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Website translation

This page is about translating the web site. For localizing activities, see Localization

The very nature of the project is multi-lingual and multi-cultural. And although English is (currently) our lingua franca it may not be so in the future—or so we hope—as each community takes over the project and molds it to their needs and objectives.

In the meantime, here are some tips, tricks and things to keep in mind while trying to bridge the language barrier that will hopefully make everybody's life simpler and more productive.

See a quick (example driven) guide of how to translate.
See the Translated pages matrix for a status update

NOTE: please feel free to add or comment, as this is on-going work.

See Also

Ok, yes, usually the see also section is at the end... but why settle for tradition when we are going for a revolution? ;)

recommended translations

The following is not a must-do list, rather a suggestion of where to start. If you want to take a look at what has been translated check the translated pages (itemized); or the Category:Translated Pages (and its sub-categories split by languages).

Another possible good starting point for picking things to translate are those pages tagged as {{OLPC}} and that have the 'green bar' noting so and grouped in OLPC Category.

Before jumping in, please read the remaining of this page as it will (hopefully) provide with enough background on how multi-lingual things are currently working in the wiki. If you think something is missing or should not be in the above list, please leave a comment.


It has been noted elsewhere that although the community translation effort is greatly welcome, it lacks guidelines and standards. Until now that was not really an issue, but at some point there should be some a more coherent and unified style. Which? It hasn't been determined. In the meantime, it could prove valuable to have some documentation available that could at least serve as the baseline or source for its creation.

Most of the resources listed below resulted from a meeting in IRC #olpc-l10n.

There's the in the mailing lists. Although english is the default, feel free to raise questions in other languages too.

Please feel free to add (human & computer) languages resources below.



As a language that spans many nations, each influenced by it native population and local languages, and historical immigration patterns, yields a superficially apparent homogeneous language zone. Truth is that local idioms do have a considerable weight.

See also Translating/Spanish terms for more info on how the wiki is being translated.

fast & furious

See a quick (example driven) guide of how to translate.

pitfalls: things to watch out

Please do keep the Template:Translation in each page and the correct lang & version number for future updates and maintenance of the translated page.

Note that there are two navigation bars (besides the language bar), one at the top, the other at the bottom. In that navigation bar you also have to update the lang parameter.

Never add {{translation}} to a Category page! That will make all the pages in that category show up Category:Translated Pages, even if they have NO translations. Instead, make the translated category as a subcategory, e.g. Category:OLPC FAQ/lang-ko is a subcategory of Category:OLPC FAQ

wiki pages

You are not forced by any means to use what follows—although it may save some time and help develop a standard way of doing things. By no means we are implying this is the best way, and some steps may seem arbitrary, and not really optimal; although their cost may be worthwhile. Any feedback is welcome!

The 'basic' structure of a 'standard' translation is based on the following premises:

  1. there's a base page you want in another language
  2. you want to keep it as a 'mirror' translation
  3. little or no reverse-flow towards the original

One of the main problems when translating is that your personal choice may not be the best one. Text-wise that is not a problem, and here the wiki spirit shows the true power by allowing a more democratic choice of wording. The problem arises from the fact that we are not translating text but also structure (headers, sections, etc.). So if we happen to pick a 'wrong' section header, anything linking to it will be broken when we try to make things better—defeating the wiki kaizen spirit of constant improvements. In order to avoid getting stuck in bad translations, here are some techniques and tips that may help the kaizen spiriti of a wiki-editor.

creating the translated page

Usually you can give a page any name you like, although I recommend using a sub-page technique that uses the language identification: originalPage/lang-xx. This comes in handy as the volume of pages in the xx language grows and won't be able to recall all the exact names of all the translations. So if you find yourself translating a link to say The OLPC Wiki you may wonder what is the exact translation used for your language. Appending /lang-xx to the link takes care of that. If by any chance the page hasn't been translated yet, you may create a redirect page to the original version and do the translation later.

How to set up the translated page

A page worth translating will surely be split up in sections and sub-sections, which are latter used as anchors by the hyper-text system, allowing to refer and link to specific sections. Again, if we translate the section/anchor name, when a better translation is found the links will brake. A simple solution (leveraging on the /lang-xx technique) is to avoid the problem altogether by preserving the original anchors.

For example, if we were to translate the section ==Home==, we could translate it into spanish as either Hogar or Casa—context will probably make one more likely than the other, but you can't always be certain. The problem arises when that header is being used as an anchor for some link: OLPC Human Interface Guidelines/The Laptop Experience/Zoom Metaphor#Home. This 'example' link, is very interesting (although extremely peculiar and rare) because it depends on the original title page OLPC Human Interface Guidelines, the chained subpages The Laptop Experience and Zoom Metaphor, and finally the anchor/section name Home. Each one of them may have multiple possible translations.

The simplest solution is to make the links independent of the translation. The /lang-xx takes care of the page-links and the {{anchor}} template takes care of links to page sections:

                     {{anchor|Home}}           {{anchor|Home}}
 == Home ==          == Casa ==                == Hogar ==

While the links will always remain basically the same:

OLPC Human Interface Guidelines/The Laptop Experience/Zoom Metaphor#Home
OLPC Human Interface Guidelines/The Laptop Experience/Zoom Metaphor/lang-es#Home

NOTE: only the /lang-xx has been added—greatly simplifying the linking.

hooking the translation to the wiki

In a wiki, an unlinked page is as good as no page; so we need to somehow make sure that people navigating the site actually can reach those pages in a sensible way. The current technique is based on three elements:

  1. a template to be included in the translated page,
  2. a template to be included in the original page, and
  3. a sub-page indexing the original page's translations (originalPage/translations).

This triad serves two main uses: reader & translator.

it allows the multi-lingual navigation by presenting all the translations of a given page in a homogeneous way while avoiding the typical error of forgetting to update all translations with the 'new' translation.
by keeping track of the original and diff (to current) anybody can review if the current page is up-to-date in respect to the original.

maintaining the translation

Wikis being what they are, mean that what you translated yesterday is not today's version... so how do you manage the evolution of the original? Fortunately, wiki pages have an essential thing: history; and an extremely useful function: diff. Remember when the {{Translation | ...blah... }} template was added, there were three mandatory parameters:

  1. lang = the 2-3 characters denoting the target language of the translation
  2. source = the page name (sans [[]]) that is being translated
  3. version = the ID of the actual revision or edition being translated
It is crucial this value is correctly recorded (and updated) as it will allow a consistent way to handle the evolution of the original in regard to the translation.

The version number (ie: 30534) appears in the original page in the upper right corner (ie: [ID# 30534]). This number, together with the source page name will be used to perform a diff between the version translated and the current version (of the original page).

By following the diff link (bottom-right of the blue translation bar) you can verify the changes (if any) of the translated-version-# with the current-version-#—just by following it.

IMPORTANT: When updating a translation, you must update the version. (Just copy paste the # shown in the original page). This will allow translators and reviewers to work only on the sections that have changed without actually having to review both documents in order to find differences (some of which may be trivial from the text perspective, but crucial from the exactitude and validity of the content—ie:latest build, etc).

multi-lingual navigation templates

Initially, when the Template:Translation was coded, all of its text was in English. That has been changed so that with the exception of the different languages and the title of the source page, it can all be in the same language as the translation. The extracted strings are shown below:

«Translation of» is for the reader community to be aware which of the multiple languages available is the original page (whose full name link is to the right of this text).
«original» is for the translating community to see the actual version of the original with which this page is synchronized. Basically a helper.
«changes» is for the translating community to see the changes in the original in respect to its current state (so that we can get the translation back in sync).
Keep in mind that being «original» & «changes» for the translating community they should be discrete and brief (as the space is used for language navigation).

For a list of language codes see ISO 639.

language code Translation of original changes translator / notes inline translation instructions wanted incomplete check
አማርኛ am +/- Translation of +/- original +/- changes defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
عربي ar +/- ترجمة +/- الأصل +/- التغييرات Khaled hosny +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
български bg +/- Превод на +/- оригинал +/- промените from pootle-bg.po +/- instructions +/- търси се +/- недовършен +/- провери
dansk da +/- Oversætning af +/- Original +/- Ændringer Riv +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
deutsch de +/- Übersetzung von +/- Original +/- Änderungen via Google + IP +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
ελληνικά el +/- Μετάφραση του +/- αρχικό +/- αλλαγές Simosx +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
english en +/- Translation of +/- original +/- changes Text used in Google +/- instructions +/- wanted +/- incomplete +/- check
Esperanto eo +/- Translation of +/- original +/- changes defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
español es +/- Traducción de +/- original +/- cambios Xavi +/- instructions +/- deseada +/- incompleta +/- revisen
فارسی fa +/- ترجمه‌ +/- اصلی +/- تغییرات from pootle-fa.po +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
français fr +/- Traduction de +/- original +/- changes Dupuy +/- instructions +/- Template:Translation/wanted/lang-fr +/- Template:Translation/incomplete/lang-fr +/-
עברית he +/- Translation of +/- original +/- changes defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
kreyòl ayisyen ht +/- Tradiksyon de +/- orijinal +/- chanjman Dupuy +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
magyar hu +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
Bahasa Indonesia id +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
íslenska is +/- +/- +/- from pootle-is.po +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
italiano it +/- +/- +/- Frafra +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
日本語 ja +/- +/- +/- Abee +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
kh kh +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
한국어 ko +/- +/- +/- Php5 +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
монгол mn +/- +/- +/- (actually russian via Google) +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
नेपाली ne +/- +/- +/- via IP +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
Nederlands nl +/- +/- +/- via Google + IP +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
norsk no +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
polski pl +/- +/- +/- Wiktor +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
پښتو ps +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
português pt +/- +/- +/- Ptdrumm +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
română ro +/- +/- +/- Alexandru Szasz +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
русский ru +/- +/- +/- Maxim Osipov +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
Kinyarwanda rw +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
සිංහල si +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
српски / srpski sr +/- +/- +/- Goran Rakić +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
Kiswahili sw +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
Tagalog tl +/- +/- +/- defaulted to english +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
Türkçe tr +/- +/- +/- from pootle-tr.po +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-
中文 zh +/- +/- +/- Yuan Chao +/- instructions +/- +/- +/-

NOTE: This strings are being proposed... when it says 'via Google' means that
      the current string displayed for a particular language was obtained via Google.
      IOW, it's an invitation to fix it accordingly :)
      Those non-green language codes (particularly red) need to be changed, please do so.

Please refer to the Localization page for further information on the l10n efforts of

See also Translating/

translating the HIG

See Translating/HIG

foreign wiki pages

As the global effort picks up speed, it's our hope and interest that local communities will develop things in their local languages that we may want to share globally. This is already happening, and we are trying to develop the necessary templates to make life simpler (probably a variation on the local translation templates mentioned above). In the meantime, take a look at Hello World!.

Reverse Localization

Reverse Localization, has links to Google translation Gadget in many languages to suggest improving information flow from non-OLPC web-pages about OLPC efforts between wider language communities.

requested translations

Here's a list of pages requested for translation. Please verify with Translated pages in order to avoid duplicate translations before jumping into one.

  Fancy a subject you can't find or not in your language? Ask for it!  
english Want to read about something in your language? Either write the subject (or better the page name) and we'll do our best to satisfy your request Ask for it!  
español /
Queres leer sobre algo en tu lenguaje? Anota el tema (o mejor aun, el nombre de la pagina) y haremos lo posible para cumplir tu deseo. Pedilo!  
français Voulez vous prendre connaissance de quelque chose dans votre langue ? Ecrivez le sujet (ou mieux encore le nom de la page en question) et nous ferons tout notre possible pour satisfaire votre demande. Demandez le!  
portugues Querer ler sobre algo em sua língua? Qualquer um escreve o assunto (ou melhora o nome da página) e nós faremos nosso mais melhor para satisfer a seu pedido. Pedir ele!  
한국어 귀하의 언어로 무언가를 읽고 싶으세요? 주제 (또는 페이지 이름)를 쓰십시오. 그러면, 우리는 당신의 요구를 만족시키기 위하여 최선을 다할 것입니다. 요청하세요!  
中文 您想读到一些语言? 要么写课题(或更好的页名称),我们会尽最大努力满足你的要求 要求!  

Petition for translation

Hi Xavi i would like to read this page in spanish..


Software licensing

translate Using QEMU on Windows XP


we need people that can translate this lessons. for a pilot place (like peru)

Communication Channels

  Fancy a subject you can't find or not in your language? Ask for it!