Sun 24 Aug 2014 3:56AM

Suggestions for supporting translation

MI mix irving Public Seen by 210

Hi all, Loomio is actively moving to improve how it supports languages. We want to make it easy and enjoyable for translators to contribute.

Our first thought was to make a page which acts as a clear introduction and guide for new and existing translators.
What should this include ?

Also, are there other suggestions you have for how we can improve translation?

note - if you would like to contact Nati about translation process, please email her at nati@loomio.org


Poll Created Sun 24 Aug 2014 4:07AM

I've made suggestions for translation process Closed Sun 31 Aug 2014 8:07AM

by mix irving Tue 25 Apr 2017 5:21AM

really great insights were offered. From here, I will:
- make a page with the most important information, including my email for easier direct questions
- ask for more feedback :)
- try with German translators to improve in-team communication

We'd love to hear your suggestions and feedback about how to improve the translation process, so that we build the best system for everyone.

Check out the discussion description for our proposed starting point, then add your own ideas, ask questions, and leave your thoughts in the discussion section.

Please use this vote to show that you've seen this, and contributed.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 83.3% 5 MI AR CM AB JW
Abstain 16.7% 1 JK
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

6 of 206 people have voted (2%)


Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Sun 24 Aug 2014 5:13AM

I don't have any real issues with how translation goes now.


A. Renato
Sun 24 Aug 2014 9:01AM

The translation process is going very well.


Jochen Walter
Sun 24 Aug 2014 9:04AM

A page with the most important inforamtions will be very good.


Christian Mairoll
Sun 24 Aug 2014 9:14AM

A little bit more structure and help can't hurt. :)


Ania Bućkowska
Sun 31 Aug 2014 7:08AM

I agree with Christian Mairoll suggestions. As a new translator to the existing group I felt disoriented and lost my passion for translation. Thank you for this discussion and taking steps to improve the process :)


Ania Bućkowska
Sun 31 Aug 2014 7:09AM

I agree with Christian Mairoll's suggestions. As a new translator to the existing group I felt disoriented and lost my passion for translation. Thank you for this discussion and taking steps to improve the process :)


Christian Mairoll Sun 24 Aug 2014 4:41AM

I strongly support the idea of making a tutorial for translators.

When I joined the translators, it was a bit difficult to navigate through the provided information.

Some thoughts:

  1. Where to find the Translation group? If you don't have bookmarked the page, there is no way to get there except via the search feature. It would be very useful to see the groups I'm participating in linked somewhere on the top panel.

  2. Make a step by step guide what to do in order to set up new translations and how to join an existing translation team.

  3. Introduce the concept of Transifex. I've never seen it before Loomio and I didn't know how it is supposed to be used at all. Most of it is self-describing though.

  4. Make a guide or at least suggestions how to work in a team. What I mean is the process of translating, verifying and approving texts by different people.

  5. Tell us what to do after translating to get the new texts online. Email you? Is it done periodically? Nobody really knows at the moment what the process behind is.

  6. Make a suggestion how translators of a specific language are supposed to communicate and coordinate with each other. A personal message tool would be VERY useful for that. At the moment nobody even knows who actively works on which translations unless you crawl endlessly through the comments history or translation logs on Transifex. There is no way to ask another translator personally how things were meant (e.g. to ask whether to use formal or informal style). Things that are not subject for open discussions.


Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino) Sun 24 Aug 2014 5:12AM

@christianmairoll maybe we should have a loomio sub-group for every language (with more than one active translator)?


A. Renato Sun 24 Aug 2014 9:01AM

In my opinion the translation process is going very well. Each step is easy, what doesn’t mean that it can’t get better – not necessarily easier. Perhaps the most important issue is yet to come: online support in many languages. The question is how to overcome the relation between translators doing the support while keeping the privacy of the senders. Still without ideas on how it would be done. So, this message adds nothing at all.


Jochen Walter Sun 24 Aug 2014 9:08AM

It would be good to get more linked to active translators. I tried to get in contact via transifex with two translators to start the verifying process of my translations. Until now I don't have any answer. So it will be necessary to have a possibility to get in contact with the translators via Loomio.


mix irving Sat 30 Aug 2014 8:28AM

thanks for the great feedback @jochenwalter @renato @joopkieftelapingvi @christianmairoll

On your recommendations I'll start building a clearer introduction/ guide page.

Communicating with other translators is a very relevant problem. I don't think Transifex makes messaging easy enough. Perhaps, we can run an experiment with how to set up good translator communication. If one of you is interested, perhaps we can try it with one language first, then take the learning from that and repeat.
Anyone keen? I have an idea where we might start


Christian Mairoll Sat 30 Aug 2014 9:44AM

German wouldn't be wrong to start with. We have at least 3 active people there who currently can't reach each other, except via the public forum.

I'd love to get a simple personal message feature in Loomio. :) Not all communication needs to be fully public.


Jochen Walter Sat 30 Aug 2014 11:02AM

I support to start with German, if there are really 3 active translators?!

I would like to have a subgroup for German (or other languages) that is not public because of two possibilities:

  1. Since yesterday every Loomio gets an eMail when s_he is @mentioned.
  2. If someone is starting later by joining such a subroup s_he can read what was discussed, if s_he wants to.

Christian Mairoll Sat 30 Aug 2014 11:22AM

In Transifex you can see references of many people who contributed. Unfortunately I couldn't find any statistics or overview feature there. Not sure who is still active at the moment. I (emsi) did only the subtitles of the updated video and some minor parts of the main resource but most of the texts were already done when I joined (a few months ago).


mix irving Sat 30 Aug 2014 12:22PM

@christianmairoll , @jochenwalter , it would be great to start with German. Re: instant messaging in Loomio that's not on the roadmap for the next 6 months, so if you'd like to do that, it would have to be through a different platform.

Note that @mentioning has always emailed people, (unless you have that disabled in your email preferences)

I think when trying to decide where the best place for the conversation is is tricky. You are of course welcome to start a private or German Translation subgroup. Unfortunately we can't nest/put it inside this Translation group (you can only go one subgroup deep).

I am interested to know more about why you would like to keep details you discuss about translation private, so I can understand the problem you're trying to solve.

Would it be sufficient to have discussion set to private within this group, so that only Translation subgroup members can see it?


mix irving Sat 30 Aug 2014 12:25PM

p.s. there has actually been an extension to the @mention emails. It's called following, and is designed to make it easier to keep up with conversation via email if you want to. If you don't like it you can disable it for a discussion, or for all discussions


Jochen Walter Sat 30 Aug 2014 12:35PM

To me it is not necessary to keep something private. It is just the "flood" of discussions when You are part of the group. Like the discussion of the dutch colleagues - I wasn't interested in because I don't understand Dutch very well. But probably this will be solved through the new email preferences. I have to get in touch with the new filter and the following settings of discussions...


Christian Mairoll Sat 30 Aug 2014 3:07PM

To give some examples of things people may want to communicate in private:

When you are new to Loomio, everything is new and unknown. You have no starting point except the plain link to Transifex. All you know is you want to help with the translations. But how to actually start? Just open Transifex and start hacking in some new texts or first get in touch with the existing translators and ask how the typical procedures here are. Every organization is operated differently.

Before I started translating I wanted to ask e.g. whether it is preferred to use formal or informal style (it makes a huge difference in German). I'm not sure if things like that are subject to an open discussion when I'm new. A new translator basically just wants to follow the established procedures and not come in and start questioning and changing everything (which could be seen as an offense or at least as impolite by others).

It's also the necessity to avoid spamming others with basics questions. At start I don't know if I'm the fifteenth person asking the same thing, just because I couldn't find it via the search feature. There's a huge potential to run into embarrassing situations that people want to avoid by nature. It almost stopped me from participating in Loomio translations at least.

Personal communications is not always about open discussions in my opinion. Some things just don't need to be read by the whole world. Keep it simple and efficient. :)


mix irving Sun 31 Aug 2014 10:20AM

@jochenwalter please let me know if you have any questions about how to use the new following + email features :)


mix irving Tue 9 Sep 2014 10:17AM

I've made a start on a basic guide.

Would love feedback on what is there so far. Either here or via email (mix@loomio.org). If you have a Github account you may be able to edit it directly as well (hard for me to test)

@christianmairoll @jochenwalter @ania3 @joopkieftelapingvi @renato @ammarhalabi @christaklis


Chris Taklis Tue 9 Sep 2014 10:24AM

The translation to greek language is always 100%... i am translating it almost every week.

The only difficult is the performance of the greek language, because english is very easy and the translation to greek language can not be word by word because some times that doesn't be understable... so every phrase to greek language has to be little different so to has the same meaning as in english...

But until now everything it is OK.


mix irving Tue 9 Sep 2014 10:28AM

you’re awesome @christaklis

Did you have any specific advice that would help a new translator? I tried to capture some of the basics here and would love to hear if you have anything to add.


Chris Taklis Tue 9 Sep 2014 10:33AM

Specific advice no i don't have...

I following the below:

  • write the other in first face (you) but in plurar, e.g. you (plurar) are doing something.
  • And i always try to translate it as in the simple language words i can so to be readable by more crowd... Because languages are evolving to more simple so it's easier to translate it in the modern language and not the language they spoke our ancestors 100 years older.

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino) Tue 9 Sep 2014 10:33AM

Maybe put the information about %{this kind of codes} a bit more prominently in there, not behind a link? You could use the link in a read more sense. (I am fully aware of the importance of those parts, but it can be new for new Open Source translators).


mix irving Tue 9 Sep 2014 11:19AM

thanks @christaklis

good idea @joopkieftelapingvi . It's challenging to keep it not overwhelming, but to make it easy to find detail. I like your suggestion of putting examples or some complicated code and then offering a link for more detail


A. Renato Tue 9 Sep 2014 1:55PM

The only problem with the Portuguese-Brazil Team is that there is no team. It’s only me keeping translations always 100% (what was the same with the Transifex Team… only me keeping Transifex translated into Portuguese-Brazil for months, but Loomio is impossible to give up). And that’s okay, because most Brazilians (certainly not only Brazilians) don’t know the meaning of the word commitment. So, it’s normal… Even laughable.

Maybe, a way to fix it would be put a button like “report translation”, then users would press it, write down the issue in a box, and then send it with no commitment at all. It would also help translators who don’t see their own work in the online website (sometimes its about a word looking bad, or just wrong for the context, or its length for the place, i.e., when you see it online sometimes improvements can be made). Anywayz, it’s alright… But could be better.


Christian Mairoll Tue 9 Sep 2014 2:49PM

I like the new guide.

It doesn't solve the team communications issue, but it gives a nice overview of where and how to start translating. :)

Talking about general improvements of the translation system: It would be awesome to have a way to test translations before they go live. At the moment we can only test changes once a week (while nobody exactly knows then updates are published). However, I fully understand that this isn't a top priority thing and can take huuuge effort to implement. ;)


Ammar Halabi Wed 10 Sep 2014 12:20PM

I like the new guide as well, and I also join the others in pointing to the team communication issue.

One possibility is to put a hint to the fact that there are translation teams using discussion threads on the Translation group here on Loomio (and the possibility of starting one if it does not exist) - teams might choose to use something else to communicate (e.g. email), but at least newcomers would have a point of entry to the corresponding team.

Saying that, I should go right now and create a thread for Arabic. I don't expect participation would be high for Arabic, but I think even jut one more translator would be a great help as I don't contribute enough.

Another point that could encourage new volunteers is to indicate that it is possible to review existing translations.



Baschtl Thu 11 Sep 2014 11:05AM

@laurajacob and me started with the German translation about one year ago when we started to use Loomio. The communication was pretty easy as we see us in person regularly.

Since then more translators joined the team. We did not translate that much since then - I must admit.

I like the ideas written so far and I guess that it is important for a translator team to have a space for communicating with the whole team.

At the moment I am not quiet sure if Loomio - as it is now - supports this well if there is only one discussion for a language in the translator group. Perhaps, a (sub-) group for each language would be more suitable as it was proposed some comments above.


mix irving Thu 11 Sep 2014 11:14AM

@baschtl @christianmairoll did you I started this discussion in response to the challenge of communicating within a team:
Jump in there and maybe we can decide on just thing/ system to trial within German


Jochen Walter Thu 11 Sep 2014 4:03PM

@mixirving At https://github.com/loomio/loomio/wiki/Translation#-the-basics 4. I would suggest:
(a) click on UNTRANSLATED, (b) click on a phrase, (c) ...

What about proposing to use the commentary? Is it a tool good to use? Imagine that there also can be people supporting the translation process who don't like to ask somebody in special but asking a group is easier...


Ania Bućkowska Sun 14 Sep 2014 6:22AM

I like the new guide! Thank you @mixirving for all your efforts!

I also like @jochenwalter suggestion on "click untranslated" phase.


Julian Dumitrascu Wed 24 Jun 2015 2:35PM

My team can provide the translations that you want. We can manage this entire process.
You can talk with me about what you need and we can make a plan for what term you find fit.
We ensure a better communication between software users, software developers and software localizers than other teams.
There are many discussions about repaying people for their contributions. I would repay everybody. For instance, who else here is for paying software developers?