WordPress Global Translation Day Set for April 24, 2016

photo credit: . Entrer dans le rêve - cc
photo credit: . Entrer dans le rêvecc

The WordPress Polyglots team is planning its first ever Global Translation Day to be held April 24, 2016, in every timezone around the globe. The 24-hour translation sprint will start at dawn in the East and end in the West. In addition to translating strings, organizers are also looking to grow the translation teams and educate new translators. They have identified the following three goals for the event:

  • Show people who are interested in translating WordPress in their language how to get involved
  • Translate and validate the waiting strings for current projects under the supervision of the current General translation editors
  • Add more general translation editors to different translation teams

The Global Translation Day is an ambitious undertaking that involves coordinating a 24-hour live stream of tutorials about translating WordPress in different languages, as well as local, on-site contributor teams.

“Not very many people know how big the translation efforts around WordPress are, how dedicated our volunteer Translation Editors are to making sure we have quality, consistent software translations,” Polyglots contributor Petya Raykovska said. “We wanted the Global Translation Day to shed a bit of light on that and especially on the local teams.

Growing the WordPress Platform by Making it More Internationally Accessible

The Polyglots team is slowly chipping away at the world’s most widely spoken languages to provide core, theme, and plugin translations for users in their own languages.

“We have many languages that need a lot of help,” Raykovska said. “Our Japanese, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese teams are amazing, these are active 100% translated locales,” she said. “But when it comes to plugin and theme translations, that’s where the demand is greatest.

“On the other hand, we have languages that need help for WordPress core. All the Indian languages can use a huge push, our African and Asian languages need help.”

The progress of each locale is tracked on the Translation Teams page, displaying the percentage of strings translated for each.

translations

“Some of the biggest languages in the world are represented in this chart and if we got them to 100% that could have a huge impact on WordPress itself,” Raykovska said.

“If you remember the big jump WordPress did in 2011 and then in 2014, when international downloads surpassed English downloads, half of those international downloads were for Japanese,” she said.

“Now imagine what impact languages like Chinese, Hindi (and other Indian languages) and other languages in countries where English is not a default language, can have. The Global WordPress Translation day is about making WordPress accessible to more people and also about helping the platform’s growth,” Raykovska said.

The Polyglots are calling all multilingual contributors to join in the event. Raykovska reports that so far they have more than 60 teams committing to take part, with 10 mini-contributor days held locally and more incoming. The Polyglots are also planning to host remote events where local teams use their own Slack channels to onboard contributors and work on translations.

Contributors can choose from a number of ways to get involved. You can record a video in your language for the promotion clip, volunteer to do a live stream talk about translating WordPress into your language, organize a local contributor day, or get involved with the main organization.

If you have the language skills to participate in the translation sprint, it’s one of the easiest ways to start contributing to WordPress and help prepare the platform for its next major international leap. Join #polyglots on Slack to connect with the team.

6 Comments


  1. Do you know if effort will extend outside of core WP to things such as plugins and themes? Especially now language packs have been rolled-out it’d be great to see my plugin(s) available in different languages.

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  2. Hey Henry,

    They will. One of the aims of this day is to help the local teams grow so more people can translate plugins and themes as well.

    I’d say for languages where WordPress is not translated 100%, core will be a priority, but we have more than 70 locales that are always at 100% for core and all of them will be focusing on translating plugins and themes.

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    1. Hi Petya,

      Thanks for replying, that’s great to know :)

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  3. The translation scheme was never great but for a long time it was good enough, now when a bigger and bigger part of typical UI of a site is plugin based, it is just a meh – just better then nothing.

    The problem with translations is that some times to provide good translation you actually need to see the string in its context which means that it is not enough to have a good control of english but you also need to be able to read code in order to understand how to make the text appear. Proper translators will not know how to do it, and for coders it is too boring. Translating wordpress core is not always easy and there is no money or glory in it.

    What should be done is to have a micro translation utility in core to help site owners translate or just modify translations. This will help to make the translations which are 90% ready useful, and will help when the translation is just out of context in a specific site and with plugins. For example even on english sites you might want to replace the tecno gibrish of “posts” with “articles” or “news items”. There is actually a plugin that does it, but I forgot the name of it :(

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    1. There are many things that can be done to improve the platform, but even now many non-developers are successfully translating core. They’re all WordPress users, which is enough to get involved, a huge part of them have never touched code. The core team is getting much better in providing context and comments for translators, so believe me, it’s not that much of a mission impossible to translate core if you don’t code.

      There’s no money or glory in it, but there’s great fulfilment and a sense of purpose when contributing to your local community. Some people also do it because they run successful WordPress businesses in their countries where English is not spoken at all and they need quality translations for their client projects or products.

      Anyway, there are a lot of improvements to the platform on the way, you can follow them in the #meta-i18n channel on Slack if you’re interested. Developers who are willing to get involved with improving the translation management system are always welcome. If more of them joined, non-developers would have a far easier time getting involved with translations.

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      1. Some strings require adding some HTML, many strings are used in sprintf and require understanding of how sprintf works. This is not a very high barrier, but it is most likely a barrier for professional translators.

        It is not hard to do a 100% translation, it is somewhat harder to have a good 100% translation.

        And then you have the codex and whatever tutorials that are in wordpress.org that are basically in english but are still being pointed to from the translations.

        Enter all the “pro” plugins and themes for which you can not host a translation on wordpress.org, and no one can distribute their translation without the risk of violating copyright (imaginary or real risk, not sure myself, but for sure there is no incentive for that) and you get a UX which is partially localized and partially not.

        In a way for the user it might be better to have a full english admin because at least he will be able to google for an error in english, instead of hoping that his translation was good enough for google to do the translation for him.

        And all what I said, is that the overall approach to translations needs to be re-thought, not that the translation focused day is pointless…..

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