Become a Translator/9.2

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(Sorry for the inconvenience)

If you are interested in translating PC-BSD into your native language, there are three translation areas that you can choose to become involved in:

1. Translate the graphical menus within the PC-BSD operating system.

2. Translate the documentation that is published with PC-BSD.

3. Translate the PC-BSD website.

This section describes each of these translation areas in more detail and how to get started as a translator.


Join the Translations Mailing List

Regardless of the type of translation you are interested in, you should first join the translations mailing list[1]. When you join, send an email to introduce yourself and indicate which language(s) and which type(s) of translations you can assist with. This will allow you to meet other volunteers as well as keep abreast of any notices or updates that may affect translators.

Menu Translation

Figure 11.2a: The PC-BSD® Pootle Translation System

PC-BSD® uses Pootle[2] for managing localization of the menu screens used by the installer and the PC-BSD® utilities. Pootle makes it possible to find out if your native language has been fully localized for PC-BSD®. Pootle also makes it easy for users to check and submit translated text, as it provides a web editor and commenting system. This means that translators can spend their time making and reviewing translations rather than learning how to use a translation tool.

The localizations PC-BSD® users have requested are listed alphabetically on the left. If your language is missing and you would like to help in its translation, send an email to the translations mailing list[1] so it can be added. To see the status of a localization, open up the txt=Missing Link[3] in your browser, as seen in Figure 11.2a.


The green bar in the "Overall Completion" column indicates the percentage of PC-BSD® menus that have been localized. If a language is not at 100%, it means that the menus that currently are not translated will appear in English instead of in that language.

If you click on a language name then click on the pcbsd hyperlink under the "Name" column, you will see each menu item that is available for translation. The example shown in Figure 11.2b is for the Greek localization:

Figure 11.2b: Viewing a Language's Available Menus

In this example, the menu for CrashHandler is complete, but the one for Life Preserver is not.

Reviewing a translation

If you click on the "Review" tab, you will see a list of statistics as seen in Figure 11.2c. This page will indicate the results of Pootle's quality checks, helping translators to notice any problematic items. A description of each quality check can be found at sourceforge's translate site[4]. Some tests are more important than others so they are classified to help determine which to run first:

  • Critical -- can break a program
accelerators, escapes, newlines, nplurals, printf, tabs, variables, xmltags, dialogsizes
  • Functional -- may confuse the user
acronyms, blank, emails, filepaths, functions, gconf, kdecomments, long, musttranslatewords, notranslatewords, numbers, options, purepunc, sentencecount, short, spellcheck, urls, unchanged
  • Cosmetic -- make it look better
brackets, doublequoting, doublespacing, doublewords, endpunc, endwhitespace, puncspacing, simplecaps, simpleplurals, startcaps, singlequoting, startpunc, startwhitespace, validchars

Figure 11.2c: Reviewing a Language's Quality Checks

You will also need to create a Pootle login account.

Once you are logged in to Pootle, navigate to the menu item that you wish to translate. Figure 11.2d continues the earlier example by clicking on the link for the Greek version of LifePreserver.po.

Figure 11.2d: Using the Pootle Interface to Edit a Translation String

In this example, the first string, the phrase "No Previous Backup" has been translated. Each text field (string) in the menu is numbered -- click on the hyperlink associated with the number to open that text field in the Pootle editor, or use the "Next" and "Previous" links to navigate between text fields.

Edit a string

For untranslated strings, you can use the "Google translate" button to suggest a translation, then fix as necessary for correctness. If a string fails a quality check, a message will indicate which check failed. For example, if the whitespace or double-spacing check fails, remove the extra space. As you translate or fix a string, click the "Add Comment" link to type in an optional comment then press the "Submit" button to save the translated text.

Documentation Translation

Website Translation


  1. 1.0 1.1
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