History of the Team

For many of us, we’ve always known WordPress as a global, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural endeavor. As of today (August 2020), we have over 200 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 which WordPress is translated. Each 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/ is a representation of the community behind it – for every language, there is a community of WordPress enthusiasts.

But this wasn’t always the case! 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/., as it is now known, all began with this short, but meaningful post. InternationalizationInternationalization Internationalization (sometimes shortened to I18N , meaning “I - eighteen letters -N”) is the process of planning and implementing products and services so that they can easily be adapted to specific local languages and cultures, a process called localization. This is the process of making software translatable. Information about Internationalization for developers can be found in the Developer’s handbooks. was first added in version 1.2 via the gettext() method, which we still use today. The first internationalized versions of WordPress we saw are tied back to the Hindi, French, Japanese, and Norwegian communities. 

At the time, the translation process was much more manual and coordinated primarily via the wp-polyglots listserv. Translators would manually translate .po filesPO files PO files are human readable files which contain translations we use. These files are not used by WordPress itself. Each language will have its own PO file, for example, for French there would be a fr_FR.po file, for german there would be a de_DE.po, for British English there might be en_GB.po. (usually in a text editor or a desktop software like Poedit) and then generate the necessary .mo filesMO files MO, or Machine Object is a binary data file that contains object data referenced by a program. It is typically used to translate program code, and may be loaded or imported into the GNU gettext program. This is the format used in a WordPress install. These files are normally located inside .../wp-content/languages/ using a script, and prepare an internationalized package by placing them on subversionSVN Apache Subversion (often abbreviated SVN, after its command name svn) is a software versioning and revision control system. Software developers use Subversion to maintain current and historical versions of files such as source code, web pages, and documentation. Its goal is to be a mostly compatible successor to the widely used Concurrent Versions System (CVS). WordPress core and the wordpress.org released code are all centrally managed through SVN. https://subversion.apache.org/.. In late 2009, GlotPress was announced as the new tool for WordPress.comWordPress.com An online implementation of WordPress code that lets you immediately access a new WordPress environment to publish your content. WordPress.com is a private company owned by Automattic that hosts the largest multisite in the world. This is arguably the best place to start blogging if you have never touched WordPress before. https://wordpress.com/ translation. Then in early 2010, 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/ locale teams started using translate.wordpress.orgtranslate.wordpress.org The platform for contributing to the translation of WordPress core, themes and plugins. for coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. translation of WordPress 3.0.

Following the 2012 Community Summit, even more focus was placed on developing a global Polyglots community, around which many Polyglots-related efforts centered on the further integration of GlotPressGlotPress GlotPress is the translation management software that powers Translate.WordPress.org. More information is available at glotpress.org. and global coordination. During the same Community Summit, team representatives were developed to help with coordinating across WordPress teams and projects, which later paved the way for the Polyglots Global Mentors that we have today.

In 2015, the online translation mechanism of translate.wordpress.org became available for all plugins and themes in the WordPress.org directory, lowering the technical barrier for translation contributors.

In 2016, the first ever WordPress Translation Day was organized. The 24-hour event drew in nearly 500 people and was another step in the global organization and community building of the Polyglots team. There have been four additional Translation Days organized since, and we’ve even seen individual teams host their own translation days, including the French and Italian communities.

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