Translation project

Posted 2 Jul 2019 by JC

Back last December, I set out to make friendly to knitters whose primary language isn’t English. I thought the task might take a few weeks. (Ha!) My goals were:

  • To identify all the little bits of English text that comprise the site’s user interface, and to replace them with code that’ll pull up text in the right language.

    Check! I’ve edited nearly 19,000 lines of code, and identified 1267 bits of English text that need to be translated.

  • To let site visitors choose the language in which they view When possible, this will mean honoring the language preference set in each visitor’s browser. But in addition, the site has to offer a way for visitors to pick the language they want to see.

    Check! Browser preferences are honored, when possible. And the menu offers a way to switch between languages.

  • To make it easy for volunteers to supply translations. Among other things, this will mean providing translators with clear documentation, and – as much as possible – with context for each phrase to be translated.

    Check! I’m pretty darn happy with the translation interface. It’s straightforward and easy to use. The convenience buttons and search functionality are especially sweet. Context is a little thin, but at least translators have the option of choosing which section of the site they’d like to focus on. Of course, if anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears!

  • To make sure the translations are accurate, by putting a review process into place. At the very least, the site should let volunteers sign up to receive notification when new translations have been made.

    Check! Anyone can now monitor new translations via the RSS feeds listed at the bottom of the translator’s guide. (Myself, I’m checking the feeds daily via Feedly.)

  • To automate the process, so that translators can work on their schedule, without waiting for input from me.

    Check! Save one or more translations, click the “Publish translations” button, and your translations are immediately put into use.

As always, if you see something that isn’t working right, or could be improved, please let me know! Ditto if you’d like to provide translations for a language not currently listed in the menu – I’d only need a few minutes to add a language, but doing so before a willing translator steps up would be misleading and disappointing to knitters who speak that language, don’t you think?

So it’s taken months to prepare the site for translation. Now it’s up to all of you multilingual knitters out there to actually supply translations. With 1267 messages to be translated, that’s no small task! To those who take part, I’d like to offer some recognition and compensation, so a “thank you!” program is in the works. Stay tuned for details!

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