How to give feedback

Feedback helps teams to share information so everyone is working together toward a common goal. For 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 managers and translation editorsTranslation 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, this may look like explaining why a translation was rejected or sharing feedback on a proposed change to your locale’s glossary.

It is common to fear feedback – both receiving it and giving it! Feedback, especially negative feedback, can feel personal. It can also build trust and healthy ways to communicate within a team, allowing new contributors to grow through the feedback they receive.

Why feedback is important

Feedback is what lets people know when their efforts are working well or not. In a team, feedback helps ensure that everyone involved is acting in a way that supports the team’s goals.

When providing feedback to other contributors in your locale, there are many benefits, including:

  • It helps contributors grow. Translating WordPress is a skill. New contributors may feel uncertain of best practices or how to interpret existing documentation. Giving feedback lets them understand what they’re doing well and where to improve.
  • It maintains and improves the quality of the project. Polyglots know the value of contributing good quality translations. Giving feedback ensures that everyone who contributes provides consistent and contextual translations to improve the user experience.
  • It builds trust between contributors. Giving and receiving feedback often feels vulnerable. Using feedback to collaborate with others helps to build trust between people. The person receiving feedback knows someone cares about what they’re doing; the person giving feedback knows their mentorship is meaningful.
  • It’s a form of training. When someone doesn’t follow the guidelines or best practices, feedback allows them to correct that. By giving feedback, you help to educate others on why you follow certain guidelines, how to be a better contributor, and how to improve their work in the future. This improvement can help build future leaders and mentors in your community.

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When should you give feedback?

It is a good idea to focus on documented and agreed-upon processes within your community. In other words, just because someone does something differently than you, that doesn’t mean it requires feedback. When considering feedback, it can help to ask:

  • Does this behavior negatively impact the team’s goals?
  • Does this break any rules or guidelines our team has agreed on?
  • What are the consequences if I don’t give feedback?

Maintaining documentation or meeting notes can be a really helpful tool for explaining why something deserves feedback. As an example: if someone disagrees with a word in the locale’s glossary, it can be helpful to point them to similar conversations from the past. Being able to reference public documentation and conversations also helps to confirm it is about helping the person improve, rather than critiquing them personally.

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Where to give feedback

There are a few ways to provide feedback on translations:

  • Using the discussion tool on The platform for contributing to the translation of WordPress core, themes and plugins.
  • Via your local SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at or the Make/WordPress Slack instance
  • Via your team’s blog or on the global Polyglots blog

Whatever format you decide, it’s good practice to document this in any “Getting Started’ documentation you have for new contributors. This ensures that everyone knows where to find feedback so they can act on it.

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The discussion tool

There is now a tool built directly into where translation editors can leave feedback on a suggested translation. Providing feedback moves the stringString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings. into a “Changes requested” status until the translator submits their updated translation.

It’s a good idea to contact new translators on Slack, so they know to toggle on email notifications for the discussion tool. Anyone can opt in to notifications via the Translation Settings page on

To provide feedback when reviewing stringsString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings., select the individual string and use 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. tab in the right sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. to provide feedback. Here, you can choose the most applicable checkbox for why you’re requesting changes. You can also add a message in the text box below to clarify further.

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Via Slack

When providing feedback via Slack, consider whether you prefer to share the feedback publicly or privately. Public feedback can help make feedback commonplace, but can also be intimidating for new contributors. Decide what feels more appropriate for your locale team.

When sharing feedback on the suggested translations, it is helpful to point contributors to any helpful resources – like the local Glossary or Style Guide – to reference in the future. If you aren’t using the discussion tool, you can link to individual strings by clicking on the hamburger menu, then Permalink to translation. This can be helpful for sharing feedback on specific translations.

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Via team blog

If you prefer to share feedback on the team blog, or the contributor hasn’t yet joined your local Slack, sharing feedback on your local team blog (/team/ on your 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. site) or the global Make/Polyglots blog is another option.

Similar to sharing feedback on Slack, it is a good idea to @-mention the contributor’s username, so they receive a notification of the feedback. Whenever possible, link to specific strings, as well as related resources, to help provide context to your feedback.

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Tips on how to give good feedback

When giving feedback, the goal should always be to help the other person succeed or improve. Likewise, after giving feedback, ideally:

  • You feel successful in clarifying what was not working well.
  • They feel empowered to improve.

With that in mind, here are a few additional tips for how to give constructive, empowering feedback:

  • Keep it timely. Don’t wait too long to give feedback. Giving feedback in a timely manner (as much as possible) reinforces that you care about the other person’s contributions.
  • Be clear. It can feel difficult to phrase feedback – you don’t want to be too harsh, but you want to ensure your feedback is easy to understand. Do your best to make sure your feedback is straightforward and clear.
  • Leave room for conversation. After clearly sharing your feedback, ask for questions. This allows the other person to collaborate with you, ask for clarification, and make them feel supported.
  • Use a template. Words make a difference, but it takes time to compose the perfect feedback message. To save time, you can make a template containing the main points of feedback. For example:
    “I reviewed your translations, and you used [Term A]. The team discussed this word in the past and decided that [Term B] is more appropriate in most circumstances, so we chose that for the glossary. To maintain consistency in the locale, it’s important to use [Term B] when you see it in a string.”
  • Feedback should be actionable. Whenever possible, offer a solution on how to improve, too. Receiving feedback that includes a call to action is empowering, whereas receiving feedback you can’t do anything about can feel discouraging.
  • Positive feedback is feedback too. A good way to get comfortable giving feedback is by giving it when you see good practices. If you give positive feedback publicly, it also highlights best practices and makes the other person feel good. You can also use the “positive, constructive, positive” method exemplified below:
    • Start by saying that the team really appreciates their contribution and make them feel welcome. Say something appreciative about their work.
    • Continue with constructive feedback – things that can be improved, what exactly doesn’t comply with the styles and rules your locale uses. Don’t be generic, be specific.
    • End on a positive note. Thank them for their contribution.

Finally, don’t get discouraged by no response. You might not get a direct response to your feedback, but don’t give up! There are many reasons why someone may contribute translations just once. Even if the translator doesn’t reply to your feedback, you have still contributed to creating an open, feedback-friendly culture just by sharing.

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Request to a PTE/CLPTE improvements in their work

Sometimes a 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. or a CLPTECross-locale Project Translation Editor A Cross-Locale Project Translation Editor is an account owned by a plugin or theme author (or the authoring organization), which uses professional translators to localize their product. The cross-locale project translation editor can import/validate strings on a specific project for more than one locale. This role has the same capabilities as a Project Translation Editor over multiple locales instead of one. Cross-Locale Project Translation Editors need to meet a set of criteria before being appointed by General Translation Editors. submits the same incorrect translations (or with small differences) multiple times. This increases the workload for GTEs. When this occurs, GTEs should create a standard post on the Make/Polyglots blog using the text below, adapted to the problem:

Post title: {project-name} translation improvement request in {language} language

Hi {username},

I am writing to you because you have sent the same strings to validate for {project-name}[link to the project] in the {language} language multiple times[link to one example with multiple request]. Each time your submission has been reviewed, the strings were incorrect.

Please review the strings [with your translator (only with a CLPTE, not with a PTE)] and make sure to follow the community rules.

If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments of this post, so the discussion is public.

Be advised that you if you don’t correct this behavior:
- We can request that you don’t send any more translations in {language} language.
- You can lose the PTE/CLPTE [select one] status.

Thank you.


  • {username} is one of the developers or the person responsible for the project. Use this username to automatically notify the problem to the responsible one, e.g. “@amieiro”.
  • {project-name} is the name of the pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party, theme, or other translation project, e.g. “Classic Editor”.
  • {language} is the language in which the strings are being sent incorrectly and repeatedly, e.g. “Spanish”.

Add these tags to the post, so we can find it easily later:

  • #clpte-improvements or #pte-improvements. Please use this tag to filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. requests of this kind.
  • #{project-slug}. Please use the plugin, theme or other translation project slug, so we can filter the amount of request made to each project. E.g. #classic-editor for the Classic Editor plugin.
  • #locale. Please use your locale tag to automatically notify to all 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., e.g. “es_ES”.

Below, you can see an example.

Post title: Akismet improvement request in Galician language

Hi @matt,

I am writing to you because you have sent the same strings to validate for Akismet in the Galician language multiple times. Each time your submission has been reviewed, the strings were incorrect.

Please review the strings with your translator and make sure to follow the community rules.

If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments of this post, so the discussion is public.

Be advised that you if you don’t correct this behavior:
- We can request that you don’t send any more translations in Galician language.
- You can lose the CLPTE status.

Thank you.

Tags: #clpte-improvements #akismet #gl_ES

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