins and themes in addition to WordPress core. A video replay of the event can be found on Crowdcast.io.