Proposal: Polyglots Team Plans for 2021

Just as the end of the year is a good time to reflect on the past year, the beginning of the year provides an opportunity to start discussing what we want to see happen in the coming year.

This year, thanks to many of your responses to the Polyglots Translator Research, we have more data to base our decisions on. To refresh our minds on the findings, a few of the items the research project team thought of as key findings were: 

  1. We need better communication and feedback
  2. Editors see growing their team of active translators as a significant task
  3. Translation approval process confusion & wait time are blockers to many translators
  4. Machine translation usage is high among translators

As also seen in the research results, we all know everyone already works hard to help their localeLocale 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 team. My proposals below are mainly for removing the blockers to optimize your effort, so you can focus more on the meaningful contribution that you enjoy doing.

Here are some of the proposed plans on things we can work on. If you have thoughts on what we should prioritize, please leave a comment.

I’ll keep the comments open until the end of the month (January 31st), then adjust the details based on the feedback. Text in italic was added based on the feedback. Thanks!

1. Better Communication Between Translators and Editors

Resolving the existing communication friction will reduce the stress and frustration on both sides. This is a high-priority item that we’d like to get help from 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 and put in place this year.

2. Promote Team Growth

Not having enough contributors can put a heavy burden on the active ones. For sustainability, we want to make sure each team grows stronger – we will need to find a way to do this without taking away too much time from contributors to work on translation activities. Also, keep in mind that it’s important to bring in contributors in a way they won’t get lost, so that onboarding will not create too much additional load to existing contributors.

  • We already have some documentation – but that doesn’t seem to be enough. What other ideas can we explore to help promote team growth?
  • Conflict resolution: There are some locale teams having issues working well together because of conflicting opinions in workflow/translation decisions, etc. What can we do to spot & help with such conflicts?
  • Training: A Learn WordPress course + discussion groups – or Sensei (text-based) course – on becoming a translation editorTranslation Editor Translation editors can approve translations for projects. The GTE (General Translation Editor) and LM (Locale Manager) roles can add new users with the "Project Translation Editor" role that can approve translations for specific projects. There are two different Translation Editor roles: General Translation Editor and Project Translation Editor / locale manager
  • Mini-translation package proposal also somewhat falls under this topic, as its goal is to help kick-start a new/inactive team.
  • (Added) Our current process of locale team formation doesn’t always work especially when the current GTEs/LMs are not active. In addition to the vetting criteria page & inactive team doc, what else can bring positive change?

3. Further Clarify Translation Approval Process

There is documentation on how to get a translation approved in the global Polyglots Handbook, but new translators are still unsure of the process. This blocks our goal to promote team growth and creates more work for editors when reviewing translations.

  • Add links to to locale Handbooks, local instructions, and any other supplemental information.
  • Would tooltips in GlotPress help for first-time contributors?
  • Welcome messages with instructions for new members in locale-based Slacks or when someone joins #polyglots?
  • Some type of notification mechanism could help new & experienced translators to become aware of the next steps they need to take.
  • (Added) Make sure to clarify translators can/need to request a review after adding some suggestions.

Thanks for your pre-feedback on this post! @tobifjellner @denisco @fierevere @psmits1567 @evarlese
Also, thanks for your feedback: @evarlese @wangql @kuailedekehu @smile32 @markscottrobson