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Language requests

This article explains how to request a new language to be added in Tatoeba. This is about languages of the sentences in the corpus. For languages of the interface, please refer to the article about the interface translation.

How to request a language

Step 1: Identify your language in the ISO 693-3 standard

Search for your language in the ISO 639-3 list of languages.

  • The language must have a 3-letter code in the column "639-3" (the first column). If not, then it is not valid to us.

  • The language must be defined as an individual language. It must not be not a macrolanguage.

Please understand that if your language is not recognized in the ISO 639-3 standard, we cannot support it in Tatoeba. Language classification is a complex task and it is not part of Tatoeba's mission. We rely on the ISO 639-3 standard to define what is a valid language.

There are some exceptions due to legacy reasons, but we will not make more exceptions.

If your language is missing in this standard, please contact the ISO 639-3 Registration Authority from their website: https://iso639-3.sil.org/.

Step 2: Create a list with sentences in your language

Warning: If you are new to Tatoeba, be aware that before you can add any sentence at all, you need add at least one language in your profile. You don't have to mention all the languages you know, just one is enough. Ideally, pick your strongest language among the ones that are available.

  • Create a list with the name of the language in English and the ISO code in parenthesis. For example: Friulian (fur).

  • You can add new sentences directly from the list or you can find a few sentences to translate into your language.

    • When you add your translations, choose the option "Auto detect" in the language dropdown.
    • After the sentence/translation is added, if the language was not identified as "unknown" (you will see an icon with a question mark if it is), then click on the language icon and select "other language".
  • If you have trouble understanding how to use lists, don't hesitate to ask for help on the Wall.

Step 3: Find an image which we can use to create the language icon

Just like members of Tatoeba have profile pictures, languages in Tatoeba also have their "profile picture" (language icon). We will create an icon for your language based on the image you will send us.

First of all, do not feel pressured to find an image. If you are unable to find something good, we can always use our default language icon template: the icon will have the 3-letter ISO code written in black on a white background.

If you wish to find a more colorful icon to represent your language, here are the guidelines:

  • The image must be easily recognizable by the native speakers of the language. If we show the image to a native speaker and they have no idea which language is represented by the image, it is not a valid image.

  • The image does not need to be a country flag. Most of our icons are based on country flags because languages are most easily associated to country flags. But if your language can be represented by something else than a flag, it is completely okay.

  • The image should remain politically correct. For instance it should not contain sexual or offensive visuals. We keep the right to refuse to use the image you suggested if we consider it is inappropriate.

  • Please take into consideration that the size of our language icons is 30x20 pixels. This is quite small and therefore you should choose an image that can be recognizable at this scale.

Step 4: Submit your request

To inform us of your language request, contact cueyayotl and Ricardo14 via private message. They are in charge of handling language requests.

Make sure you provide the following information:

  • The link to the list that you created.
  • The link to the image that you suggest we use for the language icon (if you have found any).
  • You can craft yourself a 30x20 pixel icon but make sure you link the original image. It is possible we decide to readjust a few things from your icon and need the original image to achieve these adjustments.

Feel free to provide any other information that you think is relevant.

How to follow the progress of your request

Once you have submitted your request, here are the remaining steps before you can see your language available in Tatoeba.

If something is taking longer than you expect, please contact Trang.

Issue created in GitHub

  • After sending you request, the first step is to wait for cueyayotl to report your language request into GitHub. We track all the language requests in the issues of our GitHub repository.

  • Before adding your request to GitHub, cueyayotl will work with Ricardo14 on creating a language icon.

  • Additionally, the following will be checked:

    • The sentences you have added in the list are indeed written in the language you request to add.
    • The image you have suggested for the language icon is appropriate.
  • It will usually take no longer than two weeks for your request to be created in GitHub.

Pull request opened

  • This is the technical part of the language request. Ricardo14 takes care of creating the pull requests for languages. The pull request contains the changes to apply in the source code to add your language.

  • The pull request is usually opened no longer than one week after the issue is created.

Issue assigned to milestone

  • If there is controversy around the language you wish to add, you may need to wait until we come to an agreement or to a compromise. This can stall the addition of your language for several weeks.

  • If nothing is wrong, your language request will be scheduled for to be deployed as soon as possible.

  • You will have an idea on which date your language will be available on Tatoeba by checking the milestone of the GitHub issue (displayed in the right-side column). For instance if the milestone says 2018-10-23, it means the language is scheduled for October 23rd, 2018.

Pull request merged

  • Merging a pull request means that we integrate the changes into the main codebase. As long as the pull request is not merged, the source code doesn't contain yet the necessary modifications to support your language.

  • A pull request will usually be merged shortly after it is assigned to a milestone. However, if we discover last minute issues, we may delay the merge and as a result, we may move the language request to a later milestone.

Tatoeba updated

  • This is the last step. Your language will be available on Tatoeba once the website is updated.

  • We update Tatoeba usually every Sunday. The time of the update is variable.

Additional information

This article was last updated on October 21st, 2018.

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