Tue 12 Mar 2013 8:56PM

Loomio en Español

N Noelia Public Seen by 157

An idea has been brewing in my head for a wee while now about "Loomio en Español".
I believe it will be an important contribution for Spanish speaking communities worldwide and a good stepping stone to incorporating other languages and diversifying Loomio's global reach later down the track.
Loomio is a great tool to include all individuals and encourage them to take more responsibility in decision making. I think it is important to try and tackle language barrier sooner rather than later.
I have been talking to a few of you and am aware of a few very important points you have raised:
1) Aaron explained that before any translations take place the English templates need to be moved to another space to enable Loomio in other languages. I am happy to help Aaron action this, and he has agreed to teach me - John has also said he could be a support person if I need his help.
2) Alanna was concerned about the language, I am happy to sit down with a few of you to talk about the wording you've chosen to explain the concept of Loomio and why, and understand in more detail.
3) What will happen afterwards? I am keen to be a connection with the Spanish speaking world and Loomio :)


Dennis Lindner Tue 12 Mar 2013 9:05PM

Hey there,

let me know if you guys need any help with translations or other language issues (German too...)

I think it is a great idea to have Loomio in several languages and it would get me back into the "Loomio loop".

Dale pa´ lante...

Un saludo,

  • D.

Sophie Jerram Tue 12 Mar 2013 9:06PM

Si si, brilliant idea given the huge spanish speaking population. I have a Spanish friend who might be willing to help us with the userbility.


Robert Guthrie Tue 12 Mar 2013 9:24PM

Wonderful! A nice thing about Rails is that translations are supported from the start. Doing the first translation is a bit harder than a subsequent one but it's still not that hard. It also does not hold up other features much.


Alanna Irving Tue 12 Mar 2013 9:47PM

I am really excited about this!! Thank you @noelia . I think we should use this process with Spanish to learn how to do translation/localization well so we can also do more languages in the future.

I think you should go for it and start working with Aaron/John on number 1, and a few of us should get together soon to discuss number 2 with you.


Noelia Tue 12 Mar 2013 9:49PM

Yay! I got the job! ;)


Simon Tegg Tue 12 Mar 2013 10:16PM

Yeah, I think there's massive potential in the Spanish-speaking world.


Stacco Troncoso Tue 12 Mar 2013 10:57PM

It's a great idea. My group is based in Spain and while we get by perfectly well (the interface is so clean that it doesn't need any grand explanations on how to use it) it'd be great to have non-English speakers be able to grasp it straight away.


Benjamin Knight Wed 13 Mar 2013 9:01AM

Thanks so much for kicking this off @noelia! Super exciting!


Francisco George PP-ES Wed 13 Mar 2013 9:43AM

@noelia The Spanish Pirate Party joined loomio a few weeks ago and we wish to collaborate in a spanish translation of Loomio. Please keep us informed Noelia.


iacocoba Wed 13 Mar 2013 2:53PM

Hola aquí desde Madrid colaborando desde el partido equo,
! Un abrazo lo que quieran podemos ayudar!


Benjamin Knight Wed 13 Mar 2013 6:45PM

Welcome @yago and @franciscogeorgeppes! Great to see new faces in here :)


Alanna Irving Wed 13 Mar 2013 10:34PM

Maybe @noelia could get in contact with the people who are interested in helping, and coordinate working together? Since she's located here in our office it will facilitate communication with the rest of the team.


Noelia Wed 13 Mar 2013 10:51PM

Yes! I will be in touch if I need help once I finished step 1, thank you all for wonderful support! :) @franciscogeorgeppes @yago @Stacco @sophiejerram @dennislindner


Benjamin Knight Wed 13 Mar 2013 11:06PM

I heard a pleasant rumour that our good friend @richardfortune has experience with software localisation!

Richard, any advice about early stage strategies for localisation would be super helpful!


Francisco George PP-ES Wed 13 Mar 2013 11:18PM

Nice to see @yago from EQUO in the team!


Richard Fortune Wed 13 Mar 2013 11:20PM

Happy to talk through the principles although I'm probably out of touch with the tools available nowadays. I think we may have had another discussion on Yammer about this before. Tools that can localise on the fly.

Before you can even begin localising you need to do a globalisation phase - ensuring your product is localisable, separating out assets, handling timezones or any regional elements used in the UI.

Given you guys are an opensource project I'm betting you would prefer to crowd source the localisation, which means you'll need a way of getting those assets pushed back into app. I'd see what github has to offer with regards to localisation. Handling updates like you would code commits could be the nicest way to go. Also means you don't have to "take" all commits and aren't in a constant state of policing like Wikipedia is.

Would also be keen to get an idea of any "big data" plan you guys might want to support, as that raises a totally different issue outside of pure linguistics.


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 14 Mar 2013 2:18AM

Thanks so much for kicking this off @noelia, super exciting.

We were talking yesterday about to achieve a really high-quality translation that captures the nuanced meanings of the key words in the app.

One suggestion was that we could create a full list of all the phrases in the app, and write down an explanation for the rationale behind each choice. Then we could translate the explanation as well as the key phrases, to make sure each translation is faithful copy.

Another thing we'll have to think about is how to handle support requests in the different languages. Perhaps there could be a Loomio group for each supported language, where people can get together and ask and answer each others' questions.


Jon Lemmon Thu 14 Mar 2013 10:50AM

Indeed, thanks @noelia! I'm very excited about this. =) I love the initiative you've taken with the plan you've outlined above. I'm looking forward to working with you (and hopefully one of our tech interns) on this. We should arrange a time to chat!


Aaron Thornton Fri 15 Mar 2013 10:23PM

@noelia I keen to meet on Monday to look at strategies and starting points for this work. We have a meeting at 11.30am so sometime before that would suit? @jonlemmon


Noelia Fri 15 Mar 2013 10:30PM

yes! I'll be at the office at 9:00 AM @jonlemmon @johnirving @richarddbartlett


Jon Lemmon Fri 15 Mar 2013 11:42PM

@aaronthornton @noelia I have a meeting at 10, but I could do 9:15am. =)


Aaron Thornton Sat 16 Mar 2013 3:40AM

OK lets lock it in then 9:15


Richard D. Bartlett Sun 17 Mar 2013 2:24AM

I'm in :)


Benjamin Knight Sun 17 Mar 2013 7:30PM

I can't make it this morning sadly, but eagerly anticipate hearing about it afterwards!

Just a quick note: someone from Ushahidi recommended Transifex as a localisation tool that they used extensively. A nice email we got in the contact box this morning also recommended Transifex.

Also, someone from Evernote recommended something called Pootle for community translation. You can see what they did here: http://translate.evernote.com/, and see Pootle here: http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/pootle/live_servers


Francisco George PP-ES Sun 17 Mar 2013 9:47PM

@benjaminknight Thanks Ben :-) I was looking for Transifex to propose it to the group but didn't remember the name...


Jon Lemmon Mon 18 Mar 2013 1:57AM

@benjaminknight @franciscogeorgeppes Transifex looks awesome, and it also looks like it's free for open-source projects (yay!). Looking forward to trying it out. =)


Richard D. Bartlett Mon 18 Mar 2013 6:00AM

Just an update, today I got roughly halfway through extracting all the language out of the app, which is the first step before translation can occur. I expect to have the bulk of this work completed tomorrow. Here's a taste of what that looks like.

As a side note, this is going to make it really easy for @benjaminknight and I to do an overhaul of the wording throughout the app, and also will make it easy to customise keywords for particular groups (e.g. proposal => suggestion).

It's cool to see @noelia making progress on the Español translation - welcome to the wonderful world of git, Noelia!

Perhaps next up, someonelike @johnirving wants to get onto coding a feature that will allow users to select their preferred language?


Noelia Mon 18 Mar 2013 6:34AM

Oh @richarddbartlett you are awesome! looking forward to putting my fingers on it tomorrow :)


iacocoba Mon 18 Mar 2013 10:13AM

Could we contribute to git file @noelia @richarddbartlett ?


zack Mon 18 Mar 2013 11:38AM

How can we translate to other languages? We need to wait until transifex is used or Noelia is using a english string file already generated?


Noelia Mon 18 Mar 2013 8:35PM

@yago at the moment I prefer to do it on my own, this is part of my internship with loomio and I'm committed to achieve a high quality translation of the site, I believe consistency its an important part to achieve this im sure I will need some help in the future and Im happy to have on board :)


Alanna Irving Mon 18 Mar 2013 10:03PM

@richarddbartlett does that mean we need to do an overhaul of the English language choices before we'd be ready to start translating them?


Richard D. Bartlett Mon 18 Mar 2013 11:36PM

Thanks everyone for your generous offers @yago, @franciscogeorgeppes, @mirceazachia, @dennislindner! It will be great to take you up on that once we have a decentralised process set up. I think to start out we should probably just get @noelia to complete the first Español translation. Then once this is finished, we can look at how to make the translation process more collaborative (which I'm really looking forward to!).


I'm totally new to this so take it with a grain of salt, but here's the workflow I had in mind:

  1. Extract the existing language into the English template
  2. Review all the English language choices
  3. Translate the first language (Español)
  4. Activate the translation for users that prefer Español
  5. Develop a scalable process for translating, maintaining and supporting additional languages in a decentralised collaborative way.


I'm three-quarters through step 1. @benjaminknight has volunteered to do step 2 with me in the next few days. @noelia is working closely with @aaronthornton and @jonlemmon to complete step 3. Step 4 requires some research and design (and someone to volunteer for the task).

Step 5 is going to require a lot of work in research, process design, implementation and coordination (I'm imagining a role of 'localisation coordinator' for someone). I'm not sure who has the capacity to fill that role, but they will need to have a good grasp of the cultural and technological aspects of localisation and the Loomio ethos.

Maybe that person is me (or @alannakrause...) but I'm at capacity already so it will mean dropping other commitments. I reckon it is pretty important to get this role filled in the near future, to connect the demand for multi-lingual support with the generous offers of help.

How does this workflow sound?


Alanna Irving Tue 19 Mar 2013 1:03AM

Sounds good. I think the first language (Spanish) can go ahead as a learning process. But we need to complete step 5 before we get carried away with lots of languages. I am interested in helping with step 5 when we get there.


zack Sat 30 Mar 2013 7:54PM

What is the progress on spanish or the translation framework?


Alanna Irving Sun 31 Mar 2013 2:58AM

@noelia can you give an update here?


Noelia Sun 31 Mar 2013 4:21AM

@mirceazachia Will be meeting on tuesday to revise translation with Rich gave him final document, and he will give me email bits which is final part. After I finish translating that " Loomio en Español" will be running but just as a test to make sure everything is in its right place and sounds good.


Miguel Prados Rodriguez Tue 2 Apr 2013 11:18AM

Happy to help if needed and happy to see people from Equo around !


Filipe Silva Wed 3 Apr 2013 1:04AM

Hello, whenever the developers are ready to recieve "Loomio em Português" I will be ready to do it.


Filipe Silva Wed 3 Apr 2013 1:32AM

receive... (nice way to propose a translation, with an error)


Alanna Irving Wed 3 Apr 2013 3:39AM

@filipesilva don't worry about it! I don't think any of can spell properly in Portuguese!


Francisco George PP-ES Wed 3 Apr 2013 8:26AM

@miguelpradosrodriguez Not only EQUO :-), various Pirates are around too...


Miguel Prados Rodriguez Wed 3 Apr 2013 3:23PM

@franciscogeorgeppes power to participatory democracy !


Poll Created Wed 3 Apr 2013 8:39PM

Do you agree that enabling translation to other languages will be most important factor in driving world wide adoption of Loomio? Closed Wed 10 Apr 2013 8:41PM

by zack Mon 27 Feb 2017 10:21PM

Translation is well underway. If you're interested see here: https://www.loomio.org/discussions/4896

Translating Loomio in other languages will increase the number of people which want to help, want to use and speak about Loomio around the globe. There are already volunteers which want to contribute with translation in languages used by tens of millions of people.


Results Option % of points Voters
Abstain 4.0% 1 MT
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

25 of 902 people have voted (2%)


Miguel Prados Rodriguez
Wed 3 Apr 2013 8:50PM

Obviously yes ! at least for non English speaking countries.


Josemi Sobron
Wed 3 Apr 2013 8:58PM

That is a must if you want to go forward, even multilingual ones feel much more comfortable running their mother tongue.
Just give the chance to choose and let people decide, it will be very welcome.


Richard D. Bartlett
Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:05PM

Definitely. I reckon the necessary precursor is to establish a scalable distributed system for handling multiple translation projects in parallel.


Simon Tegg
Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:14PM

¡Claro que sí!


Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:15PM

That's my vision :)


mix irving
Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:16PM

we've already seen the translation process clarifying our communication and design!


Francisco George PP-ES
Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:38PM

Obvious :-). Although I don't personally use translations that much


Stacco Troncoso
Thu 4 Apr 2013 12:31AM



Benjamin Knight
Thu 4 Apr 2013 12:51AM

Absolutely! So happy to see so many generous people offering their time to help with the translation :)


Megan Salole
Thu 4 Apr 2013 10:13PM

Of course, although i think that a cost/benefit analysis might reveal that some other advances - like making easy work for groups collaborating on whole documents would be a more important priority.


Sophie Jerram
Thu 4 Apr 2013 10:52PM

I'd like to prioritise 3 languages: Spanish, Mandarin, Hindustani and/or possibly Arabic?


vivien maidaborn
Fri 5 Apr 2013 5:23PM

Exciting to see the Loomio community setting this priority


Sat 6 Apr 2013 4:12PM

Up \o/ Help for a french version


Jeff Swift
Mon 8 Apr 2013 3:53PM

Loomio is robust enough as a platform/tool that expanding to other languages is a must.


Miles Thompson
Tue 9 Apr 2013 10:00PM

It's awesome to see glbobal enthusiasm and translation will be a huge win.. but want to add a hint of balance here. Would I be willing to agree that it's the "most important factor" no, or at least I think a sober analysis may find other bigger wins.


Miles Thompson
Tue 9 Apr 2013 10:00PM

It's awesome to see global enthusiasm and translation will be a huge win.. but want to add a hint of balance here. Would I be willing to agree that it's the "most important factor" no, or at least I think a sober analysis may find other bigger wins.


Josemi Sobron Wed 3 Apr 2013 8:55PM

Ready to help if some help is needed, ;-)
Mas facil en español....


Simon Tegg Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:17PM

Is there a way of integrating with the google translate api (paid, or any other api) to enable people in groups without common languages to have discusions?


Filipe Silva Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:30PM

Simon, I don't know about it but it would be a great idea to have the "Translate this" option under each comment (Just like facebook)


Francisco George PP-ES Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:36PM

@simontegg There should be something like that somewhere. My Hootsuite twitter client allows me to translate any tweets in, my case, spanish. But I can't really say who is the translation provider.


Richard D. Bartlett Wed 3 Apr 2013 9:39PM

Just an update: Noelia is 99% done on the Español translation - I've been holding up progress on this due to other priorities. I'm hoping to have this deployed for testing in the next few days.

This version will not include the mailers, as they are a little more complex, but there is progress on that problem too so they shouldn't be too far off.

Immediate next steps:

  • someone volunteers to research the various localisation services (e.g. pootle, transifex, etc) so we can decide together which tool would be best suited to Loomio.
  • we need to design the language selection feature that will allow users to choose their preferred language

Richard D. Bartlett Wed 3 Apr 2013 10:18PM

FYI regarding the current proposal, I started a new thread explaining where the current development priorities are at. You can see multi-language support is on the list :)


zack Thu 4 Apr 2013 5:39PM

I can do the research on the tool. I already know transifex and can compare it with the rest. just would be easier to have an idea on what criteria are important for loomio.


Richard D. Bartlett Fri 5 Apr 2013 8:50AM

Thanks @mirceazachia! The community support for this speaks volumes.

Update: @noelia @alannakrause and I are going to get together after the weekend to start sketching out ideas for what we envision a 'translation coordinator' role might look like. Stay tuned for more detailed feedback after Monday :)

I've been thinking about how we can work together to ensure the app has the best possible language choices throughout (e.g. appropriate to the local context, accessible, clear, etc.), and how translation can stay up to date with development of new features. It's going to be a fun collaboration!


zack Fri 5 Apr 2013 7:32PM

A short review of steps in Transifex. It's so easy, that it can be setup in 10 minutes for any number of languages. We can compare it with other tools.

  • create account, create translation project (proprietary / private, permissive open-source or other open-source) and set the source language: English. The open-source projects are free.
  • then create project resources (ex. English POT or text file). Transifex will analyze the file, extract the translation strings from the file.
  • add translation languages. They are predefined just need to be picked from a LOV. Translations can be done online in a nice editor or uploaded in a file.

Transifex will show graphically the translation percentage for each language, who and when was uploaded last translation. There are features for locking, owning, downloading translations and a cool dashboard with project activity.


Benjamin Knight Fri 5 Apr 2013 11:34PM

You're awesome @mirceazachia! Thanks heaps for this


Jon Lemmon Sat 6 Apr 2013 12:37AM

Transifex sounds/looks great. I think we should try it out as soon as we decide it's time to translate Loomio into another language besides Spanish (which I'm guessing is reasonably soon, since the Spanish translation is almost complete).


Sophie Jerram Sun 7 Apr 2013 1:46AM

Te Reo Maori too pls. Can't forget our roots.


Alanna Irving Mon 8 Apr 2013 4:12AM

@noelia @richarddbartlett and I had a good chat about Translation today, and came up with the following plan:

-I would step in and be a point of contact for people interested in translation and help things go smoothly
-we'd start a 'translation' subgroup and invite people in it who want to be involved
-we'd focus for now on finishing Spanish as a way of learning the best tools and processes so we can best support other language translations after that

I guess I should introduce myself :) I have been involved with Loomio from the start and am based in the Wellington office where many Loomio team members are. I used to work as a translator myself (Japanese) and I am really interested in Loomio being accesible to people all over the world. I can help by facilitating communication among translators and with the Loomio code team. I hope I can offer help to all of you interested in making multilingual Loomio a reality.

So, I will begin by adding the people here who expressed interest into the new subgroup and kicking off a few discussions there.


Alanna Irving Mon 8 Apr 2013 4:31AM

The new group is here... if you want access please request it.


Alanna Irving Mon 8 Apr 2013 4:58AM

And to put a human face on it, here's a picture from our translation planning meeting this morning :)


Francisco George PP-ES Mon 8 Apr 2013 9:38AM

@alannakrause Nice work. We should try to get Latin Americans in this too, as their Spanish is somehow different from the one of the peninsula :-)


Rodolfo Tue 9 Apr 2013 8:03PM

@noelia I've sent the script in spanish for the screencast "How it works".


Rafael Gomes Thu 11 Apr 2013 5:09PM

I started a translation team of Portuguese (Brazil). Please accept me in the group of loomio :https://www.loomio.org/groups/988


Rafael Gomes Fri 12 Apr 2013 5:44PM

Portuguese (Brazil) done! 100% :)


Rafael Gomes Fri 12 Apr 2013 5:45PM

When we will have that translation in loomio?


Rafael Gomes Sat 13 Apr 2013 2:37AM

I forget to say, that Portuguese (Brazil) translation was a fast work of Pirate Party of Brazil guys :D


Rafael Gomes Sun 14 Apr 2013 12:30AM

@alannakrause Is there a schedule to we have that translation in loomio?


Richard D. Bartlett Sun 14 Apr 2013 12:51AM

@rafaelgomes it's on the priority list: more info about app development priorities here.

The language-setting feature needs to be designed before it can be developed. Anyone can start a discussion in the Features group to facilitate this design process :)


Rafael Gomes Sun 14 Apr 2013 1:01AM

@richarddbartlett great! Sorry for the rush. This feature will improve the Brazilian utilization of the tool. I know some guys that know ruby a lot here, I will take about this with them.


Rafael Gomes Sun 14 Apr 2013 1:02AM

My dream is to learn to develop in ruby. :)


Richard D. Bartlett Sun 14 Apr 2013 1:04AM

Cool :) You don't need to be a coder to help design a feature though. In fact, it is useful to hear from non-coders: 'how would you expect this feature to work?'


Rafael Gomes Sun 14 Apr 2013 1:17AM

@richarddbartlett IMHO we just need a dropdown to select our language.

Take a look that picture:


IMHO The language name should be written in your own language


Rafael Gomes Sun 14 Apr 2013 1:18AM

@richarddbartlett Another thing! The browser should identify the language :)

Am I put this advice in a correct place?


Richard D. Bartlett Sun 14 Apr 2013 1:39AM

@rafaelgomes Thanks for making an image to describe your idea, it makes the design process a lot easier than doing things in words!

I've set up a new discussion for this feature :)


Rafael Gomes Sun 14 Apr 2013 5:00AM

@richarddbartlett my english is bad, because that I prefer use images sometimes to describe something :)


Richard D. Bartlett Mon 15 Apr 2013 12:01AM

psss if you add "?locale=es" to the end of any loomio url, you can now see what the app will look like in Spanish!