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Getting existing translations back in shape

1 reply [Last post]
ariadacapo's picture
Joined: 2006-07-13

Hello everyone,

I posted about this in our translation mailing list already, and bring it up here so it gets more visibility.

Because of the big effort that was made on the English site over the last two months, there has been little communication and now all four translations are lagging behind a little. I would really like to correct this, so that we can have a coherent set of languages.
Note that I am not blaming anyone for this but myself. GLM needs to learn how to grow and how to correctly manage different languages. It happens slowly. (I am also a translator in French).

The bad news is that there is quite a large number of changes to do. Furthermore, each translation is at a different level.
The good news is that I don't foresee any large change or addition to GGL.o in the coming months. There are many cosmetic changes in the to-do list, but these require no translation; the main additions will probably be FAQ entries.
In order to make sense out of everything, I broke down everything into smaller, achievable pieces, and sorted the changes with version numbers. The current English version is V2.5, and I try to indicate this in SVN changes now.

V0.9: [Where the Castillian and Catalan translations stand now]

V1.0: Recommending gNewSense
We let go of Kubuntu to recommend Ubuntu (easy), Fedora (advanced) and gNewSense (fully free).
Three pages to update at once:
- /switch_to_linux/choose_a_distribution/
- /switch_to_linux/try_or_install/
- /linux/screenshots/
All the necessary files (logos and screenshots in English) should be available in the corresponding folders already.

V1.1: Clean-up of the "choose a distribution" page
Cutting through the text, to be simpler and easier to read. The first paragraph is shortened, the paragraph at the bottom is hugely simplified.

V1.2: Clean-up of the "try or install" page
The page is re-organised. The links to the CD downloads are sent to the bottom; there are many little re-phrasings and simplifications in the text (I can't describe bit by bit, so re-reading is necessary). There are new pictures (they should be all ready to use, I made localized versions).

V1.3: Clean-up of the "Switch to linux" portal page [Where German Translation stands now]
This is pretty neat. The page is extremely simplified and gets a whole new look. Normally it should be easy to implement, just copy/paste code from the English version.

V1.4: Stallman-induced modifications
This is a small set of changes that came after Gustavo could talk with RMS ;-) I greatly admire RMS's very precise use of words and language.
- The (R) sign should be removed everywhere, except on the "legal" page
- On the Windows page: The very first sentence under the subtitle "Restrictions" is changed ("A copy of Windows is expensive, but what do
you get?").
- In the windows/restrictions page, "breaking the law" is rephrased into "breaking this law" (very important difference!)
- In the windows/what_about_choice page, we add a "[sic]" inside Bill Gate's

V1.5: Translating the page "Misunderstanding Free Software" [only missing for FR + CAT translations]
This is a whole new page that replaces the old "software freedom explained" page. It takes a long while to translate, but I have found it is hugely useful. [another benefit is that working on it, you can learn the arguments well enough to use in an oral conversation ;-) ]

V1.6: Linux FAQ re-organisation
The FAQ is re-organised and divided in four sections. This should be relatively straightforward to do (just adding h2 titles), there is no change to the code structure (XHTML or CSS), I did it already.

V1.7: Two new Linux FAQs
Two important frequently asked questions added
- Are "Open Source" and "Free Software" the same thing?
- Why are all distributions not fully free? (this FAQ is linked to from the gNewSense description in the "choose a distribution page).

V1.8: Three more Linux FAQs [Where French translation stands now]
- The previous "What do you mean, linux is free" FAQ is entirely changed and reworked to "Why are some distributions sold, not just given away?"
- Is Linux the only free OS available? (easy)
- Is Mac OS also free? (easy)

V1.9: Three more Linux FAQs, again
- Will MS Office run on Linux?
- Can I play DVDs and MP3s?
- Can I play 3D games?

V2.0: End of Linux page [sorry if V2.0 isn't hugely exciting]
- The last paragraph of the Linux page ("The larger picture") has been re-written. It's more precise and shorter (I can't really describe the changes, a re-reading is necessary).
- The links to the sub-pages of the Linux page are bigger (changes in the CSS file). This is easy.

V2.1: Re-write of "From Windows to Linux" page
This is quite a big change, and well worth it (the new version has hit StumbleUpon with 6000+ hits). The entire page has been re-written, necessitating a thorough reading. There are new pictures, which should be available in the directory already.

V2.2: Major style upgrade
This is the style change including new translation tabs, rounded corners, and full-width main menu. Plus some details, like the improved "next", "previous" and "up" navigation links on the site. This is rather complicated to explain so I can do it myself; just tell me when you are ready.

V2.3: Updated "About" page
Less weight on the "legal information"; and new box with links to "donations" and "link buttons" on

V2.4: "Where to go next" page update
This is rather tricky since it requires a very subjective choice of links. But I think it's necessary that visitors are pointed to good resources (but only 6 max!) *in their own language*. I can help with making "button" graphics to improve the page's looks.

Possible improvement:

Localized screenshots
I consider this to be really important, since having software in their own language is important to everyday users... so it'd be really great if the screenshots were in the native language. Time-consuming, but worth it.

I hope this is not too discouraging. I'm doing my best now to push the French translation up, but for the three other translations, there is nothing we can do without translators ;-)
Thanks a lot in advance,


PS. if you do not have access to the SVN repositories (feed), please let me know.