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On Xfce’s translation status in early 2018

As you might know I’m quite active translating Xfce to German. Furthermore I’m stepped up to take care for Xfce’s translations in general a while ago. Today I had a deeper look at the statistics of our Transifex dashboard and wanted to share the current state with you. This is both to appreciate the work done but so many volunteers but also to motivate you for helping out a bit.

Overview

In the end of 2017 we restructured the whole i18n process a bit, got rid of unused infrastructure and tried to lower the barrier for new translators to get into it. You can have a look at the corresponding wiki page if you’re interested.

As the whole translation work is pointed towards the ongoing development I will only cover the master branch. Parts of 4.12 and 4.10 are still available in Transifex but don’t get updated as they are already officially released.

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Xfce’s translation team offers and takes care for 106 languages and variants all in all. There are 17 languages which are nearly fully translated, only missing 50 strings or (way) less. Five languages are at 100% at the time of writing: French, German, Malay, Polish and Russian. Looking at how active development is (yes, really!) and how much translatable strings the overall Xfce project has this is really impressive! People are doing an awesome job there and really deserve some praising words. Thank you!

Helping hands needed

Quite a handful of languages are on their best way towards offering full localization. At the time of writing they have a few hundred strings yet to do, so if you’re a native speaker or confidently speaking one these

Italian (it) 152 strings to translate
Danish (da) 273 strings to translate
Dutch (nl) 319 strings to translate
English (Australia) (en_AU) 373 strings to translate
Norwegian Bokmål (nb) 352 strings to translate
Serbian (sr) 387 strings to translate
Slovak (sk) 384 strings to translate
Bulgarian (bg) 460 strings to translate
Catalan (ca) 405 strings to translate
Croatian (hr) 523 strings to translate
Indonesian (id) 607 strings to translate
Japanese (ja) 605 strings to translate
Thai (th) 596 strings to translate

Furthermore there are languages a bit desperately missing help. Many of them are local variants which is why the translator teams are smaller. Nevertheless, they’re as important as any other language. Getting Free Software in general and Xfce in particular to less-spoken languages is one of it’s many strengths!

But how to get started?

The good thing with translation work is that it doesn’t need much time per default. Of course you can extend your efforts to many hours per day. But donating just half an hour every week helps a lot! Just imagine how many strings consisting of 2-3 words you could get done in that time.
Furthermore as mentioned earlier, translating has no technical entry barrier. When I started using Linux soon I wanted to contribute something. But being no developer I had to take a look around where to help. Doing translations was my first stop solution as it’s totally easy and intuitive. Now, nearly 15 years later, I’m still here and love doing this work.

To get into the language business is easy as one-two-three: make yourself familiar with the i18n docs, sign up at Transifex, request to join the Xfce team – done! It helps if you sign up at our mailing list and introduce yourself briefly, but it’s not necessary.

If you have questions feel free to ask on the mailing list or dive into IRC (#xfce-dev, Freenode). If you prefer you can also email or xmpp me directly, I’ll do my best to help you out.