Translation related queries

I have started to contribute in terms of translation. Translation is new to me and so I have some doubts.

Firstly, does translation has to be literal? If I'm not wrong, certain words like release names, trade marks etc probably has to be exact but other than that can the sentence structure and words be different? Of course, not too different so as to be my own write-up than being a traslation. Also, I find some English words do not have equivalent words in my language or some words in my language better convey the meaning than plane translation.

Second, on Transifex, I just translate a string and click on 'Save Translation' button and be done with it or is there anything else I have to do after saving?

Third, when I translate, how long does it take for it to reflect in the main project (website or application etc). I am asking this because, wrt bug #1859184, I fixed the translation and am (childishly) excited as to when it will reflect in the application and I can close the bug! :grin:

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Hi, it depends on which project you're tackling. Ubuntu MATE's projects are not strict and leaves the creative control up to the discretion of the translator.

Does translation has to be literal?

It doesn't have to be word-for-word perfect, but should convey the same information.

:speaking_head: :bulb: :clap: :laughing: :slightly_smiling_face: :smirk:

Like in films and media, if the source text wouldn't come across right, it can be re-worded to have the same effect to your locale's audience.

The only 'issue' is that the strings in :ubuntu_mate: Welcome may "split" up in some places and could cause problems where there's different meanings in other languages.

On Transifex, I just translate a string and click on 'Save Translation' button and be done with it?


When I translate, how long does it take for it to reflect in the main project (website or application etc).

Depends on the project. I maintain the website(s) and put in the guidelines that as a rule of thumb, I'll check every month and publish those with >50% translations. Other apps like Welcome and MATE packages usually update translations before a new release is out. That could be weeks or a few months.

You can preview translations yourself by building a copy of the application/project(s) and downloading the PO files.


@lah7, thank you for the clarifications. Translation style is clear now.

If I understood availability correctly,

  • if I can complete site translations say by mid of September, the localized site will most likely be available in October.
  • I translated (which is relatively easy). This will be available in next Firefox release. (Minor? Major?)
  • The power statistics translation fix (mentioned above) will be available in Ubuntu-MATE 20.10? or MATE 1.26 which ever is earlier?

Further, how does review process work? Are you (project maintainers) syncing translation at specified intervals, with or without review as long as translation is available or review is a must? Are reviewers just other volunteer translators (two heads better than one) or they have specific qualifications? I mean are reviewers professional service like company, software etc? I am asking because, if it is difficult to get volunteer translators, it must be more difficult to get qualified reviewers. The translation effort should not be left hanging for lack of review.

For, roughly yes. It's a manual check for me, so I have to remember to go into Transifex and see what's complete.

For, I'll get that published right away! Again, I have to manually check since the notifications are not very consistent. Since it's just a website, it has no relevance to Firefox's release schedule.

I can't comment for MATE packages, since I'm not involved. From what I know, there are deadlines so translations made a week before the release of 20.10 wouldn't be included. Most likely, it'll be included in the next release of MATE, and that will be packaged for 20.10.

We don't have a review process in place. There isn't a formal plan of when translations are synced either. It's one area we can improve upon, but we do have the tools (Transifex supports reviews), I've passed this to the :ubuntu_mate: team.

Volunteer reviewers will be volunteer translators too, but possibly not performing both roles to avoid bias. Unreviewed translations (like all ours) are treated the same as reviewed ones.

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Thank you @lah7. I have a better idea now.

I'll work on translating Ubuntu MATE and MATE projects to my native language while offering to support review of English (en_GB) translations as needed (although I'm not an expert on it).

No problem - thank you for taking the time to translate for your native users!

I'm not an expert with localization to know what's expected of the reviewer role, but I imagine it would be a third person looking at the final product and is proficient in both languages as a quality control step.

With all this said, the review step is still something for the Ubuntu MATE team to discuss.

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