Polyglots leads discussion and selection – WP Community Summit

Polyglots leads discussion

Leading the polyglots teamPolyglots Team Polyglots Team is a group of multilingual translators who work on translating plugins, themes, documentation, and front-facing marketing copy. https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/. isn’t an easy task. Lots of cultures, a lot of diversity. Understanding everyone can be hard. There have been issues in the past with specific communities using their sites to make money, some using it for WordPress, some not. Part of this is cultural, part of it is ignorance, part is just bad performance. Varies from culture and site.

In light of that, we created a set of expectations for RosettaRosetta The code name of the theme for the local WordPress sites (eg. bg.wordpress.org is a “Rosetta” site). All locale specific WordPress sites are referred to as “Rosetta sites.” The name was inspired from the ancient Rosetta Stone, which contained more or less the same text in three different languages. sites. Part of leading polyglots is making sure sites meet these expectations.

Process for handling bad content on Rosetta sites

  • Email the validators of the site (request a response within a week)
  • After a week, email again (“You have 3 days to take care of this”)
  • After three days, email again (“You have 24 hours to clear this or we remove it”)
  • If the content is not removed within 24 hours, login as administrator and remove bad content.
  • Email validators and say if the content comes back without fixing its problems, they will be removed as validators/editors.
  • Check site regularly to ensure the content doesn’t come back.
  • When at all possible, we want validators to be responsive. If they aren’t, that can be an issue.
  • Note that just because a validatorValidator See translation editor. is unresponsive, that doesn’t mean they are bad actors. It’s possible for life to get in the way for days, weeks, or months.

Finding new validators

  • We are going to need more validators as plugins and themes become translatable. A good target is likely 20 active validators per language by mid-2015.
  • That’s a problem across the community and we need good coordinators for different regions to mentor new validators.
  • We also need to add new languages, which will need good validators. Mentoring them will be important so they can grow fast.

Things that will help with new translators/validators:

  • Having better documentation
    • Translator handbook
    • Per language guidelines for translation
    • Glossary for every language
  • Better contributor recognition
  • Roles: separate roles for translations vs the local community stuff (Rosetta administration, support, blog, forum moderation)
  • Separate the role of the editor from the validator so validators can focus on translation and mentoring new validators


As Polyglots will get more and more busy following themes and plugins in the repositoryWordPress Localization Repository The WordPress Localization Repository at https://i18n.svn.wordpress.org/ is a Subversion repository where official WordPress translations are maintained. See Working with the Translation Repository for details., there will be a need for more coordination and help to all the new validators. This can be accomplished by splitting localesLocale Locale = language version, often a combination of a language code and a region code, for instance es_MX denotes Spanish as it’s used in Mexico. A list of all locales supported by WordPress in https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/ into different regions and appointing multiple leads for each region. Separating the locales will be done geographically first and then by language so that there is no overload for any of the leads.

Proposed regions:

Region 1: Asia & Oceania: Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and Oceania. Perhaps does *not* include Australia / New Zealand English, but does include any future local languages. Does not include Russia or Iran. Currently, ~51 locales.

Region 2: Europe (including Turkey, Russia), Africa (entire continent), Middle East (includes Iran). Currently, ~70 locales.

Region 3: North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean. Perhaps includes Australia / New Zealand English. Also includes engineered languages (Esperanto, Klingon, Ido). Currently, ~16 locales.

Part of the goal for these regions is to have them within a reasonable timezone of each other to make coordination easier. Part of the goal is to have “similar” languages together (like the English languages).

What is a lead?

A lead is not simply a copy of Zé. We’ll all get burnt out if we try and emulate everything he did. There’s a lot of responsibilities. Let’s split the role into two.

As the role is pretty extensive, it is best for it to be split into two separate lead roles:

“Community” leads

Essentially, this role is non-technical and involves working with people. Here’s a list of a lot of responsibilities included in this role. (There may be more!)

  • Review and answer “people”-based P2p2 "p2" is the name of the theme that blogs at make.wordpress.org use (and o2 is the accompanying plugin). When asked to post something "on the p2" by a member of the Polyglots team, that usually means you're asked to post on the team blog https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/. comments and requests
  • Answer requests for new locals (research and approve, especially using Ethnologue)
  • Weekly meetings (organize, take notes, post updates on how locales are doing)
  • Moderate disputes between validators/translators
  • Mentorships – Connect validators with other validators who can help and give pointers.
  • Validators – find and approve validators; communicate with current validators
  • Interface with the community team
  • Interface with legal (as a result of Rosetta contacts)
  • Review Rosetta sites to ensure they meet expectations
  • Contact validators if a Rosetta site does not meet expectations and work to get them fixed.
  • Write and maintain documentation
  • Create and maintain policies (like the Rosetta expectations; new things may be needed in the future)
  • Compile and post stats (on the P2)
  • Generally, find people to do things

“Technical” leads

Technical leads are responsible for doing everything needed technically. Here’s a list of things that they may need to do:

  • Answer technical questions on the P2 (deployment, other related things)
  • DeployDeploy Launching code from a local development environment to the production web server, so that it's available to visitors. Rosetta, including forums and P2s when those exist again.
  • Create locales (after community lead approves)
  • GlotPressGlotPress GlotPress is the translation management software that powers Translate.WordPress.org. More information is available at glotpress.org. – interface with the GlotPress team, including discussing future needs and helping implement those needs where applicable.
  • Interface with the coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. team about upcoming core changes
  • Interface with the metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team about necessary wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ changes.
  • Work on technical problems that local translations have
  • Create and compile stats (with community leads)
  • Write and maintain technical documentation

How do we find/appoint leads?

Everyone here (at the community summit) should be considered a “lead” in the WordPress community. Maybe we shouldn’t have one or two leads, but instead form a leadership team with everyone here who’s interested. The leadership team can work together to ensure no one gets burnt out and that no knowledge gets lost along the way. Today, a leadership team is formed.

Moving forward, we should look at who wants to be community-focused and who wants to be technically-focused. We have good coverage for community-focused, but we’ll need to bring in people to be technically-focused. We also have great timezone coverage!

Over time, we should consider having regional leads for each of the three regions described above, both for community and technical sides. (This means a total of six “leads.”)

Weekly Polyglot meetings

First things first, we need to start a weekly meeting.

  • Ideally two or three meetings a week, 8-12 hours apart. Same agenda, but this allows people from different timezones to participate.
  • Let’s make a Doodle for choosing the time for weekly meetings.
  • Use this meeting to help new validators / translators with questions.
  • Also get stats from localizers. How are teams doing? What progress are they making? Is a team almost there? How do we get them to 100%?
  • Meetings should be held in #polyglots channel on SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/..
  • Notes from the first meeting of the day can be posted to the P2 in draft form. Other note-takers can update after their meeting. Last meeting of the day publishes post.

Contributor Recognition

To start, we need to improve the badges on dot org profiles. How about three polyglots badges?

  • A badge for members of the polyglots leadership team
  • Badge for validators/editors. Potentially use this for moderators too, though can’t they get a support badge?
  • Translators (anyone who’s translated a stringString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings. and had it approved) get a third badge.

Final notes / actions

  • Update Handbook
    • Add handbook page with leadership team (including dot org usernames) so people can reach out and get advice.
    • Include timezone information so you can find a local lead.
    • Add a map (image map!) that shows what the regions are and who can help you in your region.
    • Add a list of regions (non-graphic) as well.
  • Talk to support team (Mika) about getting badges for moderators
  • Start holding weekly meetings
  • Find technical leads in each region
  • Document Zé (and all that he did)


The following people attended this meeting at the WordPress Community Summit: Andrew dela Serna (Philippines), Birgit Olzem (Germany), Catia Kitahara (Brazil), Marko Heijnen (The Netherlands), Mayuko Moriyama (Japan), Petya Raykovska (Bulgaria), Shinichi Nishikawa (Japan), Sam Sidler (USA, wordpress.org), Takayuki Miyauchi (Japan), Xavier Borderier (France).