Become a Translator/10.0

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

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.

Interface Translation

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.

To see the status of a localization, open up the PCBSD Translation System[3] in a web browser, as seen in Figure 11.2a.
Figure 11.2b: Viewing a Language's Available Menus

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.

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:

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

Editing 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. These include: accelerators, escapes, newlines, nplurals, printf, tabs, variables, xmltags, and dialogsizes.
  • Functional: may confuse the user. These include: acronyms, blank, emails, filepaths, functions, gconf, kdecomments, long, musttranslatewords, notranslatewords, numbers, options, purepunc, sentencecount, short, spellcheck, urls, and unchanged.
  • Cosmetic: improve the look of the translation. These include: brackets, doublequoting, doublespacing, doublewords, endpunc, endwhitespace, puncspacing, simplecaps, simpleplurals, startcaps, singlequoting, startpunc, startwhitespace, and validchars.
Figure 11.2c: Reviewing a Language's Quality Checks

In order to edit a translation, you need to first 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.

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.

If you need help with a translation or using the Pootle system, you can ask for help on the translations mailing list or in the PC-BSD® Translations Forum[5].

Documentation Translation

The PC-BSD® Users Handbook is published with each version of PC-BSD®. The PC-BSD® wiki is used to create the next version of the Handbook. As new features are added to the upcoming version of PC-BSD®, they are documented on the wiki.

The wiki has been configured with the MediaWiki Translate Extension[6]. Wiki pages that are to appear in the published version of the Handbook has been marked with the translate tag so that they can be translated by translators.

In order to translate a wiki page, you must first create a wiki account and log in.

To translate a page, click the "Translate this page" link at the top of the page. This will open the translation editor. In the upper right corner, click the "Translate to English" drop-down menu to select the language you wish to translate into. Once the language is selected, click the "Edit" link next to the string to be translated. This will open an editor where you can type in the translation. You can then either click the "Save translation" button to return to the previous page or click the "Skip to next" button to go to the next string to be translated. In the example shown in Figure 11.2e, the user selected the Introduction page, clicked to translate to Russian, and has selected a paragraph to translate.

Figure 11.2e: Translating a Wiki Page

You can review the status of the translation by clicking the "Page" button at the bottom of the screen. This will display the English and the translated versions side by side.

When translating, make sure to adhere to the following rules. This is important as it ensures that the formatting of the published document is consistent across all translations.

  • do not translate any text between formatting tags which are enclosed within < > brackets.
  • do not translate the names of a command (such as pc-updatemanager) or application (such as AppCafe®).
  • do not translate the output of a command unless it appears differently in a localized version of PC-BSD®.
  • do not translate or remove any text contained between comment tags <!-- and -->.
  • do not translate template names, they appear directly after {{.

Website Translation

If you are interested in translating the PC-BSD® website, send an email to the translations mailing list[1]. Someone will introduce you to the webmaster who will get you started on website translation.

Currently, the following translated websites are available:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
Other languages:German 52% • ‎English 100%
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