Language translation: Developers help developer

I’m thinking of starting with a very basic website, and then tweak it with time. E.g. adding features for different dialects, find ways to handle jargon embedded in strings, etc.

The biggest challenge is going to be to find a way to present phrases “in context”. But these kind of tweaks can be done when there is a better practical understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of the a system.

[quote=69688:@Alwyn Bester]Great stuff.

I just bought the “” domain for this service, and will announce here as soon as something is in place for a beta run.[/quote]
Interesting. I’ll keep an eye out for this. Can assist in Swedish translations if devs need it :slight_smile:

I have some ECD (early childhood development) educational software that I’d love to translate to Swedish and Spanish at some point.

This is a great idea.
Even adding one language as a fully paid translation service carries a big price tag.
And you need to go back every time you add a new feature.

I recall one automatic translation of ‘shrink to fit’ turning out as the equivalent of ‘reduce the psychiatrist’ in German.

I’ll design the system that once a phrase is translated, it can be accessed by everyone. Essentially there will be a nice “dictionary” of phrases built in time that can be searched before requesting a new translation.

Applause on that, Alwyn!

Although I have to support Richard Duke in that a complete localization should be done by someone accustomed to the field, there’s a lot of usual phrases that could be kept in a localization database. Just like the vcard function offers localized labels.

For professional apps, Richard’s advice should always be kept in mind. While it is plausible to localize common app items and general phrases database-driven, the real meaning of sentences can be perfectly avoided by an automated translation. And while it is always recommendable to consult a professional translation service, there can be projects with completely uncertain commercial turnarounds – in that case a translation support on a multilateral base could be very helpful. Maybe there’s space for a forum to post such questions on your site, Alwyn?

I doubt that professional translation services will ever be replaced by automated systems.The science of language (never mind language translation) is just way to complicated to depend on computer algorithms alone.

For to succeed, there probably has to be some kind of forum software installed. I was actually thinking about adding a feature where translations can be rated by other users, and even commented on. This way, when you use translations, you can view the ratings of human users to determine the quality of the translation.

At this point though, I’m looking at setting up a very basic and simplistic mechanism, to first test the waters. Once in beta, one will quickly discover the benefits, limitations or even if the idea is viable at all. From there one can then direct development according to the requests and suggestions of the users.

there are probably dozens (if not more) that would be willing to help beta test the site for you.

Facebook translation were done in a similar, filled by users. The system FB developed is bullet proof and can be get as a basement for the project, Alwyn.

The idea is superb, the domain is awesome (have to contact you for some ideas for a domain I’m looking for ;). We can get a base of simple words and common system phrases ready, while others as mentioned above, can’t be translated as they are not too generic. But for the common ones we use “Open, Quit, Do you want to save, Send me a Buck, etc…” it would make a difference in prices when giving the rest of the localization words to translate.

I always give a free license to however translate my apps. That always is very successfully. All my apps are translated to at least 10 languages (one even 21).

The only problem is that some do not maintain the translation ones they got the free license. :slight_smile:

What I have seen is some developers share a percentage of the sales in the localized country for the translator and a very low price for word. Translators needs to eat, pay bills, ensurance too :slight_smile:

There is probably a large base that can be built with common phrases that can easily be re-used across multiple different programs.

I’m actually very interested in seeing how practical the website will be in creating a community where developers with different first languages can help each other translate programs.

Anytime :slight_smile:

That is an impressive range of languages.

How do you verify if the phrases are correct when you cannot verify it yourself… or do you trust the work of the translators?

The very first thing I learnt as an IT consultant was that each discipline has it’s own technospeak, and learning that allows you to communicate effectively with the discipline you’re dealing with - Richard Duke referred to this earlier. Getting the technospeak right is paramount, translation is secondary. Take that to the next step and you can even understand somebody talking in a totally different language if they are technospeaking your discipline. The technolanguage is crosslingual due to the shared technology.

I’m happy to help translation to English and NZ Maori (includes Tongan for free), but you got to get the technospeak right first.

As promised the system is now ready for a beta run.

Hopefully this could potentially be the start of a permanent online developer community, where developers with different native languages can help each other translate their software to foreign languages. I’ve tried to design the system in such a way that developers that are not multi-lingual (e.g. only English speaking) can also take advantage of the system.

I really chased to get a first version ready (everything was written from ground up), and it really is more of an alpha version than a beta, so I’m sure there are gazillions of ways that still needs to be improved.

To be honest, I have no idea if this idea will work on a practical level, so I guess time will tell. I don’t want to give away too much about how the system works, because it would be great to see if it is intuitive enough for new users.

If there is enough interest, I’m very willing to spend time on tweaking and improving the system a lot.

Note that the purpose of is not to replace professional translators. If you are developing serious software intended for high-paying commercial clients, it would still be best to contract or employ a professional translator. does however provide a platform to get started with phrase translations.

The current languages that are supported by include:

English, Spanish, German, Swedish, Afrikaans, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Maori.

If there are any other languages you would like to see on, please let me know.

I look forward to seeing you at… and please don’t hesitate to be blunt and honest about what works and what doesn’t.

Well, the “initial” words are now translated into “the unofficial global language” Swedish :slight_smile:

Tried to sign up, but I only got a really helpful “invalid password”. My passwords are long and the contain numbers and special characters.

Same here. Any indication of the type of password we can use?

EDIT: I shortened the password and I could sign in. I am using upper and lower case letters and numbers, in a 8 character long password.

I was just playing around and:

  • I would like to have the possibility to propose translations to my own translation requests, and let others correct them if necessary.
  • I think it would be good to have the possibility to add a “context” to the sentence to be translated, in case it is specific to some field.
  • Why limit each “translator” to three languages? Some may be proficient in more languages.
  • Where can I see previously translated sentences?

I signed up. As most Americans, I only speak 1 languages. I have been trying to learn Spanish but unless we are talking about the cat the dog or milk, I am pretty useless. But until I added a second language, I couldnt see any translations.

  • where can I see the translated sentences?
  • can I submit translations that I propose (would count them as full translations, but a starting point for people)?
  • great start for the site!