General Expectations

As a translator, you want to make sure the language of the localized project is well-polished. Establishing and following translation rules might seem like a lot of extra work if you are just starting out. But in fact, it helps cut the translation team’s workload by reducing the need for correction and clarification.

The language files for WordPress projects should only contain links to pages found in 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/ domains (or other relevant project domains such as bbpress.org) or the translation community’s official documentation. If you need to link to a translated version of the original link, make sure it has a permanent home in one of those places. Including commercial links in translations can lead to your removal from the translation team.

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Don’t translate literally, translate organically Don’t translate literally, translate organically

Being bi- or multi-lingual, you undoubtedly know that the languages you speak have different structures, rhythms, tones, and infections. Translated messages don’t need to be structured the same way as the English ones: take the ideas that are presented and come up with a message that expresses the same thing in a natural way for the target language. It’s the difference between creating an equal message and an equivalent message: don’t replicate, replace. Even with more structural items in messages, you have creative license to adapt and change if you feel it will be more logical for, or better adapted to, your target audience.

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Try to keep the same level of formality (or informality) Try to keep the same level of formality (or informality)

Each message has a different level of formality or informality. Exactly what level of formality or informality to use for each message in your target language is something you’ll have to figure out on your own (or with your team), but WordPress messages (informational messages in particular) tend to have a politely informal tone in English. Try to accomplish the equivalent in the target language, within your cultural context.

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Don’t use slang or audience-specific terms Don’t use slang or audience-specific terms

Some amount of terminology is to be expected in a blog but refrain from using colloquialisms that only the “in” crowd will get. If the uninitiated blogger were to install WordPress in your language, would they know what the term means? Words like pingbackPingback A pingback is a special type of comment that's created when you link to another blog post, as long as the other blog is set to accept pingbacks. Pingback allows you to notify other bloggers that you have linked to their article on your website. Although there are some minor technical differences, a trackback is basically the same thing as a pingback.trackback, and feed are exceptions to this rule; they’re terminology that are typically difficult to translate, and many language teams choose to leave in English.

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Learn from other localizations in your language Learn from other localizations in your language

If you get stuck or need direction, try reading through the translations of other popular software tools to get a feel for what terms are commonly used, how formality is addressed, etc. Of course, WordPress has its own tone and feel, so keep that in mind when you’re reading other localizations, but feel free to dig up UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. terms and the like to maintain consistency with other software in your language.

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Keep it consistent Keep it consistent

Consistency is one of the most important characteristics of high-quality translation. To maintain consistency throughout various WordPress projects, you can use glossary and style guide specific to your language.

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Don’t insert unnecessary ideology in the translation Don’t insert unnecessary ideology in the translation

WordPress translation project is where we translate the software and related sites and apps, not a place to start a debate over other topics such as political, cultural, or religious issues.

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Be careful with machine translation Be careful with machine translation

Machine translation can be an efficient way to understand content in another language. And it can in many cases speed up the translation process a lot. But you should never submit raw machine translations without manual checking/editing. Usually, machine translation doesn’t keep track of the specific glossary, terminology and style needed. Furthermore, if parameters or htmlHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. tags are incorrectly handled, the machine translation may even break site content.

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Cooperate Cooperate

Maintaining a WordPress 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 lot of work that is best handled by a team. Good collaboration ensures the sustainability of the contribution and improves translation quality. Check this list of local Slack teams where you can communicate with other translators of your language. Another angle of cooperation is to embrace that we’re all volunteering our efforts here. This means, for instance, that it’s reasonable for a General Translation EditorGeneral 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 reject in bulk if someone has submitted a large number of stringsString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings. with such low quality that it would take too much time to find and approve those strings that happen to be correct.