Translation Collaboration & Team Building Tips

As with any open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. project, collaboration is key to a successful translation community. Here are some tips for building a strong collaborative team.

Team Building Team Building

Recruit contributors Recruit contributors

  • Try to find at least one more person to work with you – even at the very beginning
  • Make it easy to find the first & next steps for new contributors
    • Add the “Get Involved” as a translated RosettaRosetta The code name of the theme for the local WordPress sites (eg. 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. page
    • Translate the Translation First Steps pages and link from your glossary page
    • Create 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’s version of PTE request clarification doc. You can use this template if you’d like.
  • Make sure that you link to these instructions in various relevant places, such as:
    • The top comment on “Locale glossary” (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.’s have a link “edit” in the top banner)
    • In messages to new contributors (you can @mention a contributor in a post in your /team site. Find new contributors by sorting translation projects with pending stringsString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings. in reverse date order for contributions.
    • In replies to relevant topics in the support forums. (You can find relevant topics by adding the name of your language as a watched keyword in

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Build relationship/trust Build relationship/trust

  • Have a translation specific channel on local SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at and answer questions. Check that one can join the channel using an email in the domain 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., then any contributor can join your local channel by first joining the global Slack team via If your local Slack team is not listed in the Local Slack Teams list, please provide the details to the global mentor team)
  • Hold regular meetings
  • Try to have face-to-face interaction (even virtually on a video calling tool) when possible
  • Suggest that existing contributors to be mentors to new contributors, enabling both to grow

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Expand/strengthen the team Expand/strengthen the team

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Working as a Team Working as a Team

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Task delegation Task delegation

  • Clearly show open calls for help (e.g. 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. projects, top plugins/themes, HelpHub, handbook) or prioritization of projects to translate (i.e. what to focus on first for new contributors)
  • Avoid the gatekeeper model and give proper permissions to members (e.g. 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./Rosetta site blog contributor/forum moderatorForum Moderator Forum Moderators are active contributors who moderate their local support forums. Generally, these contributors get the permission to moderate from a forum admin of their language after contributing to the forums for a while. Moderators can be added by the local forum admins or the Polyglots team leads.) to spread the load
  • Establish a style guide and glossary so you can communicate translation guidelines through them

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Task management Task management

  • Use a publicly shared spreadsheet, TrelloTrello Project management system using the concepts of boards and cards to organize tasks in a sane way. This is what the team uses for example:, or any other task management tool to organize who’s doing what & the progress/status
  • Example: HelpHub status sheet template

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Documentation Documentation

  • Create a WordPress translation overview page on team/handbook. Examples can be found on the Glossaries and Style Guides per locale page
  • For teams that have certain processes in how they work, try to incorporate those into your documentation or Slack welcome messages (i.e. the Italian team describes a mentoring phase)

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Tools for Collaboration Tools for Collaboration

Don’t forget to announce contributor events when they are scheduled. 

  • Rosetta site &  /team P2 for documentation and event/project announcement
  • for local translation day announcement

You may want to try these collaboration tools for long-form text translation and maintenance:

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Leadership Best Practices Leadership Best Practices

Growing a translation team can be a great leadership experience. Here are some ideas and resources for you to get started.

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Resources Resources

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