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Country groups and descriptions

What's the point of this list? I mean, the original content was just a list of countries... but that was June 2006...

I don't really see the point trying to list here what is already in Category:Countries... might as well just put a link! I think this page would be more valuable if we use it for more specific purposes of the Localization effort... Cheers! --Xavi 20:06, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

Localization Topics

This whole new section (and sub-sections) is (imho) re-doing all the work scattered throughout the wiki in several categories like Language support, Languages (international), Fonts, Keyboard, Accessibility, and some specific pages like Input methods, Unicode, etc. and probably others (these are just off my head)...

My 'suggestion' would be to integrate better and/or rework the existing material instead of re-doing the whole thing again... --Xavi 11:35, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

Xavi: The issue has been that there is no central page in the wiki to give countries and overview of all of what needs to be done for internationalization. This is essentially the presentation I did at the countries presentation this week that pulls together a summary of all of what is needed. As you note: everything is scattered, and we have people now needing to actually organize action.

From this general topic here, links to and reorganization of the topics elsewhere is fine; but we must have a cook-book that makes an incoming country understand what is needed.

We also *should not* replicate items like defining Unicode in our wiki: pointers to the Unicode consortium and to the wikipedia article are much more informative. jg 19:57, 27 April 2007 (EDT)


June 19 2007


  • How to handle translation on the wiki
  • How to localize sugar and its core activieis
  • How to ask for / help with localizing an activity
  • Where to sign up for information / discussion about l10n and translation

highlights from #olpc-l10n


  • i18n – internationalize — prepare for localization
  • l10n – localization — make relevant to local context

Areas of l10n:

Some results and/or directives:

  • It would be convenient (hint) for users to tag themselves (in their pages) with the appropriate Category:User languages
    • the tagging could be extended to include other 'user skillsets' like coder, artist, educator, etc.
    • should be kept simple so as to not overload with structure that hinders or overloads newbies
  • New 'guidelines' (akin to HIG) need to be developed:
    • Translation (Xavi will give it a shot—page to be determined)
    • Educators (linked with what Lauren is doing—Educational activity guidelines)
    • Content
    • We should be using as the mailing list to coordinate the effort. Although english based, chatter in other languages is welcome. We should try to avoid fragmenting the l10n community into language-specific lists.
  • Develop
  • Need to raise Category:Developers awareness to the issue or i18n & l10n.
    • Strings are not the only thing that can/needs to be l10n—images, icons, etc. should also be considered part of the deal (they can be localized by extracting their URLs into a PO file too)
    • Given the 'cryptic' nature of PO files used, it could be worthwhile to explore the possibilities that the Develop activity (particularly when used through the 'gear' Key viewsource.jpg key) be capable of transparently embeding and extracting the strings to-from the PO files. (must coordinate with User:Orospakr on how to proceed)
    • Stock on resources about the i18n & l10n process—some links were added to Translating#resources
    • The aim is to produce a simple set of guidelines (with examples) on how-to get everything ready for l10n.
    • specific l10n resources like glossaries, accepted terms, etc. at least at the language level—considerations should be taken for national or regional localisms.
    • use Gnome's l10n as a template to emulate
      • (references to Francisco Serrador for guidance and organization; and Danilo a serbian for scripts and tracking software)
      • need for language coordinators (see Content#curators & Curators and coordinators) to do the check-in of translations into the main repositories
      • Upstream developers should point to the 'central' l10n efforts when contacted by translation volunteers

Need to determine the three components:

  • cvs vs. some other version control
  • POT/PO files vs. other i18n/l10n technologies
  • workflow that'll 'glue' the team and get it rolling

Some pointers

Resources for choosing names

I found these two "dictionaries" useful when trying to find a name which translated well: MitchellNCharity 12:03, 20 June 2007 (EDT)

Translate icon

Discussion on an icon to be used to indicate "translation" or "internationalization" - Hoboprimate and Joe have made some great icons that could potentially be used for this - see Hoboprimate's icons and Joe's icons here.

Wow, these are fantastic - very clean, fits with the current Sugar icons. Nice work! These two are my favorites. Translate icon5.svg Translate7.svg We should try them out in a few different colors/places/sizes to see how they look - anyone have other criteria we should look at? I was thinking of using it across the wiki as a language-independent "translate this / see in other languages" indicator, would also make a nice tooltip/button for apps like Twext, and since there doesn't appear to be a common "translate/internationalize" icon elsewhere afaik this would hopefully spread beyond the OLPC project too. Mchua 05:45, 14 August 2007 (EDT)
I also like our homegrown icons. The meaning in Eduardo's icon is a little more apparent to me (Joe's makes me think of conversation, which is also good). Nikki 20:29, 14 August 2007 (EDT)
About making a general world-wide-web icon for translation, my throat dries a bit :) That needs heavy-duty thinking and design. I'm a little bit "burned out", and will take a rest for some days, so I may not be readily available on the discussions. Thank you for the compliments to my work. Oh, and of mine, I actually prefer Translation.svg. I'll later try to stylize it, to have fewer strokes. HoboPrimate 23:50, 14 August 2007 (EDT)
Here's some minor tweaks I was playing with: Translate icon6.svg Translate icon7.svg. Another idea, based on Twext, would be two interlocking bubbles with a large-as-possible intersection, rather than vice versa, with black/gray alternating lines on a white background in the intersection. The "text" could overrun the border of the "other" word bubble. Homunq 10:15, 16 August 2007 (EDT)
Personally, I liked Joe's translate icon without the "word-lines" inside them - it's cleaner and renders more neatly at a tiny size. Here's the icon currently being used for the Chat activity: Chat-icon.jpg - which is what Joe's translate icon reminded me of (two interlocking chat bubbles) - thought that was pretty neat. (Btw, the comment on making a worldwide "translate" icon was only half in jest; if we make something for immediate use here and it's good, other people might pick it up.) Mchua 13:50, 16 August 2007 (EDT)
OK, one more try: Translate icon8.svg (this could probably use some subpixel tweaking still). To me, the similarity to chat is exactly the problem I'm trying to avoid - chatting and translating are two different activities. Homunq 14:05, 16 August 2007 (EDT)
TranslateWorldIcon.png tries ruff combo Duke 13:37, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
Good, I could live with that - but we'd have to do it in B+W, the color dimension is reserved for identifying users, not apps. Homunq 00:56, 18 August 2007 (EDT) ps. though I think that planet would have problems with deserts in its northern continent :)....
Another concept to see if anyone can execute: make it look as if vertical text and horizontal text are two opposite faces of the same word bubble, either with a "fold" or by making two that are oblique to the POV...

twext trademark/interface/icon

twext has a possible icon+interface to control twext translation: TwextInterfaceIcon.png

the icon part is currently a legally restricted *trademark*.. but is freely licensed for free uses.. see or .. also note, intent for any/all commercial use of twext(tm) text is to fund ie the trademark bs if scary isn't essential.. our aim is common: universal access to learning..the interface part of twext icon, if you look for it, you can see at WiXi or multilingual twexter.. basically four (4) identical shapes are joined in North (N), South (S), West (W) and East (E) positions.. these can be assigned to user controls of styling, language pair, access xcroll edit interface etc..

W TwextInterfaceIcon.png E

you might call it an "xnav" interface.. it might also xurf or work w/ "meaningful urls".. twext trademark/icon/interface is 7:9 pixel proportion, thus can scale tiny enough to fit within almost any tiny text (controlled w/ tab toggling).. icon interface can scale up larger to be controled by a mouse, but maybe should first be controlled by possibly more productive keyboard commands..

including interface control in simple graphic icon hopefully offers simple-as-possible, intuitive access to multilingual (within same page) management.. also offers less need to translate actual interface into human language.. Duke 13:49, 14 August 2007 (EDT)

country/language codes

Developers often work by codes like en_US and fr_FR. It would be helpful to put these in the tables. AlbertCahalan 01:38, 15 August 2007 (EDT)

Volunteers for internationalization of Measure ?

Can anybody work on internationalization and localization of Measure Activity (Refer #3586 on Trac). thanks. ? --Arjs 12:08, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Interface components not fully localized

These are found on build 653, machine BR15 (Spanish)

  • neighborhood view: Agregar amigo / Invite to Analize Activity
  • the "wireless key required" message
  • homeview: Connected to a Simple Mesh / Desconectar
  • journal: Anytime / Hoy / Desde ayer / Past week / Past month / Past year
"past x", translated literally, comes out "last x". The right translation is "desde hace una x"

Some Thoughts on Translation Guidelines

Do the majority of the translator and/or decision-maker think that using native terms as much as possible is the way the OLPC-XO translations should be?

  • Always use native terms and invent new terms when not available? Homogeneous on the native terminologies for new/invented terms?
  • Simple descriptions for children that easy to understand?

Experiences from Bulgarian L10N: (Alexander Todorov <>)

  • Translate the sentence and use localized terms whenever possible. Names, abbreviations, other that is not translatable is transliterated in local language using the local alphabet(we don't use latin).
  • Then if the translators decides they are free to put the original English word in brackets for reference.

Translation best practices in your country/language and coordinate with other localization teams from that country.

Summarized from discussions on brought by Andi ( --YChao 10:53, 16 December 2007 (EST)

One translator's experience

See OLPC_talk:News#Translation_to_Brazilian_Portuguese_2_weekends_ago

Discussion of best practices

I noticed this discussion of best practices on the mailing list... I'm not sure how easy it is to integrate into this article, but the discussion seems more current and technical than what is currently in the article. —Joe 17:44, 4 October 2008 (UTC)