Everyone who works with the translation of free and open source software must know the web site Open-Tran.eu (if you don’t, I highly recommend it!), a translation repository online.
To quote Jacek, the brain behind the project:
Proprietary software vendors may (if they can afford it) use CAT or TM software in order to ensure the consistency of their applications’ terminology. Unfortunately, there are many different software vendors who are not willing to share their knowledge (which includes translation memory databases) with the others. And this is where the open source software could prove to be better than the proprietary. It could, but is not. Although everybody has full access to the translations of many open source programs, this opportunity is hardly ever used. The knowledge of hundreds (if not thousands) of people translating applications into their native languages is not centralized and thus hardly available to the others. This is the reason why the translations of even the most popular programs are not consistent with each other, which discourages people from using them. I’d like the Open-Tran.eu service to fill this gap and to provide the translators with a useful tool, which may improve the quality of their translations and increase the consistency of terminology in the open source software.Â·
One cool thing about this service is that you can observe problems with the standardization of terms within a project, where certain applications may have a term translated one way, and completely different on other applications. Want to see a nice example? Type the word “plugin” in the search field or clique this link, to see the discrepancies of how it was translated across several projects.
Want to see something even cooler? You could write a fairly simple application to access this gold mine, and fetch the information you need via the XML-RPC interface, a nice touch to the mix! Check out the provided python script!
Today Jacek informed me that Open-Trans.eu has included the translations for the XFCE project, augmenting the repository and definitely making my life a whole lot easiet when analysing the Brazilian Portuguese translations for the project.