Global WordPress Translation Day Draws 448 Participants from 105 Countries

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The first Global WordPress Translation Day was held over the weekend, organized by the Polyglots team. The event included 24 hours of live training sessions and translation sprints that spanned every timezone from East to West. The goal was to grow the translation teams and educate new translators with live training sessions.

During the course of the event, 448 translators from 105 countries translated 40,350 new strings across 597 projects. This includes WordPress core and open source plugins and themes, such as Pods, Google Two-Factor Authentication, WooCommerce, bbPress, Yoast SEO, and hundreds of others.

Japan and Thailand live streaming each other's events -  photo credit: Menn Studio
Japan and Thailand live streaming each other’s events – photo credit: Menn Studio

“We had 39 local events and 11 remote events happening across the globe,” organizer Petya Raykovska said. “India was the big surprise with four of the big Indian languages getting new contributors, forming teams and connecting across India with one another to collaborate live.”

All of the sessions were live streamed and the team had 316 people who watched the broadcast at some point during the day. The event featured 12 training sessions in different languages to teach participants how to translate WordPress core, including Japanese, Hindi, Bulgarian, German, Slovak, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, Lithuanian and Italian.

The other sessions focused on topics for plugin and theme developers, such as:

  • Plugin documentation and support for the whole world
  • How to find translators for your plugins and themes
  • Localization – Beyond Translation
  • The life of a string – or how WordPress gets its translations
  • Plugin/Theme i18n: How to prepare your plugin or theme for translate.wordpress.org
  • GlotDict – how a browser extension changes your translation workflow

All of the videos from the event are available on Crowdcast.io if you want to learn more about the WordPress Polyglots team and how everyone works together. One of the best outcomes of the day, according to Raykovska, is that translation teams now have video documentation for new contributors. They plan to upload the videos to WordPress.tv and include them in the Polyglots handbook.

Global WordPress Translation Day Offers a New Avenue for Contributing to Translations

“We do contributor days around WordCamps and then the community summit once a year,” Raykovska said. “The contributor summit hasn’t been super productive for Polyglots so far. Unlike most other teams, most contributors are 100% volunteers and can’t afford (or get a Visa) for a trip to the US.

“So we wanted to organize a contributor day without these restrictions for participants,” she said. “And that’s how the idea was born.”

The Polyglots team has not set a date for the next Global WordPress Translation event, but Raykovska said it will be easier for them to organize now that they have the processes figured out. One of the most positive outcomes of this past weekend’s event is that it has sparked translation teams to organize more local events, especially now that they are armed with video documentation and training tools for plugin and theme developers.

“Some countries are planning monthly contributor translation drives and standalone contributor days,” Raykovska said.

Raykovska said next time she would like to get more people on screen from the events happening in different locations around the world. She also hopes to organize some round tables where Polyglots team members can share about their local processes and team structures.

“I think we need to make a solid effort to bridge the gap between plugin authors and translators,” Raykovska said. “The demand for translations is growing, especially for the most used languages. An event like this would be a good reason for the two groups to gather and talk about what’s not quite working right now and think of ways to overcome it.”

As many polyglots will be in attendance at WordCamp Europe, the team is considering organizing a gathering there. This multilingual WordPress event will be the largest WordCamp in history with 2200 attendees. WordPress’ rapidly growing international user base and the expanding Polyglots team could make the Global Translation Day event a catalyst for future improvements to the project.

“If we can go one step further, it would be awesome to revive the conversation about multilingual in core,” Rakovska said. The success of this past weekend’s event shows the Polyglots’ enthusiasm and determination to collaborate across borders to get things done.