Monday, May 26, 2014

Translation Programs (PO file editors)

As mentioned in my previous post you can use a single text editor in order to translate a .PO file. However, it’s very helpful and easier for a simple (non programmer) translator to use a PO file editor instead, which gives much more automation, has a better and organized look and shows only things a translator needs to see.
Currently I use PoEdit for my translations, since it is simple and easy to use.
After a quick search, I found many PO editors available such as Virtaal, Gtranslator, Lokalize, OmegaT, GNU Gettext, GTed, betterpoeditor, Gorm and others.
Although all seem to do the same job, they have not the same features, each has its own ways of presenting and means of editing different elements of a message and many of them have extra helping tools like Translation memory, Glossary, Spell-checking etc.
Last week I tested some of them just to see how they would work for my workflow.
I summarized their characteristics on following table:   

As you can see the decision on which editor to choose for your work is not an easy one and each has pros and cons to be considered depending on your translation requirements.
I’m very glad I did all this research because I finally realized, that PoEdit may be simple to use, but has too few features for my needs, so I consider changing it with the Gtranslator or Virtaal application, which I can say both impressed me.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to start using GNOME's translation system

First steps

GNOME uses the translation collaboration web tool called Vertimus (Damned Lies).
In order to contribute with translations you have to do following steps first:
1.        Create an account on GNOME’s translation page (Damned Lies)

2.        Subscribe to the translation team of your language (after the login go to your personal page by clicking on your name, "Join a team", select a team and then "Join")                                          
3.      Visit your Translation Team page and join your team’s mailing list.

4.      At this point it would be useful to install and adjust a translation tool (a detailed post regarding PO file editors will follow), although it is optional, since translations can be made with a simple text editor. Also you should read if available the translation guide and tips provided by your team (if any they can be found at your Translation Team’s webpage stated at the top of the page) or ask your team members for directions.  

Find a translation to work on

At your team’s main page you can choose the “Release” and either its user interface or documentation.

Each package displays the percentage of translated string and the graph next to it shows the number of translated string, the number of fuzzy (uncertain translation) strings, and the number of untranslated string. At the end of each package you can see the status if any (Translating, Translated, To review, Proofreading, To commit).

If there is no status, and of course it’s not a 100% completed one, it is a free package to reserve and work on.

Reserve and download a translation package

After selecting the package, you have to reserve and download the translation file.
Download the PO file. 
To Reserve the translation so that no one can make changes on it while you are translating choose New Action → Reserve for translation, leave a comment (optionally)   → Submit.
Upload the new translation

When the PO file is translated and saved, go to the same page you reserved it earlier (you have to login first) and upload it back.
Choose New Action → Upload the new translation, leave a comment (optionally), select Browse and find the saved PO File → Submit.
The suggested translations will be reviewed and then committed by other team members.
For more details you can visit the GNOME Translation Project Wiki page.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

About my contribution within the Outreach Program for Women (OPW)

Translating and reviewing for GNOME documentation and applications to my native language which is Greek is quite a difficult and challenging task.
Greek is as known a morphologically richer language than English. You can have a single word in English with a lot of translation candidates in Greek making the decision uncertain and then you still have to deal with the fact that English words and phrases appear usually in the same form while the corresponding terms in Greek have to match in gender, case, number, person etc. within a sentence in order to have the correct role in it. And as if that is not enough, you still need to have a good knowledge of the computer and programming terminology in Greek! As you can imagine traditional machine translation methods fail to produce adequate output and everything has to be checked and corrected over and over again.
Thankfully the Greek Gnome Translation Team has already done a remarkable job so far and I’m very happy to contribute and participate in this!