Rosetta-Feedback - UDS Prague

Timo Jyrinki timo.jyrinki at
Fri Jun 13 11:09:30 BST 2008

2008/6/11 Sebastian Heinlein <glatzor at>:
> Hello Arne, Jerome, Danilo and Ubuntu translators,


> at UDS Prague I had a short discussion with Arne and other translators
> about Rosetta and the general translation process. Here is a summary of
> the raised issues.

Yep, unfortunately I left for the airport before the session.

I've just a few additional comments and tips that I was aiming to
share, and also an English translation of our home page.

> So the education of good translators is more important to us than
> getting a huge number of translated strings (of questionable quality).

Yes, definitely. The most important parts to do in Rosetta is checking
for highly visible omissions in translations (new strings not in
upstream, or possible import errors), translating *ubuntu-docs and
checking that translation do not diverge from upstream translations.
Contributing back to upstream when such stuff is done in Rosetta is
necessary, too.

All that requires quite educated use of Rosetta and other tools.

> As far as I know the Finnish team made a manual clean up of their
> translation. But to be honest this involves a lot of click-click work
> and I am not sure if I find anybody who is willing to do so for the
> German translation.

Yes. What I did was to use URL ,
when it still worked in the previous LP version, sorted the whole by
the "Changed" column and went through each translation that had 1 or
more string changed from upstream. It was a relatively huge job,
clicking one by one "Packaged" on each template's each changed string,
but in the end I had reviewed that the changed strings left were
actually necessary, and also such that were contributed in newer
upstream versions so that they will be marked "Packaged" in the next
Ubuntu again.

The effort would be nearly impossible for those languages that had
more of the "wild times" in the early Launchpad / Rosetta times when
some teams accepted everyone (hundreds!) on the language team and
there was _no_ way to do QA.

For some very largely changed templates, I took the upstream PO file
and simply uploaded it as the "User upload" (since Public upload
doesn't overwrite Launchpad changes). That's a way to revert big
problems in specific packages, though at the same time one might
overwrite some good changes with regards to upstream translations.

Regarding QA, that batch=1500 URL was the only easy way to do QA also,
since the only QA method in Rosetta is sorting by the "Last Edited"
column and looking through what was changed. Now that the batch size
was limited, I use a bookmark folder with five links like

These methods I use to keep Finnish translations in good condition
speak also about the clear problems in Rosetta, though by knowing
these tricks helps of course. Until a year ago Rosetta was also so
broken that the "Changed" column didn't really work, so the first time
it was possible to systematically fix broken translations for Ubuntu
was for the gutsy release.

Anyway, Sebastian had so good points I won't go on commenting all of
them. Just wanted to share some of what I've done to keep things in
shape - Finnish translations are currently in a rather good shape in

We also have a list of requirements for any potential new translations
on our home page, which has proved to be good enough so that the new
people on the team are sufficiently capable and communicative.
Especially the part about writing something about itself on one's
Launchpad page has been a good measurement about whether the applicant
has read the home page or not :) Sebastian asked me at UDS-Prague (if
I recall correctly, it was in the bar) to list them in English, so
I'll just translate the whole home page more or less. The text below
is written by me and in public domain.


= Ubuntu Finnish translators =

Ubuntu Finnish translators translate Ubuntu into Finnish. Translating
Ubuntu in Rosetta is most useful a month or two before the next
Ubuntu's release, when all pieces are in place but some translations
are missing. Before this it's useful to participate eg. GNOME
( or KDE ( translation projects.

[a chapter about only "main" being in Rosetta, and "universe" packages
are always translated in upstream projects]

Group's mailing list is at - each
member should join it.

[a chapter about current situation, eg. link to Rosetta's hardy
translations and saying that until August-September it's recommended
to join upstream translation projects so that 8.10 translations are as
complete as they can get, coming from upstream - at the same time
translations are not forgotten to be sent to upstream when they are
done in upstream]

Note! Translator group's membership lasts automatically for a year,
after which it has to be renewed by sending e-mail to the group
leader. There will be a notification about this via e-mail.

== About translating ==

Information about translating, translation projects, dictionaries and
communication channels may be found from Ubuntu Finland's page:

[a chapter reminding that translations have to be sent to upstream projects too]

=== Translating help texts ===

Be especially careful to use same terms in UI and help text
translations. When referring to different help chapters, check first
how the titles of the chapters have already been translated.

More information about translating documentation at

== Joining the translation group ==

We are aiming for high quality Ubuntu translations. To join Ubuntu's
Finnish translators group, it is beneficial for you to meet the
following criteria:

=== Language skills ===

- you handle Finnish (mother tongue) well and don't do typical
mistakes (like compound words written separately, invalid dashes,
writing each word capitalized because English does so (Finnish does
not), using slang or jargon instead of proper Finnish)
- you understand that localization isn't about translating
word-by-word, even though the message of the original text has to be
well delivered
- you have used a free software desktop in Finnish before so that
you're familiar with GNOME/KDE vocabulary (localization dictionaries
have to be used always anyway)

=== Testing translations ===

- when translating future Ubuntu programs, you're ready to install the
development versions of those programs for testing translations (more
info on the link above)
- alternatively you may use development version of the whole Ubuntu
- you may also leave untranslated those strings you are not certain
about, and thus avoid installing development versions
- it's usually possible to translate documentation relatively well
without testing them in the program, if you just have a newish version
of the program

=== Communication and general knowledge about localization ===

- you get to know to different localization projects' web pages
- you use your real name in Launchpad's "Display Name" field
- you write a little about your localization experience and language
skills (especially Finnish) to your Launchpad home page (click your
name from "Logged in as", and choose the link "Home Page" from the
- you join Ubuntu's Finnish translators mailing list,
- other possibly interesting methods of communication
 - IRC-channels #lokalisointi (IRCnet) and #ubuntu-fi plus
#ubuntu-fi-tiimit (Freenode)
 - Ubuntu Finland's web forums, specially
the area about development version

You may find the joining link to the translator group from the left
part of this page, if you are logged in to the Launchpad.

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