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Interface Translation

This page explains how you can help us translate Tatoeba's website into other languages.

The process is a bit complicated, so if you would like to submit only a few translations, or correct a few mistakes, you can simply post a message on the Wall, and other members of the community will take care of adding your translations or corrections.

If you would like to contribute in the longer term, then read ahead.

Information for Translators

  1. Registering on Launchpad. We use a platform called Launchpad to manage our translations so your first step is to create an account there.

  2. Applying to a translation group (optional). You do not need to be part of a translation group to submit translations or corrections, but being part of a translation group will allow you to submit translations that will be validated right away. If you are not part of a translation group, you can still make suggestions, but they will have to be validated by a member of the translation group associated to the language. In order to know which translation group to apply to, go to the Launchpad Tatoeba overview page. Click on the desired language, and look at the bottom of the new page. It will indicate the translation group for that language. For instance, this is the page for French, and this is the translation group for French. If you apply and never get accepted into a translation group, contact us and we will figure out something else to let you translate.

  3. Your language is not in the list? You have the possibility to add a new language if you don’t see your desired language in the list. On the page listing the languages, click on "Choose preferred languages..." at the bottom of the list, then choose your language.

  4. Translating or correcting translations. The translations can be accessed from this page. If you can only make suggestions, and notice that your suggestions take a while to be validated, you can contact Impersonator.

  5. Waiting for updates. Updates of the interface translations are performed every one or two weeks. After an update, you should see your work reflected on the website.

That's it. Don't hesitate to contact us if you encounter any issue. And thanks for translating!

Information for Developers

  1. Extracting strings from code source. We extract from the code source the strings that need to be translated. These strings are saved into a POT file. It’s just a text file, with some special format (you can open it with a text editor like Notepad). The concept is that the POT file is the template. From this template will be created several PO files: each PO file will contain the translations into a specific language.

  2. Sending POT file to Launchpad. We send the POT file to a platform called Launchpad. It provides a web interface to manage translations of the POT file and gives the possibility to translate collaboratively. Launchpad will process the POT file to update the existing PO files. It will scan for new strings in the POT file and add them to each PO file. It will detect strings that are no longer present and delete them from each PO file.

  3. Uploading. The PO files are downloaded and converted into MO files. The MO files are binary files, and they are the ones that Tatoeba uses to get the translations of the interface. So it’s only when the latest MO files are uploaded to the server that Tatoeba translations are actually updated.