Degree of trust and quality for Ubuntu Localization Teams

Eyal Levin eyalev at
Wed Jul 8 06:27:02 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 07:28, Khaled Hosny <khaledhosny at> wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 12:24:31AM +0300, Adi Roiban wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > During the last UDS we have talked about various reasons why people
> > blame Ubuntu translations.
> >
> > This is a long email, but I think that the raised issue is very
> > important and it is fundamental for the way in which Ubuntu translations
> > are perceived by users, developers and other/upstream translators.
> >
> > One of the cause is the due to the fact that for some languages everyone
> > (whether he/she knows or not the language) can submit a translation and
> > that translation will land directly in Ubuntu. They can also
> > delete/modify translations coming from upstream projects.
> >
> > This can happen for Ubuntu Localization teams that use an open policy
> > for membership, or for teams that does not check whether or not the new
> > members are able to assure the translations quality.
> >
> > I would like to note that the main goal of Ubuntu Localization Teams is
> > to assure that quality of translations. Everyone is free to suggest
> > translations and suggesting translations for Ubuntu is not limited to
> > member of those teams.
> >
> > This email was triggered by an incident occurred in the Ubuntu Slovenian
> > Team where one of the team members was submitting approved translations
> > for Slovenian but they were in fact Russian translations (using latin
> > alphabet).
> >
> > >From my point of view membership of Ubuntu localization teams should be
> > moderated and before approve a new member, the team coordinators will
> > have to take the requires measurement to make sure that person is aware
> > of hes/her role in the team and the team's commitment to quality.
> >
> > We can also go further and follow the model used for LoCo teams and have
> > approved and unapproved localization teams. And approves teams would be
> > the one able to assure a minimal degree of quality.
> >
> > I know there are pros and cons for opening or moderating a team, but I
> > think that all Ubuntu Localization teams should be moderated and have at
> > least one active member willing to moderate new members, assure the
> > translations quality, and be the spoke person for that language inside
> > the Ubuntu community.
> >
> > Below is a list of team with open membership policy.
> > I am aware that all translations are base on voluntary work and everyone
> > is helping as best as he/she can.
> > My intention is not to blame a person or a team, but I think that we
> > should try not to ruin the work of other people.
> > A bad translation could fail an application from starting, or it can
> > confuse the user or lead to erroneous actions.
> >
> > The main questions:
> > 1. What do you think?
> > 2. Should we moderate membership for localization teams and implement
> > some minimal quality checks or we should have open team without any
> > quality assurance measures?
> I totally agree with this, we had this before in Arabic (the team was
> open) and we ended up with the worst Gnome translation, despite all
> incremental improvements upstream.
> We ended up (after passing team ownership to new one) with a moderated
> team, with only few members, and who is welling to contribute do so by
> suggesting translations and another team member will review and accept
> it.
> I'm all with having moderated teams by default, it doesn't make any
> sense to have open teams at all. From my experience, translation isn't
> an easy task, and well-intended but ill-informed volunteers usually get
> it all the way wrong, ranging from linguistic to technical mistakes. And
> some team owners don't even care about this, since, unlike many upstream
> teams, whoever applies for a team first get it without any attempt
> qualify him (compare with Gnome for example).
Also in favour of moderated teams.
In case nobody wants to be in charge of a translation team, a message on the
translation team page with an invitation to step up might be in place.

We should also consider brainstorming about the different approaches for
accepting new translators. Perhaps a wiki page with a list of approaches and
which one is accepted by which team. This could stay as suggestions or we
might consider drafting a minimal requirement for all teams.

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