Problems and suggestions in Launchpad translations (rosseta)

Adi Roiban adi at
Thu Feb 26 17:53:18 GMT 2009

În data de Mi, 25-02-2009 la 09:52 +0000, Kainourgiakis Giorgos a scris:
> Hello all,
> I wrote these notes because of this:
> In UDS 2009 the
> following topics, "Make Rosetta attractive for upstreams" and
> "Launchpad Translations" left blank. I have no idea if the suggestions
> are techinaly viable, but here they are.

I didn't knew about that wiki page.

It looks like the report is here:

I agree with you :) Rosetta is a love + hate mess :D

>From my point of view the problem is due to a lack of comunnication
between translators, new translators, translators teams and projects.

Also these problems applies for new or medium translators , which are
doing translations on the development branch of Ubuntu.

The Ubuntu stable or long term support version are safe, as the upstream
projects are no longer willing to commit those changes.

Now we have the big note about the translation guide. We can use it as
the first step in establishing a good communication with people using
Launchpad for translations.

> Launchpad Translations Problems
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Launchpad translations (rosetta) is a great collaborative tool for
> translating just about anything. That is correct but... it also is a
> great mess! And why is that? The main reasons appear below:
> Problem 1:
> If you are in country that a Gnome, a KDE, a OpenOffice or a Debian
> translation team exists you are out of business. You can only
> translate ubuntu documentation, debian patches, some packages and the
> projects that use launchpad for translations. The result is that a new
> translator has no idea which packages to translate. If he translates a
> random package his work will probably will be lost, because the
> package is being translated upstream and imported to launchpad from an
> upstream translation team.
> Solution 1:
> All packages must be tagged as Gnome, KDE, Debian, OpenOffice,
> independent or Ubuntu patch packages, in order the translator to know
> where a package is being officially translated.

Here is my attempt to tag each template. I will talk about this in a new

It is hard to tag templates and know which language has a strong
upstream translation page.

Also I'm looking at the upstream translations pages and I find the
confusing for a new translators. 
The GNOME page is somehow more user friendly... all other are very

Just tagging them is not a solution we need to talk with upstreams teams
and create a good comunication channel. 
I don't have a general answer, but for example for GNOME, all GNOME
packages could be taged and be availalbe for translation in Ubuntu, only
after the GNOME release, with a BIG note telling translators why they
can not translate GNOME in LP right now and a guide to help them join
the uptream project.

>> Problem 2:
> A Gnome, KDE or OpenOffice translator doesn't likes launchpad
> translations. But why is that? Because launchpad does not include the
> development branch of his project, instead it includes only Ubuntu's
> version (Many guys want to translate via Launchpad but they can not).
> That is because Gnome project, for instance, does not use launchpad
> for translations (we all know that) but an average translator would
> like better to work on his project via launchpad translations. The
> main reason is because launchpad is easier.
> Solution 2:
> The average translator must have a choice. The development branch of
> project can be imported and hosted by launchpad and it can produce
> a .po file that is valid to the project. The procedure of translating,
> lets say gnome project, it will be the same. The translator must
> e-mail his mailing list to inform the team that he is translating a
> package and then, when he is done he must send it back for review. The
> procedure of translation can be done in launchpad.

Well in Launchpad you can translate upstream projects , and each
upstream project can choose if it want to use launchpad for translation.
Right now each project is free to import it's trunck branch into
GNOME is free to import the trunk branch in LP, but this action depends
on the upstream will :)

Talk to the GNOME Greek translators and see if they are willing to
import trunk in LP.

> Problem 3:
> The Ubuntu final localization is being produced from many translation
> teams with different translators, different styles, different
> translations for the same terms, so it has a reduced quality. An
> excellent example is the Greek main menu (Application, Places, System)
> where in some cases we have translations like Applications > Internet
> > (description) then (name of the program) and the next application is
> Applications > Internet > (name of the program) then (description).
> Also a translation administrator many times has no idea what "Scrape"
> or "Toggle" is, or there is no translation in his language, so he has
> to decide the term himself. 
> Solution 3:
> Creation of a computer term dictionary divided in sections like
> CD-burning, Torrents, Web Browsing etc which will include numerous
> terms for each section. This dictionary should be community driven and
> also should have a voting system that a launchpad user can propose a
> translation for the term and also can vote the best translation for
> the term. This system should be a great Canonical and Ubuntu community
> contribution to the open source community and i think it's technically
> viable via launchpad.
> It also be useful to create an ubuntu Applications, Places, System
> translation package for all the menu titles that been used in basic
> ubuntu so the titles be unified. An example is Totem. Gnome project
> refer to this player as Movie player in the Applications menu and not
> as Totem Movie player, like the pattern used in Rhythmbox which is
> refered as Rhythmbox Music player. Also totem is actually a multimedia
> player not a movie player. The average non technical user finds odd to
> play mp3s with a movie player! These things can be corrected with this
> package.
This is a big problem and I don't think that neither Canonical or Ubuntu
community could solve it.

The only way to solve this problem it to create a common discussion
forum for all translators doing translation for a specific language.

For example, for Romanian language we have such a forum/discussion list
but there are some cases where GNOME, KDE and Mozilla have different
opinions and are not willing to change their mind :D 
For exameple the KDE main translators is a "rebel" and he is using the
old Romanian ortography which was changes about 15 years ago.

There are discussions about creating such a glossary in Launchpad, but I
think that for now  the main goal on LP is to prepare the project to be
free software.

Also I'm working at publishing the software helping the glossary used by
the Romanian teams
Is is free software, but the code is just siting on a sf, svn account
without to much info.

I hope that in the next weeks I will be able to announce the
availability  of that glossary.

> Problem 4:
> If anyone wants to upload a simple .po file in launchpad for
> translation (for personal use) he can not.
> Solution 4:
> Creation of an online translation tool like kbabel or poedit that uses
> the launchpad translations memory so anyone can translate or suggest a
> string of the file. The administrator must be the guy who uploaded the
> file.
This has nothing in common with Ubuntu :D ... I could see this happening
just after opening Rosetta and setting such a service based on Rosetta.

> Problem 5:
> An administrator (a reviewer) has absolutely no idea where he can find
> new suggestions for translations to review.
> Solution 5:
> Provide a list of packages with new suggestions in all translations
> packages to translation administrators in his profile.
For Ubuntu it's easy... just look at the "needs review" column.

In addition I have created this webpages:

I know they are not officials , but it's a starting point. 

> Can you note the technical mistakes of these suggestions???
> Thanx in advance
> Giorgos Kainourgiakis
> ______________________________________________________________________
Adi Roiban

More information about the ubuntu-translators mailing list