Talk for Globaljam

The Irish Ubuntu Loco is having a global Jam soon.

I have volunteered to do a talk on localisation and a demo we are also likely to give a good go at translation into Irish. (Not me I don’t speak it).

Here is the plan so far

  1. Brief description of translation cycle
  2. Brief description of translation tools and what Translation Memory do
  3. Demo of translation and preparation for Irish translation
  4. Assign some priority translation for Ubuntu/GNOME translation
  5. Translation support for people present

Brief description of translation cycle

The gnome translation cycle is integrated in the development cycle with damned lies and git.

translation cycle

The developers work with git and when translatable text is added (through convention most of it is painless) it is extracted with gettext (for most linux projects). When the git repository PO is updated it is synced with damned lies.

If no one works on a translation for a while then it is kept up to date through this method.
In Damned lies the translator checks the file out, and can start translating immediately. In the case the file is updated while in translation both will be merged once the translator completes his translation putting it back in damned lies.You can verify the translation again using comparison tool in damned lies. If the PO was updated pulling the merge file and translating will restart the cycle…

The file is then reviewed and corrected by separate person.
Last in the cycle the file is committed into git; there are a number of people in the gnome translation team who will commit files.

Brief description of translation tools…

The first tree are standard tools that you install and configure, the last one is a portal (meaning you don’t need anything more than a browser).

See this for the basics I will expand on it as required.

I have only recently stumbled upon OmegaT so will likely only mention it.

If you are using any of the first three tools you can test your translation at any stages by compiling / installing the application. For LP You can do so as well if you download the po for yourself after translating.
One very useful thing at this stage is: virtualisation I use Virtual box at this stage but there are plenty of alternatives.

Translation memory in brief

If you want to know more about what powers translation tools check out some more info on wikipedia.

The basics are as follow (from wikipedia):

Using translation memories

The program breaks the source text (the text to be translated) into segments, looks for matches between segments and the source half of previously translated source-target pairs stored in a translation memory, and presents such matching pairs as translation candidates. The translator can accept a candidate, replace it with a fresh translation, or modify it to match the source. In the last two cases, the new or modified translation goes into the database.

Some translation memories systems search for 100% matches only, that is to say that they can only retrieve segments of text that match entries in the database exactly, while others employ fuzzy matching algorithms to retrieve similar segments, which are presented to the translator with differences flagged. It is important to note that typical translation memory systems only search for text in the source segment.

The flexibility and robustness of the matching algorithm largely determine the performance of the translation memory, although for some applications the recall rate of exact matches can be high enough to justify the 100%-match approach.

Segments where no match is found will have to be translated by the translator manually. These newly translated segments are stored in the database where they can be used for future translations as well as repetitions of that segment in the current text.

Translation memories work best on texts which are highly repetitive, such as technical manuals. They are also helpful for translating incremental changes in a previously translated document, corresponding, for example, to minor changes in a new version of a user manual. Traditionally, translation memories have not been considered appropriate for literary or creative texts, for the simple reason that there is so little repetition in the language used. However, others find them of value even for non-repetitive texts, because the database resources created have value for concordance searches to determine appropriate usage of terms, for quality assurance (no empty segments), and the simplification of the review process (source and target segment are always displayed together while translators have to work with two documents in a traditional review environment).

If a translation memory system is used consistently on appropriate texts over a period of time, it can save translators considerable work

Main benefits

Translation memory managers are most suitable for translating technical documentation and documents containing specialized vocabularies. Their benefits include:

  • Ensuring that the document is completely translated (translation memories do not accept empty target segments)
  • Ensuring that the translated documents are consistent, including common definitions, phrasings and terminology. This is important when different translators are working on a single project.
  • Enabling translators to translate documents in a wide variety of formats without having to own the software typically required to process these formats.
  • Accelerating the overall translation process; since translation memories “remember” previously translated material, translators have to translate it only once.
  • Reducing costs of long-term translation projects; for example the text of manuals, warning messages or series of documents needs to be translated only once and can be used several times.
  • For large documentation projects, savings (in time or money) thanks to the use of a TM package may already be apparent even for the first translation of a new project, but normally such savings are only apparent when translating subsequent versions of a project that was translated before using translation memory.

Translation demonstration and tools preparation

Will add screen shots of basic configuration for the tools then it’s hands on with participants computers as required.

add Irish language pack to translation machines linked in :

plural forms for Irish: nplurals=5; plural=n==1 ? 0 : n==2 ? 1 : n<7 ? 2 : n<11 ? 3 : 4

quick introduction to damned lies:

other teams


KDE Irish page


Open office


The Irish translation team

Some priorities and things that can be done

  • evolution
  • epiphany
  • empathy

Also as current translations are not that good The gnome team is looking for someone comfortable enough to help review the material already translated.
With this I believe if you want to get started and keep your interest up in the translation project there are a number of things you can/should do.

  • Set your machine to Irish start doing the things you do.
    Being familiar with it is important for your language skills.
    this will also keep you in the loop for which translation are needed or need fixing
  • Get started on previously translated material.
    This will get you some relevant material (or in some cases some not very good translations).
  • Get a pet project.
    I started this way and if you translate something you use regularly you will keep it going.
  • Are you confident enough to review already translated material?

Translation support for people present

Get on with it. 😉

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