Handling waiting and fuzzy strings

Reason of this post

A lot of people are interested in how to handle large amounts of waiting and fuzzy stringsString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings..
I have been working on 130.000+ waiting and fuzzy strings for nl_NL (Dutch, Netherlands), and developed a working method to keep it simple and fun to do. It took me over a year to process all the waiting and fuzzy strings and get the count to zero.


To be able to get consistency in handling the waiting and fuzzy strings, here are a couple of useful tips.

  • Create if not present a Glossary for the locale. e.g. https://translate.wordpress.org/locale/xx/default/glossary/
  • Have good knowledge of the language you are working on.
  • Reserve time slots per day to work on the lists.
  • Install the following addons to help you check the waiting and fuzzy strings.
  • Install a local spelling checker.
  • Know the handbook for WordPress translation.
  • Must have the role of PTEProject Translation Editor A Project Translation Editor (often referred to as PTE) is a person, who has access to validate strings on a specific project (for example BuddyPress, WooCommerce or Twenty Fourteen) for one specific locale. A project translation editor can approve strings that are added by translation contributors. Per project translation, editors are appointed by a general translation editor after a request by the project author or by the contributors themselves./GTEGeneral Translation Editor A General Translation Editor (often referred to as GTE) is a person, who has global access to validate strings on all projects for a specific locale. to approve/reject/fuzzy strings.

Statistic links

Replace “xx” with your 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 https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/ code.


Use the links above to find all the waiting and fuzzy strings.
Start with the least first and work your way up.

Then some extra advice regarding handling the strings.
Look at the date added before you decide what to do with the stringString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings..

  • If the string is very old and badly translated, just reject the string.
  • If the string is pretty new, and the translation is not that bad, improve it.
  • If the string is not 100% but acceptable, simply approve it if it is a very old string.
  • Start first with removing/improving the fuzzy records.
  • Then move on with the waiting.

If the top 400 lists are clean, you can use them to follow the most used projects.
After that, we started on the projects with the queries for plugins/themes I indicated.
Also, the advice is to not waste your time on very old strings, just remove them if they are bad.

Then finally, if you are at ground zero, I have the following advice for handling new suggestions.

  • If the translation meets the rules for your locale, then you can quickly approve them with bulk approve.
  • If the translation does not meet the rules for your locale, check the translator. If that is a new one, mark the suggestion as “fuzzy” and try to contact the translator.
  • If it concerns a translator that already has added more than one project, try to contact him/her before you put the translation to fuzzy, and indicate that there are rules to follow. Ask for improvement of the strings according to the rules.
  • If the translator does not respond, simply remove the fuzzy translations after two weeks.
  • Also important, finding people to work with (team building), so you do not have to do it on your own.
  • Give feedback, the process can be found here: handbook page
  • It’s important to try to clear the queue. It has the advantage that new suggestions are easily found, and you can share the feedback to contributors on short term. Furthermore, it is important to give quick support to keep the translators enthusiastic, and at the end it will save time. If they are willing to listen to your “positive” feedback, then they will improve the translation more quickly.