Example how everyone can improve Lubuntu without any special knowledge (Translation)

Michael Basse ubuntu at alpha-unix.de
Fri Apr 6 21:52:01 UTC 2012

Hi everyone,
today i am sending this mail as a member of the german ubuntu
translators because i think there is an interesting part where everyone
can work on (l)ubuntu to make it more easier for the users to enjoy this
great software.

I guess everyone (maybe not the native english persons) have seen a
program where some or the whole text is still in english. Of course
english is a common language but not everyone out there can understand it.

So what can WE do to change this issue? Maybe some of you are coders,
others are testing the software, making great artwork or other important
stuff. But normally you need skill, hardware-ressources or other things
to support the lubuntu-project and maybe you are afraid in the beginning
because you dont know where to start or what you can do exactly.

Some years ago i visited the Linux-Tage in Berlin and there were
interesting trainings how everyone can support the project to make it
better. So i thought i will put this mail on the line to give you a
short overview how you can help to make (l)ubuntu better without special

In this case i am talking about the translation. What is needed for that?

Just a webbrowser and a launchpad-account. Thats all.

Let me show you an example how the translation is working.

Lets take the program "lxkeymap" the german translation for example is
at the moment missing. For other languages i dont know the current state.

Every package is normally managed by Launchpad. And the translation is
done by templates. To see the current translation just visit


(replace lxkeymap with the program you want to translate)

There you will see the status of the current translation (its showing
your default language and can be changed on that package)

This is the url for the german translation


As you see there is a menu where the english part is shown and you have
a text-area where you can put the translated string inside. If you are
not sure if your translation is correct, there is a checkbox for a
review. If this box is checked a member from the translation-team (of
your language) will review it.

After you entered the translated string, just click save. Thats all. And
dont be afraif you dont have to translate the complete package. Just
translate how much you want and even if it is only 1 string.

The rest will be done by launchpad and the package-maintainer. So no
further steps are needed from your site.

A more detailed description can be found here


There are also ways where you can translate offline by downloading the
translations-files (po-files) for that i suggest the program "poedit"
which can be installed with "sudo apt-get install poedit". You will find
a download and upload-button on the launchpad-site where you can
transfer the translation-file (in this case for lxkeymap)

also we have a irc-channel in freenode which is called #ubuntu-translators

You are welcome to come to that channel and ask your questions or
discuss related topics.

Of course you can also ask your questions here i will try to answer them.

I hope i showed some of you an interesting and easy way to improve the
software we are using every day.

Kind regards from Germany


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