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Some thoughts about Transifex and Open Translators

One of the most lately exciting new projects in the Joomla community is the cooperation between  Open Translators and Transifex. Open Translators and Transifex has become a valuable resource both for devs, translators and end-users. Devs now has a great platform to reach translators and  provide complete translations for their extensions (and hopefully sell/provide more extension). Translators can easily contribute (with little tech knowledge) to the community and the dev. End-users dont have to do any translation and can just focus to use the extension.

Soon I have translated about 100 extensions, for Joomla, to Swedish (www.joomlasverige.se). I work either in direct contact with the dev or using Transifex to make translations. Now when many devs moving to Transifex the workflow has change.

One thing is that many devs seams to think – “the more the merrier” – they have the language files public, making it possible for many users to translate. I think this is a pretty bad approach.

If several translators are contributing there is a big chance that they are not using the same nomenclature. Of course some words/sentences are pretty obvious but this is not always the case. This can be confusing both for the end-user and the translator. For example, sometimes the .sys-files for menus are added later and if another translator translate these strings later on, without checking previous files/strings, the result becomes  messy.

In a perfect world I think one or two translators should contribute and one or two translators should have another role as proof readers. The proof readers should not be able to contribute new strings or to overwrite existing strings without the translator(s) approval. In most cases the dev don’t know if the new translation is better or worst, it’s more logical that translators has more knowledge about this.

Before, I could be the only translator for one extension and have translated over 1000 strings. Suddenly there are one or more translator involved in the project due to that the dev made the language files public. Personally it made me a bit tired, why do a dev want more translators involved in a specific translation without knowing anything about the work of the new translator? Imaging letting a coder full access to the extension source files without knowing anything about the new coder. In Transifex you can follow some history of the contributions but as I wrote above, it’s not easy for the dev to value the quality of the translations.

To summon up; if you are a dev, make translators request involvement and be careful to use several translators for one project. If you do, be sure that the translators communicate. I also hope that Transifex could implement a proof reader role, hopefully this will lead to better quality and non-messier translations.

Not to forget, this text is not to criticize Transifex, devs or Open Translators – this are just some thoughts on how a great platform of contributions can be even better.

So, what do you think?

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