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Re: Help improving translation

Hi Thomas,

I have been translating fedora in French for few months only and i'm
facing problems with contributors' translations.

I used to translate po files, and, as we were very few French
translators (2 *only*), it was quite easy to ask for the mate to read
over the translation and to know what he is actually doing.

However, now that I have less free time and now that we are more than 2
translating Fedora into French, when I take the initiative to translate
2 or 3 missing or recently added strings, I met bad translation and

There are few problems in our translation process :

- People are not communicating by mailing list. The fact is that
translation is often seen as a lonely activity and that you don't need
any response from someone to take a po file and translate it. There is
no way to know who is working on what.

-- This is bad management. You should fix that by yourself. As the
project leader, you should query the status of translations. On
voluntary projects it's important to track the status of other's work,
since they don't have an economical commitment, also people is very
selective on what they spend their free time.

- The status page [1] are useful to know what has been translated, but
useless to know what has been read over.
- People do not use the reservation system "take" button and if they do,
they don't update they reservation.

-- You should assign translations to translators. Only one person
should have commit access for a given project. When people wants to
translate something, send them the PO file. You should manage by
yourself who is doing what. A simple spreadsheet will do.

Anyway, I find the take button completely useless, not to mention the
bunch of mails saying it's going to expire soon. I suppose people
doesn't want to get 5 mails each time they take a module, so they do
it once, but not twice :). It's not good for synchronization.

What I'm planning to do : take every po file, and read over them until
FC7 comes out. This is the only way I found to avoid bad translation in

Any advice to help out ?

As we are changing lots of things on Fedora, wouldn't be the time to
improve the translation process :
- we shouldn't give anymore rights to upload CVS translation. CVS should
only be accessible in read only and only people that read translation
over should be allowed to update po to the CVS.

-- As I said, only project leaders should have commit access, not everybody.

- as there is mailing list for modifications on CVS docs, we need a
mailing list as well for each language po modification. Mailing list are
easy to set up and do not consume any ressources.

-- There is a commits list you can subscribe, it will do for you. But
it's the same thing, only you should be committing. Personally, for
Catalan we don't need it. Not sure we need it for every language.

- we could also use a system allowing to add a status of what has to be
done with a po file : "waiting for translation", "waiting for being read
over", "translation in progress" for example, are status that could be

-- If Fedora provides a full web translation management environment it
would be great. However, a wiki page could be used, where each
contributor writes down the status of their current translation.


just my 2 cents.

[1] http://i18n.redhat.com/cgi-bin/i18n-status
Thomas Canniot

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Fedora-trans-list redhat com

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