Translation activities on Launchpad (Deactivated by clementlefebvre)

Michael Bauer fios at
Mon Sep 16 11:48:42 UTC 2013

Sorry about you getting dragged into this Clement, we had hoped to 
resolve this at a higher level. Which is why I'm cc'ing the Ubuntu list 
in the hope of some admin pitching in.

I will just very briefly point out that claiming to be (or even being) a 
native speaker does not make one a specialist translator and that if 
Alasdair indeed pick up some Gaelic natively (which is of course great), 
his mistakes in the committed translations are so basic (even those he 
says he re-proofread) that one cannot but question the ultimate level of 
Gaelic he acquired, natively or otherwise. In the end what matters is 
not how one achieved fluency and skills in translations but the quality 
of the translations.

As to the timing, yes, I am well aware that there was little activity on 
my behalf early on but that was because we were focussing on high-impact 
projects such as Mozilla, LibreOffice, Adaptxt, VLC etc before moving on 
to operating systems as it is much harder to convince users to shift 
their OS as opposed to a software package or two. That was a strategic 

I can only re-iterate that I am sorry that you seem to be unwilling to 
contemplate any form of agreement that would ensure the best outcome for 
the end-users in terms of quality. It is purely on that basis that we 
have, reluctantly, decided to take a stronger stance. Which is, 
incidentally, backed up by the other Ubuntu Gaelic admin, GunChleoc - 
except that with a number of projects impacted acress Launchpad and 
potentially elsewhere, we haven't always "co-signed" our emails purely 
for practical reasons.

is mise le meas,


16/09/2013 12:24, sgrìobh Clement Lefebvre:
> On 15/09/13 22:58, alasdair caimbeul wrote:
>> Dear clementlefebvre, (with cc to Ubuntu and Launchpad Leadership)
>> Sorry for the delay in responding in full to your notice, but now please
>> allow me the courtesy to make a reasoned argument as to why you have
>> taken an erroneous decision on this occasion and in this case.
>> I believe a certain Launchpad member has been in contact with you and
>> misled you, resulting in this misguided conclusion.
>> After a previous encounter with this Launchpad member while working on
>> translations for my native language (your new Admin being an adult
>> learner) on the Ubuntu project, I find his motives highly questionable.
>> Here is my experience of his Modus Operandi, I started translation work
>> on Ubuntu back in 2009 and although we were Launchpad members much about
>> the same time, he had carried out only couple of lines of translation
>> work on the Ubuntu's Scottish Gaelic project, a team with little or no
>> activity at that stage except some members practicing their Scots
>> English dialect (please check with the Ubuntu project as to the veracity
>> of this). Subsequent to this he managed to have himself appointment an
>> Administrator for the Gaelic translation of the Ubuntu project (FYI
>> please note, it was an naming error when you acquiesced to my team Mint
>> request, you should have used the correct term The Scottish Gaelic Team
>> and not The Scottish Translation Team....Minor detail  I know). So he
>> had himself appointed Admin, on the few occasions I contacted him
>> especially the first time he showed little enthusiasm for the work in
>> hand so I left it at that, I wasn't expecting to see great numbers take
>> an interest in Ubuntu in Gaelic and he was more interested in the
>> Redwood side of things, all of which confirmed the belief I am on my own
>> here, and in fact he continued to contributed little or nothing at all
>> to the translation but last year he appointed another fellow learner and
>> immediately promotes him to Admin (again please check Ubuntu
>> records for veracity). At this stage I did not voice an opinion, we are
>> but a tiny community and I wanted to encourage involvement and as a
>> strong proponent of FSF and the open source ideal and a dictatorship
>> never appeals.
>> Let me continue, earlier this summer he contacted me and began to
>> complain about the quality of the my work on Ubuntu, he asked me to
>> desist from more translations to the Ubuntu project, this raised many
>> concerns, but not being the Admin, I knew a had little option but to
>> depart this 2 member 2 admin "team", I was saddened, I had taken the
>> Ubuntu core Unity Package to 70% complete and all by myself, and having
>> explained to him on many occasions that my desire was for us complete
>> this first draft translation then do a thorough Quality Control
>> Translation Audit on all the packages to promote our Language Version to
>> at least a Beta testing status, before ever promoting it to a wider
>> community, I am great believer in Quality Control that is my background.
>> Now my great fear is having seen his reworking of my first Ubuntu draft
>> work, all that remains are errors on top of my first draft, and wish now
>> that I had highlighted this to Launchpad and Ubuntu, what will happen
>> now is that this will now be promoted and advertised as a completed
>> version of Ubuntu in my native language and as Quality software fit for
>> purpose, which it patently isn't, his efforts are very much to learner
>> standard i.e inappropriate terminology and usage etc etc.
>> Let's move to Mint, I am Mint user from your first Distro, and a Linux
>> user from the start, You will have noticed that my interest in Mint did
>> not start last week, I have worked on mintMenu since 2011 (and would
>> have revisted that after QC work on the latest Linux Mint Series), and
>> started work on Mint itself when you made it available here on Launchpad
>> again on own and requested your good self set up Scottish Gaelic
>> language team, I did not ask for admin status having noted that you
>> maintain that for yourself on the other languages, I am somewhat baffled
>> why you allowed this user to take the helm and bring his one Ubuntu
>> colleague on-board, it must have come to your attention at Mint that
>> this a User and indeed an Admin who attracts no other users but the said
>> colleague and indeed tends expel translators especially when translation
>> language reaches what he perceives near completion. Do you not find that
>> odd I certainly do! ....... Now I have personal request to yourself at
>> this point ..I would indebted to you if all my work to date on your Mint
>> project be removed, for Ubuntu I fear it's too late and we will see a
>> flawed translation appear under the Ubuntu name, and think these are
>> reasonable requests, certainly regarding Mint as I requested the team
>> and to prevent another act of translation piracy, by quasi commercial
>> concerns in our minority Languages which are now attracting indirect
>> financial backing from some government departments.
>> Now the sad part, am forced to leave Launchpad because I have lost faith
>> in the system, it was great at the start but as you see an nightmare in
>> the end. But please as I requested remove the translated packages from
>> Linux Mint, it is my work and will be hijacked similar to my Ubuntu
>> efforts. and let Linux Mint maintain it's great early principles and
>> promise, and hope that Ubuntu take note and along with Launchpad standby
>> their Codes Of Practice, if only to protect future members.
>> au revoir Mint
>> and Goodbye Launchpad and Ubuntu.
>> ========================================
>>   Message Received: Sep 12 2013, 01:26 PM
>>   From: "Scottish translation team for Linux Mint"
>> <noreply at>
>>   To:alexd at
>>   Cc:
>>   Subject: alexd deactivated by clementlefebvre
>>   Hello alasdair caimbeul,
>>   The status of your membership in the team Scottish translation team for
>>   Linux Mint (linuxmint-translation-team-scottish) was changed by Clement
>>   Lefebvre (clementlefebvre) from Approved to Deactivated.
>>   <>
> Hi,
> - Adding ~fios in CC.
> Ok, first, the easy part: I won't remove translations on Launchpad or 
> in Linux Mint and I won't waste time reading licenses and disclaimers 
> about intellectual property. If important this can be handled directly 
> with the Launchpad staff (assuming they care to look into it).
> Now, onto the arbitration itself.. this is where it gets a little more 
> difficult. As you can imagine we're not qualified and unable to 
> properly assess who is right when it comes to quality in a language 
> none of us speak. I'm not sure what to do as I can't really take side 
> on the matter. I did as I was contacted by one party and led to 
> believe that the matter wasn't arguable. I can see two sides of the 
> story now and I'm not sure I want to take position.
> I'm happy to revert my decision and change things back to the way they 
> were. The team is now open as it was before, you're both members of it 
> and you can decide how much amount of time you want to spend arguing 
> with each others. That's your decision and your time. As you know, I 
> like to get things done so I'm going to walk away from this and leave 
> it to you to solve it without my arbitration. I'm sorry I don't speak 
> the language and I'm unable to assist in the matter. Good luck to the 
> two of you.
> -- 
> Regards,
> Clement Lefebvre
> Linux Mint

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