Indian PolyGlots’ Style Guide Initiative

A couple of polyglots here in India met today on a hangout to start working on creating Style Guides & Glossaries and improve the quality of translations in general, for Indian languages. The whole conversation was public and live and is available here:

It went on for 2 hours so I’m summarising our discussion here.

Who was present?
@fitehal, @adityakane, @gounder, @chandrapatel, @jaymanpandya, @prathameshp, @jitesh @tushonline, @patilswapnilv and @vivekjain. @jiteshpatil & @garv497 couldn’t connect due to technical reasons.

What was discussed?
How to get started with creating Style Guides?
During the discussion we realised that we need to work on two fronts:

  1. Native speaker outreach
    1. We realised that we need to reach out to more native language users of WordPress and take WordPress to potential local language users.
    2. We need to involve technical experts of local languages for guidance and direction for good style guides
  2. We need to start hacking a style guide alongside so that we have something to work on and improve.

For this to happen, we need demo WordPress websites so that non-technical users not adept at setting up WordPress can access and experience the dashboard in their language.

Users who write in local languages but use the dashboard in English (because the local version is not very usable) can also check things out and provide useful feedback.

With these demo sites, we can run outreach activities for writers, journalists, bloggers and academia of each language to get them involved in translations over the long run.

We’ll setup scripts and instructions for orienting new users, recording user tests (screencasts) and collecting useful actionable feedback. We intend to use these recordings to improve translations as well as get information for the style guide.

Since, there are a lot of tasks and activities to do, it was decided that we’ll proceed step by step and we decided to start with just two tasks:

1. Demo Sites for User Testing

  • Create a resource on wpindia.org where demo versions of WordPress will be installed and available for everyone to test WordPress in their language.
  • Initially (and since only polyglots from these languages committed), only Marathi (#mr_IN) , Gujarati (#gu_IN) & Hindi (#hi_IN) will be set up. Other languages can be setup on request.
  • These demos will be reset periodically to a clean install.
  • @gounder and @patilswapnilv will take the lead in getting this started.

2. Drafting a common style guide document in English

@adityakane & yours truly will make sure that all the discussions are communicated publicly and keep track of the progress.

Once we finish setting up the demo system and get going on the draft style guide, we’ll have another public hangout to discuss and plan the next steps.

Meanwhile, discussions will continue on the WPIndia 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/. team’s #polyglots channel (wpindia.slack.com).

What can you do?

  1. Get involved in one of the two activities (demo sites for user testing and draft style guides) directly by getting in touch with the leads mentioned above
  2. Join wpindia.slack.com to join in the discussion and see if there’s something else that you’d rather do.

We need hosting

To set up periodically resetting demo sites, we need servers. It was discussed that we call for a sponsor for hosting and we only take it from a hosting company since we need a reliable and sustainable solution for the long run. Please let us know if someone would be happy to help us with that. Till that happens we’re going to host things on our personal servers.