I'm the project leader for a new localisation effort by Translate.org.za to help translate ten opensource programs into several languages, including minority languages. In the coming year, we will help volunteer translators to translate software into their languages, using our web-based translation tools. We call our project the “Decathlon”.
It hasn't been decided which ten programs will be translated, though, and I'm hoping some of you might be willing to come up with suggestions. The Decathlon will require some effort and commitment from participating developers of those programs, but we believe the advantages will make it worth the effort. We may be able to remunerate the project liaison for his or her time.
The Decathlon is not meant to replace any existing localisation efforts, but if a project already has a localisation system in place, we would like to try to fit in with it. If there are existing translators, we would love them to join the teams we help create, and we hope that they continue to translate the other software in the Decathlon project as well.
We therefore invite developers or people tasked with localisation of opensource projects who would like to take part in this project, to contact us. Prerequisites for projects which will be considered this year are:
* Must be opensource
* Must be end-user focused software
* Must work on both Linux and Windows (and/or Mac)
* Must assign a contact person to Decathlon to answer questions about the software and try to resolve issues that may confuse or hinder translators
* Must be willing to build a release with the translations in it (within this year)
A brief background
Translate.org.za has been involved with opensource software translation since 2001. Over the years we've developed translation tools to convert complex localisation formats into simpler formats that are easy to translate, such as Gettext PO and XLIFF. Our tools also help automate various quality control checks, thereby reducing the risk that volunteer translators “break” the software with their translations.
It has always been our dream that volunteer translators should be able to translate without having to learn complicated tasks that programmers take for granted. That is why we developed a web-based translation system, called Pootle, which enables amateur translators to translate software in their web browsers, while giving professional translators and power users the ability to use specialised third-party tools if they prefer. Pootle is ideal for teams of volunteers, because several translators can translate a single file simultaneously.
We have used our tools successfully to help translators translate OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Thunderbird into the ten official African languages of South Africa. With the Decathlon project, we'd like to help translators from all over the world translate other software as well.
I look forward to your responses. You can read more about the Decathlon project at http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/decathlon/mainpage
Decathlon project leader